Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership presents all sorts of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s wise to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have noticed. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to resolve these problems before you settle in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an excellent preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency like 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 probably placed on a wall near the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check 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. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t find the primary 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
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while making repairs or to minimize damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain 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
- Steeper water bills
- Changing water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under your sinks
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. What's more, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing emergency. 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Use your drains running 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
- Do not pour cooking grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain each month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Peitz Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you contact our insured 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 Peitz Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.