Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Still, homeownership presents lots of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Check out these 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 uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Poor 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 settle in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
The pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an effective preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If the house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found on a wall close to the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, take a look in the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is sometimes located in a utility box buried close to the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you find it.
If you still can’t track down the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a critical plumbing problem on your hands.
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 completing repairs or to reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves when you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, just one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, watch for any signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- Steeper water bills
- Changing water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under your sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used frequently. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing crisis. These include:
- Cup plunger for backed up sinks, tubs and showers
- Flange plunger for clogged toilets
- Hand-crank drain snake for minor 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber arrives
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Do not pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain each month
8. Have 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 town. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you contact our certified 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 request plumbing services with us today.