8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners 

Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s exhilarating to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with lots of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now in charge of keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.

The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.

1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection

Once you pick out your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have noticed. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to resolve these problems before you settle in.

2. Check for Pipe Insulation

The pipes may 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 inexpensive upgrade is an effective preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.

3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve

Turning off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you encounter 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 most likely situated on a wall near the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check 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 flush with the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.

If you still can’t find 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 for the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves anytime you buy a new house.

5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak

Water damage is the greatest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, watch for these signs of plumbing leaks in your 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
    • Lasting musty odors

6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit

Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used frequently. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.

A safer alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by 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 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 is on the way

7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One

Whatever flows down the drain aside from water could cause a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:

    • Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
    • Never 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 down every drain once a month

8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial

While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in town. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

We have locations across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you choose 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. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office to schedule plumbing services with us today.

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