Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Still, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s smart to confirm everything is ready to go before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals 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 may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to take care of these problems before moving 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 a valuable 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 is located.
If the house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably situated on a wall close to 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 sometimes located in a utility box buried around the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you find 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
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while working on repairs or to minimize damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve when you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, just one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, watch for these signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in 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. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. 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 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 is on the way
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could cause a clog. Run your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place 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
- Do not pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain once a month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Eveready Service Experts .
We have locations across North America to assist 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. Contact your local Eveready Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.