8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s a relief to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with lots of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now accountable for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing problem immediately after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have known about. Weak 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. Check for Pipe Insulation
The pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an effective 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 such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is found.
If the house has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely found on a wall near 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 around the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t track down the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while making repairs or to reduce damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. As an example, one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, watch for these signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- High water bills
- Changes in the 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. Purchase 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.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by 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 reduce the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water could lead to a clog. Use your drains running 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 kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain once a 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 your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Sunbeam Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you contact our licensed plumbers for the job, you can enjoy the peace of mind that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Sunbeam Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.
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