Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with all sorts of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have noticed. 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 may 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 effective preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting 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 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 in the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is occasionally located in a utility box buried around the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t find the main 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
In addition to 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 completing repairs or to mitigate damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve anytime you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, a single drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, look for these signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- High water bills
- Changes in the 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. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used repeatedly. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber arrives
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains flowing 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 oil 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 still sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Parker Pearce Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose 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. Get in touch with your local Parker Pearce Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.