8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now responsible for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s wise to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s wise to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak won’t always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to take care of these problems before moving in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
The pipes can 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 an effective preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have 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 situated on a wall along 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 near the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you find it.
If you still can’t track down the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
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 enables you to shut off the water while completing repairs or to mitigate damage during 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 the greatest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. For example, one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, look for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your 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 shouldn’t go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used repeatedly. In addition, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand the next time you have a plumbing emergency. 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber arrives
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Use your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Never pour cooking grease 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 under control, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in your area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
We have locations across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you contact our certified 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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