Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership includes lots of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing concern right after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Consider these 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 uncover underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have been aware of. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to take care of these problems before you move in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants 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. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you have to deal with a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found on a wall near the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, take a look in the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is sometimes located in a utility box buried around the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify 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
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves anytime 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 empty your wallet. Consider that just one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, look for these 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
- 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 shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing crisis. These include:
- Cup plunger for clogged 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 reduce the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water can cause a clog. Keep your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Do not pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain once a month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in town. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Freschi Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you contact our insured 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 us to arrange plumbing services with us today.