Home Plumbing Tips for First Time Home Owners

Home Plumbing Tips for First Time Home Owners
  • Opening Intro -

    Becoming a first-time home owner is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking.

    You may be hyped to have a space that is completely your own, that you can personalize to fit your needs and the needs of your family.

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While it may be a blast planning the color scheme of your new kitchen or setting up that study you’ve always wanted, there are some practical considerations you should have in mind as a new homeowner. Gone are the days of calling up your landlord to take care of leaky pipes and overflowing toilets. Instead, you should be prepared to educate yourself about your new home’s plumbing needs.

Pipes and drains are anything but exciting to most people, but they are essential to the health of your family and your home. How you treat your plumbing will help determine its lifespan and will either prevent or create problems in the future. And we all know, there are few things quite as urgent as a plumbing emergency.

Here are some key home plumbing tips for first time home owner from expert plumber Chris Manariti:

Get an Inspection

While some plumbing issues are common across the board, other houses will have their own peculiarities.

Having an expert plumbing inspector take a walk around your new home with you will alert you to any potential issues and danger zones.

Older homes especially will have their own issues and quirks.

A qualified inspector will also help acquaint you with the basics of how your plumbing works, so you are better equipped to prevent and even fix any issues that occur in the future.

If your house has a natural gas system as well, the inspector should be able to show you all of the important parts of this aspect of your house’s infrastructure.

Know Where the Shut Off Valves Are

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure, but sometimes emergencies happen regardless. When a plumbing emergency does strike, the first place you should head is for your shut off valve.

Your inspector should show you where your shut off valve is for both your water and your gas, as every house will have a main. It may be near your water heater, under your sink, outside your home, or in a basement or crawl space.

Shutting it off in case of a major leak or pipe bursting will stop more water from flowing into your house and potentially causing more damage.

Use a Plunger

A plunger is an essential tool for unclogging toilets and drains alike. To properly plunge, make sure there is enough water in the drain to effectively make a seal, and plunge up and down for at least 20 seconds.

Similarly, if your water is shut off for some time and you still need to flush the toilet, you can pour a bucket of water into the tank. This will help you flush and clean the bowl in case of emergency.

Protect Your Drains

To prevent your drains from clogging in the first place, watch what goes in them. Use strainers in all of your drains and clean them out regularly. Avoid putting eggshells, coffee grounds, nuts, grains, and cooking oils down the garbage disposal as these can easily clog your sink.

While liquid drain cleaners may help dissolve particularly nasty clogs, they are quite corrosive and can damage your pipes in the long run. Instead, you can regularly treat your drains by putting some baking soda and vinegar down them.

The mildly alkaline soda will help dissolve dirt and grease, while the acidic vinegar will help sterilize and deodorize drains. Rinse out this mixture with boiling water.

plumbing kitplumbing tools

      some DYI plumbing stuff to consider      

Have the Right Tools

In addition to your handy plunger, you will want to have a set of hex keys on hand. These tools are essential for securing small nuts and bolts for plumbing and other DIY projects around the house.

A screwdriver multi-tool, adjustable crescent wrench, and a bright magnetic or clip light will be invaluable for helping you tackle any small plumbing jobs, like fixing a leaky pipe, that pop up.

Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs

It is important to monitor your water, drains, and pipes for any potential issues. If your area has issues with hard water, you may experience blockage on your faucets from mineral build up.

Likewise, if you have copper pipes, blue stains on your faucets or in your sinks could signify a significant issue with oxidation. Similarly, watch out for any sewage issues or sources of problems beyond your own plumbing.

Take Care of Your Fixtures and Appliances

In order to increase the life span of their water seal, try not to shut your faucets too tightly. This can cause the seal to wear down more quickly, causing them to leak and waste water and money.

Similarly, make sure to replace the hose on your toilet and washing machine regularly. You may also consider doing the same for your toilet’s shut off valve, if possible. This will help prevent any leaks from occurring because of aging hardware.

Winterize!

If you live in an area where winter temperatures regularly drop below freezing, you might consider protecting your pipes. Pipes that have frozen are more likely to burst, so winterizing them ultimately protects your entire home. You can help prevent your pipes from freezing by detaching garden hoses and covering outdoor faucets during the winter.

other valuable tips:

Know When to Call in An Expert

While there are plenty of benefits to tackling some small plumbing projects on your own, it’s important to know when you are in over your head. Finding a reputable plumber in your area is essential. It means you have an expert on call to come address plumbing issues as they occur and protect the overall health of your home.

The Bottom Line

Though it may seem daunting, there’s no reason that plumbing issues could dampen the excitement of becoming a new home owner. With a reliable plumber on hand and with a few key tips, you can ensure the health of your house’s plumbing with a minimum of worry. And then you can finally focus on that kitchen renovation you’ve been dreaming about!

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Image credit: home plumbing tips by Pixabay

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