8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s exhilarating to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership comes with lots of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is squared away 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 can reveal 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 might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to resolve these problems before moving in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so check 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
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely placed on a wall near the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check 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. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t find the primary water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while working on repairs or to mitigate damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve whenever you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. Consider that one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, watch for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your new 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
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong 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 better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand the next time you have a plumbing emergency. 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 arrives
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don’t pour cooking grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain monthly
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in town. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
We have Experts across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you contact 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 & Plumbing office to schedule plumbing services with us today.
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