8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue just after moving in, so it’s wise to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s smart to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have been aware of. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to take care of these problems before moving in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
The pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner should have to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an effective preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency such as 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 in 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 might be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t track down 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 completing repairs or to reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, a single drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- Steeper 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
- Strong musty odors
6. Get 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 repeatedly. What's more, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing disaster. These include:
- Cup plunger for clogged 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
Anything that flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Run your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Never pour cooking grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain monthly
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in town. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Stevenson Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose 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 request plumbing services with us today.