Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership comes with all sorts of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on 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 noticed. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to clear up these problems before you move in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is a valuable preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably placed on a wall near 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 near the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t track down the main 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 will have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to minimize damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. As an example, just one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, look for these signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in water bills
- Changing water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under your sinks
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain besides water could cause a clog. Run your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain once a month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in the area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose our licensed plumbers for the job, you can rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to arrange plumbing services with us today.