Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s thrilling to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue just 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. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s wise 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 moving in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
The pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner should have to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost 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 to deal with 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 placed on a wall along 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 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 might be labeled “water meter” to help you find 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
In addition to 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 mitigate damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves when you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, just one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, look for these signs of plumbing leaks in your new 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 your sinks
- Loose 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 caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used frequently. Plus, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A safer 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water could lead to a clog. Run your drains running 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
- Do not pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain each month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always smart to know a reliable plumber in your area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Church Services.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you call our certified 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. Get in touch with your local Church Services office to request plumbing services with us today.