Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership presents all sorts of new responsibilities. For example, you are now in charge of keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s sensible 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. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s smart to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have noticed. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to clear up these problems before moving in.
2. Check 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 an effective 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 have 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 most likely situated on a wall along 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 sometimes located in a utility box buried around the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t find 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 shut off the water while working on repairs or to reduce damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that just one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, keep an eye out for these signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- High 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
- Lasting musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used frequently. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A safer 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could cause a clog. Use 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
- Don't pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain monthly
8. Put 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 town. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Peachtree Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you contact our insured plumbers for the job, you can enjoy the peace of mind that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Peachtree Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.