Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s wise to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to take care of these problems before moving 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 check all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an excellent preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting 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 found.
If the house 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 the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is occasionally located in a utility box buried close to the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It could 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 a critical plumbing problem on your hands.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
In addition to 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 completing repairs or to reduce damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves whenever 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. For example, just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, look 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
- Strong 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 caustic cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A safer alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing disaster. 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber arrives
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain apart from water can 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
- Never pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain monthly
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still smart to know a reliable plumber in the area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you call 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 arrange plumbing services with us today.