Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership comes with lots of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing concern right after moving in, so it’s sensible to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are 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 reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to take care of these problems before you settle in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes can 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 moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost 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 have a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is found.
If the house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely 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 sometimes located in a utility box buried near the street. Search for 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 track down the primary 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 will have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. For example, a single 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 the sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong 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 caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used frequently. In addition, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand the next time you have a plumbing crisis. 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water could lead to a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not flush anything down the toilet other than human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Never pour cooking grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain monthly
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in town. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Falso 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 rest assured that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with us to arrange plumbing services with us today.