As a new homeowner, you may not take much interest in your plumbing until you wake to a basement filled with water from a broken pipe or your toilet clogged or a sudden drop in water pressure that you can’t even take a shower. If you are a novice in matters of plumbing, you can expect to experience significant challenges trying to fix some of these issues, which makes it essential to learn about plumbing basics and how to work around common disasters.
So, if you just bought a new home and you are not conversant with the nitty-gritty of plumbing, here are some things you should pay attention to:
• Drains – Don’t pour grease like cooking oil down the drain as it can harden and clog the pipes. Clean the drains at least once a month.
• Water valves – Valves under toilets and sinks should be checked at least once every three months to make sure they turn on and off easily.
• Toilets – Do not flush things like sanitary napkins and cotton balls to avoid blocking the toilets.
• Water heater – Set the temperature of your water heater at 120 degrees, so it is hot enough for showers and tubs. Also, drain the water every six months to remove sediment and prolong its life.
• In the yard – Check outside for leaky pipes to avoid wastage that can result in high bills.
Plumbing tips for new homeowners to master
Read on to see the essential plumbing tips you should be aware of as a new homeowner:
Know your water main
The water main is usually the first access point for water in your home and is typically located in the basement. In case of water malfunction, say you experience a leak or flooding, you can shut down the water supply in your home by turning off the shutoff valve.
Note that a water emergency has the potential to cause extensive damage to your home, and only by turning the valve off quickly can you prevent a disaster. Be sure to let all family members know where the water main is and how to turn it off.
Know how to deal with clogged drains
Whether a toilet or a bathtub, you can expect to have a clogged drain at some point. In most cases, you will be required to use a plunger to remove the clog, so you will need to know how to use a flange for toilets and a cup plunger for tubs and sinks.
While here, avoid using liquid drain cleaners as the chemicals in them can damage your plumbing infrastructure. You can always reach out to a plumbing expert if the clog seems to cause extensive problems.
Understand what can go down the garbage disposal and what cannot
Learn how to take care of your garbage disposal to avoid causing a clog. Some things you should never put in your garbage include:
• Grease, fat, and oils
• Starchy vegetables
• Pasta and rice
• Non-food items such as sponges, rubber bands, cigarette butts, etc.
Look for signs of water leaks
Water leaks are a common occurrence, and you ought to be on the lookout for them. To identify a water leak, check for signs of discoloration on walls and ceilings, as well as the presence of mold and mildew in the basement, attic, and crawl spaces. Make it your duty to periodically check around appliances and water fixtures for any signs of leaks.
Protect pipes from cold temperatures
Extreme temperatures can cause significant damage to your pipes if caution is not taken. Ensuring your home is well insulated, and external pipes are protected can save you from any plumbing headaches. For safety, wrap insulation around pipes using heat tape and pipe sleeves, put pipes on slow drip so that water is always flowing, and ensure your home remains at 60 degrees if you happen to be taking a winter vacation.
Knowing how to deal with plumbing issues as a new homeowner can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. And since you may not be adept at solving the more extensive problems, working with a plumbing professional can help to make sure your plumbing systems are functioning optimally at all times.