Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s thrilling to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership presents lots of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing concern right after moving in, so it’s sensible 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. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out 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 noticed. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to resolve these problems before moving in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before you move 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 greatly reduce property damage if you have to deal with a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found on a wall along 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 occasionally located in a utility box buried near the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you find it.
If you still can’t track down the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while completing repairs or to mitigate damage during 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 the biggest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, keep an eye out for any 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
- Lasting musty odors
6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. Plus, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available 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 cause a clog. Run your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in 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
- Don't pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain once a month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in the area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Strogen's Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose 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. Contact your local Strogen's Service Experts office to request plumbing services with us today.