Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s exhilarating to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Still, homeownership includes all sorts of new responsibilities. For one, you are now responsible for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing concern immediately after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s smart to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have known about. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to resolve these problems before you settle in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes could 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 moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is a valuable preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found on a wall near the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check 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 could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify 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
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while working on repairs or to minimize 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 biggest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that just one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, watch for any signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- Steeper 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. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used continuously. Plus, 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 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber arrives
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Run your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t 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. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in town. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than TML 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 rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local TML Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.