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 have to deal with a landlord. Still, homeownership presents all sorts of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing issue just after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s smart to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Weak 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 should have to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an excellent preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely found 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 occasionally located in a utility box buried close to the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t find 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 should have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while making repairs or to reduce damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. For example, one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for any 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
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Lingering musty odors
6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used frequently. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
An effective 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 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber arrives
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water can cause a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet other than 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 down every drain once a month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
We have Experts across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose our certified plumbers for the job, you can enjoy the peace of mind 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 schedule plumbing services with us today.
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