Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s exhilarating to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership includes lots of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing problem immediately after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s smart to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to clear up these problems before you move in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before moving 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 can be found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely found on a wall close to the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check 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 find 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
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while working on repairs or to reduce damage after 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 the biggest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, a single drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for the telltale 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
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used over and over. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing disaster. 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 aside from water can cause a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain once a month
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s still smart to know a reliable plumber in your area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Rolf Griffin 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 schedule plumbing services with us today.