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. Nevertheless, homeownership comes with all sorts of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now responsible for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s smart to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have known about. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to clear up these problems before you move in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an excellent preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate 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 the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably found on a wall close to 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 close to the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t find the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to mitigate damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves when you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, a single drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, look for any 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 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 shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. What's more, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available 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 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 can help
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Run your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain each month
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Midland Air Service Experts.
We have Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you choose 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. Contact your local Midland Air Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.