Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s a relief to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue immediately after moving in, so it’s sensible to confirm 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 settle on your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have noticed. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to clear up these problems before you move in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes may 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 you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is a valuable 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 can be found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely situated on a wall near 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 flush with the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t find the primary water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage during 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 regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. As an example, one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, look for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your new 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
- Lingering musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can harm your pipes if used repeatedly. Plus, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by the next time you have a plumbing emergency. These include:
- Cup plunger for clogged 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 reduce the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water could cause a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in 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
- Don't pour cooking oil down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain monthly
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in town. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Rob's Albertan Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to serve 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 us to arrange plumbing services with us today.