8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s a relief to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For one, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing problem immediately after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s smart to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Low 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 move 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 inspect all exposed pipes before you move 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
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have to deal with 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 most likely placed 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 sometimes located in a utility box buried around the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It could 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 a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to mitigate damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that 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 new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- High water bills
- Changes in the water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under the sinks
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can damage your pipes if used over and over. What’s more, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A safer 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 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 reduce the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water could cause a clog. Run your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place 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
- Don’t pour cooking oil down the kitchen sink
- 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 under control, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose our insured 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 & Plumbing office to request plumbing services with us today.
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