Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s thrilling to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now in charge of keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s wise to confirm everything is ready to go before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s smart to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have noticed. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to clear up these problems before moving in.
2. Look for 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 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
Shutting off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If the property 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 might be labeled “water meter” to help you find it.
If you still can’t track down the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
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 completing repairs or to minimize damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, a single drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in water bills
- Changes in the 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 have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can damage your pipes if used repeatedly. What's more, 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 emergency. 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Prevent 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 aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Do not pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain monthly
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in town. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Pardee Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you call our licensed 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 Pardee Service Experts office to request plumbing services with us today.