Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership includes lots of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s wise to confirm everything is ready to go before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have noticed. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to take care of these problems before moving in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
The pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an excellent preventive measure against 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 encounter a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is found.
If the house 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, take a look in the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is occasionally located in a utility box buried near the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t find the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while completing repairs or to mitigate damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. As an example, one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, watch for any signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- Steeper water bills
- Changing water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under your sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Get 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 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 on hand the next time you have a plumbing crisis. 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 is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain apart from water can cause a clog. Keep your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Do not pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain each month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these 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 Norrell 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. Get in touch with your local Norrell Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.