Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership comes with lots 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 deal with a plumbing concern immediately after moving in, so it’s wise to confirm everything is ready to go before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s a good idea 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. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to resolve these problems before you settle in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is an excellent preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning 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 found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely situated 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 around the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you find it.
If you still can’t find the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while working on repairs or to reduce damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve anytime you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. As an example, one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, watch 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. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by the next time you have a plumbing disaster. These include:
- Cup plunger for clogged 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 can help
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain apart from water could cause a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not 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 monthly
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, 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 locations across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you call our certified plumbers for the job, you can rest assured 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.