8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership includes lots of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now accountable for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue just after moving in, so it’s sensible to confirm 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 find your dream home, it’s wise to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have noticed. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak won’t always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to clear up these problems before you move in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost 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 have to deal with a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If the house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found on a wall near the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check in the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is sometimes located in a utility box buried close to the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you identify 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 on the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve when you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, look for any signs of plumbing leaks in your new 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
- Strong musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers shouldn’t go in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can damage your pipes if used repeatedly. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available 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 arrives
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water can cause a clog. Run your drains flowing 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 in every drain monthly
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still smart 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 Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you contact our licensed plumbers for the job, you can rest easy 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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