Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s exhilarating to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with lots of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s sensible to confirm everything is squared away before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have been aware of. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to take care of these problems before you settle in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
The pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner should have to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before you move 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
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely placed 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. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you find it.
If you still can’t find 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 will have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest 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 each year. To prevent this, watch for the telltale 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 the sinks
- Wobbly 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 shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used over and over. In addition, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A safer alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand the next time you have a plumbing disaster. 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 can help
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water could lead to a clog. Use your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Never pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink
- 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 under control, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in town. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Golden Seal Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you contact our licensed plumbers for the job, you can rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Golden Seal Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.