Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s thrilling to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership presents plenty of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now accountable for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on 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 may not have noticed. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to resolve these problems before you move in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes can 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 greatly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If the house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found on a wall close to 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 around 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 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
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while working on repairs or to mitigate damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve whenever 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. Consider that just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, keep an eye out for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- Steeper 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. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, 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.
A safer alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain apart 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
- Do not pour cooking grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain each month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in town. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Epperson Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you contact our certified 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 Epperson Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.