Moving into a new house is exciting, especially if it is your first home. However, as you transition from renting to owning and maintaining your property, there is a lot to learn. One of the greatest challenges new homeowners face is learning how to maintain and care for their home's plumbing system properly.
Our plumbing system is what keeps our home running, and we often take it for granted. But, with a little TLC, you can keep your system flowing smoothly all year long. Below we've provided a few helpful tips on taking care of your plumbing for new homeowners.
Tip #1: Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
The first step in taking care of your plumbing system is to figure out its current condition. Often, plumbing inspections are incorporated into the home-buying process. However, if you have not already had your home inspected by a professional plumber, you should schedule one right away. A reliable plumber will go over your entire system, noting the system's current condition and any repair issues.
During this inspection, you should also ask your plumber to give you a tour of your plumbing system. Have them point out where your water main shut-off valve and sewer clean-out valve are. Also, ask them to show you how to shut the water off locally to appliances, sinks, and toilets in case there is ever an issue, such as a clogged drain or overflowing toilet.
Tip #2: Have Your Drains & Sewer Line Cleaned If Necessary
Many people underestimate how important it is to have your drains cleaned regularly. Not only do clean drains keep water running smoothly, but they also help keep your plumbing system healthy. Ask your plumber for a sewer camera inspection. These inspections are invaluable and give you a real-time look at what is going on in your sewer line.
During this inspection, your plumber will look for problems, such as buildup, corrosion, root intrusion, and other damage. If there are blockages or any other issues, they will recommend professional drain cleaning. Hydrojetting is an incredibly effective method of drain and sewer line cleaning. This process is not only fast but also environmentally friendly. Hydrojetting utilizes pressurized water to scour the inside of your sewer line, removing scale, blockages, and root intrusion.
Typically, drain cleaning should be done every 12-18 months. In some cases, you may only need it done every two years. Speak with your plumber to find out the best schedule for your situation.
Tip #3: Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal
Our garbage disposals take a beating. Not only do we take them for granted, but we tend to throw everything down them and expect them to handle it. However, your garbage disposal is only designed to handle small amounts of food waste, such as small scraps rinsed off plates.
You should avoid putting the following down your disposal:
- Coffee grounds
- Pasta, rice, and other grains
- Animal bones
- Fibrous vegetables
- Large chunks of food waste
- Tough vegetable peels
- Fruit pits
- Oils and grease
Tip #4: Don't Ignore Repair Issues
If you are dealing with plumbing issues, such as leaky faucets, running toilets, or slow-moving drains, you should have them repaired sooner rather than later. Though small repair issues feel more like annoyances that can be put off to a more convenient time, they can develop into a larger problem if left unchecked. Similarly, relatively small issues (such as stinky drains or low water pressure) may belie a larger problem somewhere else in your system. Making small repairs is always more cost-effective than waiting for a major breakdown.