8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners 

Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now in charge of keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order. 

The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know. 

1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection

Once you find your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to resolve these problems before moving in. 

2. Check for Pipe Insulation

Your pipes may 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 inexpensive upgrade is an effective preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes. 

3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve 

Turning off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency like 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 probably 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 sometimes located in a utility box buried near the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It might 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 an emergency. 

4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves

In addition to 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 making repairs or to mitigate damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves when you buy a new house. 

5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak

Water damage is the biggest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. Consider that just one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, watch for these signs of plumbing leaks in your new 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 
  • Wobbly toilet 
  • Water stains on the ceilings and walls 
  • Lingering musty odors 

6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit

Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can harm your pipes if used repeatedly. 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 emergency. These include: 

  • Cup plunger for clogged 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 arrives 

7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One

Anything that flows down the drain besides water can cause a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips: 

  • Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers 
  • Don’t flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper 
  • Never pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink 
  • Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain once a month 

8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial 

While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. 

We have locations across North America to serve 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. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office to schedule plumbing services with us today. 

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