Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership includes all sorts of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now responsible for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s sensible to confirm everything is squared away before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s smart to schedule 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 nice to resolve these problems before you move in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your home's 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 you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is an excellent preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you encounter 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 probably 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 occasionally located in a utility box buried close to 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 recognize it.
If you still can’t find the primary water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
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 turn off the water while working on repairs or to mitigate damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves when 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 empty your wallet. Consider that just one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. 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 your sinks
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Lasting musty odors
6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. In addition, 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 crisis. 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
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains flowing 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 oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain each month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Knochelmann Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you call our licensed 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 Knochelmann Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.