Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s a relief to own a home and not answer to a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership includes plenty of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now accountable for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s smart 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. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s smart to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have noticed. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to take care of these problems before moving in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
The pipes may 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 low-cost upgrade is an excellent preventive measure against 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 have to deal with a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably situated on a wall along 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 sometimes located in a utility box buried around the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize 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
Along with the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while working on repairs or to minimize damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve anytime you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. For example, one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for any 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
- Lingering 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 corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used frequently. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand 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 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 is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water can cause a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet other than 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 down every drain each month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Winnipeg Supply Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you choose our licensed 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. Contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office to arrange plumbing services with us today.