Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership presents all sorts of new responsibilities. For example, you are now in charge of keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing concern right after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have noticed. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to resolve these problems before moving in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner should have 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 for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If the house 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, 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. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It may 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 will have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while completing repairs or to reduce damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve 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. For example, a single drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, watch for any 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
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. Plus, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by the next time you have a plumbing emergency. These include:
- Cup plunger for clogged 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could cause 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 besides 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 once a month
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in your area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Komfort Air Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to serve 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 Komfort Air Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.