Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s exhilarating to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership presents lots of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now accountable for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s smart to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals 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 nice to resolve these problems before you move in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
The pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is a valuable preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find 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 can be found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found 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 sometimes located in a utility box buried near the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t track down the primary water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to reduce damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve whenever you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. As an example, a single drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your 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 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 don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used repeatedly. Plus, 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 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 can help
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water could lead to a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never 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 down every drain monthly
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always smart to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to support our 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. Get in touch with your local Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.