8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s thrilling to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership presents plenty of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now in charge of keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing issue immediately after moving in, so it’s sensible to confirm everything is ready to go before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to resolve these problems before you move in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes can 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 inexpensive upgrade is a valuable 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 encounter a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be 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. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It might 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 an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with 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 reduce damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves 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, a single drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, watch for the telltale 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 the sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Lingering musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used repeatedly. What's more, 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 can help
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t 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 in every drain once a month
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in your area. For quality, 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 insured 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 us to arrange plumbing services with us today.