Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s thrilling to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership comes with all sorts of new responsibilities. For example, 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 immediately after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have been aware of. Poor 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 could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an excellent 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 to deal with 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, take a look in 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 flush with the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize 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
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. As an example, just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, watch for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in 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
- Lasting 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 harm your pipes if used frequently. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A safer 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 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 besides water can cause a clog. Keep your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet aside from 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 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 town. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Comfortech Service Experts .
We have locations across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you call our licensed 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 Comfortech Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.