8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners 

Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s exhilarating to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership presents plenty of new responsibilities. For one, you are now accountable for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.

The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing concern immediately after moving in, so it’s smart to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.

1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection

Once you find your dream home, it’s wise to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have noticed. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to resolve 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 has time to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost 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 significantly reduce property damage if you have to deal with a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.

If the house 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, check the garage or near the water heater.

Still no luck? The shutoff valve is sometimes located in a utility box buried near the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It may 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 an emergency.

4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves

In addition to the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while working on repairs or to reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves when you buy a new house.

5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak

Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. As an example, one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, keep an eye out for these signs of plumbing leaks in your new 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 your sinks
    • Wobbly toilet
    • Water stains on the ceilings and walls
    • Strong 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 potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.

A safer alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by the next time you have a plumbing emergency. These include:

    • Cup plunger for backed up 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 arrives

7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One

Anything that flows down the drain aside from water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:

    • Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
    • Do not flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
    • Never pour cooking oil down the drain
    • Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain each month

8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial

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

We have locations across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you call 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office to arrange plumbing services with us today.

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