Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now responsible for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to take care of 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 should have to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is a valuable 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 such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is found.
If the property 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, 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 close to the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It may 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 an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while completing repairs or to reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. As an example, just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, look 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 the sinks
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Lasting musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. What's more, 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 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain apart from water could lead to a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in 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
- Never pour cooking oil down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain monthly
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than R & M Climate Control 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 R & M Climate Control Service Experts office to request plumbing services with us today.