Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now responsible for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue just after moving in, so it’s smart to confirm everything is squared away before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s smart to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals 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 take care of these problems before you settle in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
The pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is a valuable preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find 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 is located.
If the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably placed on a wall close to the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, take a look 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 by the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you find 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 making repairs or to minimize damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve 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. For example, one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for these 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
- Lasting 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 potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used frequently. 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 emergency. 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. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water can cause a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in 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
- Never pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down 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 still smart to know a reliable plumber in the area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have Experts 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to request plumbing services with us today.