8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners 

Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Well done! 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 the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.

The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing problem just 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 find your dream home, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to clear up these problems before moving in.

2. Look for Pipe Insulation

Your home’s pipes can 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 low-cost upgrade is an excellent preventive measure for 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 have a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.

If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely found on a wall along 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 around the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you find 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

Along with 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 reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves when you buy a new house.

5. Recognize 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. For example, a single 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
    • Changes in the water meter readings despite not using any water
    • Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under the sinks
    • Loose toilet
    • Water stains on the ceilings and walls
    • Lasting musty odors

6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit

Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.

A safer 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help

7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One

Anything that flows down the drain apart from water could cause a clog. Keep 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
    • Don’t pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink
    • Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain each month

8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial

While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always smart to know a reliable plumber in town. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

We have Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you call our licensed plumbers for the job, you can rest assured that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office to arrange plumbing services with us today.

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