Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s thrilling to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership presents lots of new responsibilities. For one, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s wise to get 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 take care of these problems before you settle in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is an excellent 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 can be found.
If the house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely 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 close to the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you find it.
If you still can’t find the main 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
In addition to 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 completing repairs or to reduce damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves when you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. Consider that just one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for these 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
- Lasting musty odors
6. Get 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 repeatedly. 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 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 stem 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. Run your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet other than 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 in every drain monthly
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s still smart to know a reliable plumber in town. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Climate Control Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you call 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. Get in touch with your local Climate Control Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.