Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s thrilling to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing problem just after moving in, so it’s wise to confirm everything is squared away 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 can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have noticed. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to take care of these problems before you move in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your 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. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency like 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 probably situated on a wall close to 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 find it.
If you still can’t find the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
In addition to the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to reduce damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves when you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. As an example, a single drip per 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
- A spike in water bills
- Changing water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under your sinks
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used over and over. In addition, 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 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 mitigate 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 besides water could lead to a clog. Run your drains flowing 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 oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain once a month
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in town. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Coastal Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you contact our certified plumbers for the job, you can rest assured that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Coastal Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.