Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s exhilarating to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership presents plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now responsible for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s wise to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are 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 reveals previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have known about. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to resolve these problems before moving 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 take a look at all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost 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 have a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely placed on a wall close to 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. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t track down 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
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that a single drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for these signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- Steeper 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. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can harm your pipes if used frequently. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by the next time you have a plumbing crisis. 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 is on the way
7. Avoid 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
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet other than human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Never pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain monthly
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than A1 Chesney Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you call 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 A1 Chesney Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.