Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s exhilarating to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership includes all sorts of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now accountable for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have been aware of. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to take care of these problems before you settle in.
2. Check 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 inexpensive upgrade is a valuable 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 encounter a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If the house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely found on a wall along 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 may be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t track down the primary water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a critical plumbing problem on your hands.
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 enables you to turn off the water while making repairs or to reduce damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for any signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in 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
- Lingering musty odors
6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used repeatedly. Plus, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could cause a clog. Run your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Do not pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain monthly
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always smart to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Midway Services.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you contact 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 Midway Services office to schedule plumbing services with us today.