Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership comes with all sorts of new responsibilities. For example, you are now in charge of keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing concern right after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have known about. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to clear up these problems before moving in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an effective preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely situated on a wall near 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. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It might 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 critical plumbing problem on your hands.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This enables you to turn 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. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. As an example, just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, watch for these signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in water bills
- Changing 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. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used frequently. What's more, they only offer a temporary remedy 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 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. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water could cause a clog. Run your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet other than 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 once a month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Donelson Air Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you choose 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 Donelson Air Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.