Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners

Summer is one of the most popular times to purchase a new home. If you recently became a homeowner, or will be soon, you might be starting to think about how to protect one of the largest purchases you will ever make. While putting your maintenance list together, don’t forget to include your plumbing system. Your home’s plumbing is a crucial part of your home as it gets used daily and includes appliances like your water heater, washing machine, and garbage disposal. While there are many things you can do to protect or upgrade your plumbing system, let's first cover the list of essential plumbing tips that all new homeowners should be aware of. 

Locate Your Shut Off Valve

In case of a plumbing emergency, you will want to know where your water shut off is located so that you can quickly shut off the water to your home and minimize water damage. If you have not yet purchased your home, this is a great question to ask before you close. If you have already closed on the home and do not know where your shut off valve is located, there are a few places you can check. First, look around near your water meter as it is common for shut off valves to be located close by. If it is not by the meter, check along the perimeter of your home. This is where water enters from the mainline, so the shut off valve could be located there as well. If you still have your property inspection report, the location will be listed there as well. If you have taken all these steps and are still unsure of where your shut off valve is, give us a call and we would be happy to send a plumber to your home to help!

Schedule Regular Water Heater Flushes 

Once you familiarize yourself with your water heater and determine what type you have (tank or tankless, electric or gas), the next step is to schedule regular water heater flushes. If you live in the Austin area, this is especially important because of the hard water. When sediment and minerals from the hard water build up inside your water heater, it can restrict water flow, damage the heat exchanger, and ultimately cause the system to malfunction. Annual water heater flushes help remove the buildup, keep the system operating at maximum efficiency, and help extend the life of your water heater. 

Help Prevent Plumbing Emergencies

Some plumbing emergencies are inevitable, but there are things you can do daily to help protect your plumbing system and reduce the risk of damage. When you are in the bathroom, be mindful of what you flush down the toilet. Waste and toilet paper are really the only substances that should ever be flushed. Your pipes cannot handle things like tissues, “flushable” wipes, and feminine products. Despite what the packaging says, if it is not waste or toilet paper, it should not be flushed down the toilet. Likewise, not all food scraps are suitable for your garbage disposal. Things like eggshells, coffee ground, stringy vegetables, potato peels, bones, noodles, and rice should always be thrown in the trash and not put down the kitchen sink. These food scraps can get stuck in the garbage disposal impellers and cause jams or even break the appliance. Grease and fats should also not be poured down the kitchen sink because they can solidify and lead to clogs. 

In addition to being mindful of what you flush and put down the drains, you should also regularly look for leaks around your home. Keep an eye on your water bill each month. If you see a large increase without a reasonable explanation, it could be a sign of a hidden leak. In this case, you would want to have a licensed plumber inspect your home and provide a leak detection service

Consider a Water Softener

If the home you purchased does not have a water softener, this is a great addition to your plumbing system that will protect your pipes and appliances from the effects of hard water. As we mentioned above, Austin, TX has very hard water and the minerals will build up in your pipes and appliances over time, which can have damaging effects. Adding in a water softener can also help remove buildup that has already occurred. This means that if you purchased an older home that did not have a water softener, it’s not too late to start protecting your plumbing system! 

Protect Your Home’s Plumbing in Austin, TX

To maintain the longevity of your plumbing system, consider signing up for Stan’s Plumbing Gold Service Club. By taking advantage of the annual plumbing inspection, you have a better chance of identifying small problems before they turn into larger plumbing issues. As a Gold Service Club member, you will also receive 15% off all plumbing repairs, as well as an annual water heater flush. 

If you previously lived in a rental, you might be used to someone else handling plumbing issues for you. Now that you are the homeowner, it’s important to have the contact information of a reliable plumber on hand. If you find yourself with a plumbing emergency, Stan’s plumbing team can offer you fast, reliable pluming service in Austin, TX

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