Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing problem immediately after moving in, so it’s sensible to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s wise 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 might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to clear up these problems before moving in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner should have to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before moving 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
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly 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 house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found on a wall along 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 near the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t track down the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with 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 mitigate damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves when you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. As an example, a single drip each 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
- Steeper water bills
- Changes in the 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. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used over and over. What's more, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by the next time you have a plumbing emergency. 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. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water can cause a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Never pour cooking oil down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain monthly
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still smart to know a reliable plumber in the area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Stevenson Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you contact our certified plumbers for the job, you can rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Stevenson Service Experts office to request plumbing services with us today.