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 comes with lots of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now responsible for keeping your 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 squared away before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have noticed. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to clear up these problems before moving in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes could 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 moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive 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 greatly 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 the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely placed 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 around the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It might 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 a critical plumbing problem on your hands.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while working on repairs or to minimize damage after 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 greatest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, just one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, watch for the telltale 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 the sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. What's more, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A safer alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber arrives
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain apart from water could lead to a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking oil down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain once a month
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Wesley Wood Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you call our licensed plumbers for the job, you can rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Wesley Wood Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.