Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership comes with all sorts of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find 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 may not have noticed. 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 move in.
2. Look 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 low-cost 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 encounter a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If your home 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 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 might 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 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 allows you to shut off the water while completing repairs or to mitigate 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 a common concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. As an example, a single drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per 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
- Lasting 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 potent cleaners can damage your pipes if used frequently. 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 disaster. 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water can cause a clog. Keep your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain monthly
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in your area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Strand Brothers Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to assist 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 Strand Brothers Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.