8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Still, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now responsible for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing concern right after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s a good idea to schedule 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 better to clear up these problems before you settle in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so check 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
Turning off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you have to deal with 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 probably 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. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t find the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a critical plumbing problem on your hands.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This allows 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 anytime you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, one drip per 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 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 corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used repeatedly. Plus, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better 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 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water could cause a clog. Keep your drains flowing 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 oil 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 these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s always smart to know a reliable plumber in the area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air.
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 easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with us to arrange plumbing services with us today.