Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For example, 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 wise to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to take care of these problems before moving in.
2. Look 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 take a look at all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is a valuable preventive measure for 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 such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely found 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. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It might 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 an emergency.
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 reduce damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve whenever you buy a new house.
5. Recognize 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. As an example, a single drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, watch for these signs of plumbing leaks in your new 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 your sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Lingering musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used frequently. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
An effective 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 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. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not flush anything down the toilet other than 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 in every drain each month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still smart to know a reliable plumber in your area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Gordon's Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you contact 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 us to request plumbing services with us today.