Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s thrilling to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership presents plenty of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now responsible for keeping any 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 in good shape before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s wise to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to take care of these problems before you settle in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time 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 for 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 such as 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 placed on a wall near 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 occasionally located in a utility box buried close to the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It may 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 an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to reduce damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve whenever 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. For example, a single drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for these signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- High 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
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. In addition, 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 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 reduce the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water could lead to a clog. Run your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install 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 grease down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain each month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always smart to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Broad Ripple 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 assured that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with us to schedule plumbing services with us today.