Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership comes with all sorts of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing issue immediately after moving in, so it’s smart to confirm everything is squared away before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s smart to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to resolve these problems before you settle in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an excellent preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably situated on a wall close to the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check in the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is occasionally located in a utility box buried close to the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t track down the primary water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
In addition to the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while making repairs or to reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. As an example, just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, look for any signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in water bills
- Changes in the water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under the sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can harm your pipes if used over and over. In addition, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand the next time you have a plumbing disaster. These include:
- Cup plunger for backed up sinks, tubs and showers
- Flange plunger for clogged toilets
- Hand-crank drain snake for small blockages
- Adjustable wrench to remove the P-trap from under clogged sinks
- Utility bucket to catch water from a leaky pipe
- Plumber’s tape to fix leaky showerheads
- Duct tape to reduce the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water can cause a clog. Run your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking oil down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain each month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in the area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have Experts across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose our insured plumbers for the job, you can rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to request plumbing services with us today.