Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s exhilarating to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For one, you are now responsible for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing issue just after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have known about. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to clear up these problems before you move in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner should have to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is a valuable preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate 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 can be found.
If the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably placed on a wall close to 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. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t find the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a critical plumbing problem on your hands.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while working on repairs or to minimize damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves when 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 drain your wallet. For example, one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, watch 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 your 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 shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used over and over. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand the next time you have a plumbing disaster. These include:
- Cup plunger for clogged 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water can cause a clog. Run your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Never pour cooking grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain once a month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Roland J. Down Service Experts .
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose our certified 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. Contact your local Roland J. Down Service Experts office to request plumbing services with us today.