8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s exhilarating to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership comes with all sorts of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing concern immediately after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have been aware of. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to resolve these problems before you settle in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes could 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 moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is an effective 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 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 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 around 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 find it.
If you still can’t find 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
In addition to 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 completing repairs or to mitigate damage during 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 one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- High water bills
- Changing water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under the sinks
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive 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 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 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 can help
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet other than human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain each month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Robinson Service Experts .
We have locations across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you contact our certified plumbers for the job, you can rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact us to request plumbing services with us today.