Plumbing is essential to a home. Old or damaged pipes can turn a beautiful place into a flooded mess. That’s why it’s so important for new home buyers to make sure their property’s plumbing is in good condition. We wanted to share some tips that can help you fix minor issues and keep your plumbing system flowing.
- Look for Corroded or Rusted Pipes – Inspect the pipes in your new home and look for signs of corrosion or rust. Properties with copper piping may have corrosion from exposure to water damage or bacteria. If you notice blue stains or rust, you need to replace the pipe.
- Avoid Unqualified Handymen – A incorrectly installed plug can cause fires and a poorly installed pipe can flood a room causing thousands in damages. Use certified electricians, plumbers and builders with good reputations and it will save you money in the long run.
- Unclog Drains with a Plunger – If a drain gets backed up, you may be able to clear it with a plunger. Place it over the drain opening and use just like you would in a toilet. If you experience chronic backing up or slow drain problems, it may be time to talk to a plumber.
- Get Acquainted with Your Main Valve – Make sure you know where your new home’s gas and water valves are before you move in. This is important in case of an emergency. If you notice flooding or a gas leak, shut off the valve immediately and call a professional.
- Have a Plumbing Kit Ready – Put together a home plumbing kit. This should include duct tape, a plunger, paper towels, and a screwdriver.
- Never Ignore a Leak or Moisture – If you notice a leak or unexplained moisture in your home, do not ignore it. This is usually a sign that water is coming from a pipe or entering from outside. A plumber can inspect your property and find the cause so you can fix it before it causes extensive damage.
- Avoid Dumping in Chemicals – Avoid using chemicals in your plumbing system. That includes chemical drain cleaners. These products can harm pipes, which will lead to bigger problems later. The first step should be to try a plunger or drain snake. A professional may be needed for tough clogs.
- Keep Hex Keys on Hand – Also known as an Allen wrench, the hex key is an L-shaped tool that can be used to screw anything with a hexagonal socket. These are commonly used by plumbers. Keep a set on hand so you can handle smaller jobs.
- Use a Bucket of Water to Flush – If your toilet won’t flush, you may be able to temporarily deal with it using a bucket of water. Fill the bucket halfway and then dump into the toilet bowl to remove waste in place of a flush. This isn’t a long-term fix but can make life easier until a plumber can get there.
- Check Out Strange Plumbing Sounds – If you notice strange sounds in your plumbing system, have it checked out. Unusual gurgling or sloshing could be a sign of a backup. You may also hear a banging sound called a water hammer. This occurs when pipes hit the wall after pressure changes. Have these problems investigated before they cause a leak.
- Update the Water Heater – If your new home has an old water heater, now is the time to replace it. The life span for the average water heater is about 10 years or less. Anything older should be replaced to ensure efficiency and to avoid a sudden breakdown later.
Being proactive and addressing problems as soon as you notice them can save you a lot of headaches and money later. A good home needs a solid plumbing system to stay clean and comfortable for those who live there.
Guest Contributor: Robert Lawler