Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s thrilling 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 in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have been aware of. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to take care of these problems before you settle 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 take a look at all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an excellent 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 encounter 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 most likely found 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 occasionally located in a utility box buried close to the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It might 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 a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while working on repairs or to minimize damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve anytime you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, a single drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out 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. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These caustic cleaners can damage your pipes if used over and over. Plus, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing disaster. These include:
- Cup plunger for backed up 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. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water can cause a clog. Use your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install 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 grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain once a month
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always smart to know a reliable plumber in the area. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Stark Services.
We have Experts across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you choose our insured 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 Stark Services office to arrange plumbing services with us today.