Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with lots of new responsibilities. For example, you are now in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing concern right after moving in, so it’s smart 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. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s a good idea 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. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to clear up these problems before you settle in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner should have 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 against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency such as 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 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 sometimes located in a utility box buried near the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t track down the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
In addition to the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to mitigate damage after 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 the biggest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. Consider that a single drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, look 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 your sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. In addition, 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 crisis. 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 is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water could lead to 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 kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain each month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s always wise 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 rest assured that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to schedule plumbing services with us today.