Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s thrilling to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership presents all sorts of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s smart to confirm everything is ready to go before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to take care of these problems before moving in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
The pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is a valuable preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely situated on a wall near 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 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 identify it.
If you still can’t track down the primary 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 on the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to minimize damage during 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 biggest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. As an example, just one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for any signs of plumbing leaks in your new 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. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can damage your pipes if used over and over. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A safer 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 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 is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water can cause a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not 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 into every drain each month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in town. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Fras-Air/General Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you call 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. Get in touch with your local Fras-Air/General Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.