This past year there has been a high demand of those wanting to move but a lesser supply of homes on the market. If you made it out of a bidding war and landed a home in the Boise metro area this year, Knight Plumbing wants you to know all about your new home’s plumbing! Our team has put together a list of the most important tips you need to know!
Protect Pipes From Freezing Temperatures in Winter
Winterizing plumbing is crucial as temperatures drop. If you don’t take the correct steps to winterize your pipes before it’s too late, pipes can burst. Even a small crack or two in a pipe can lead to devastating and expensive water damage. There are a number of steps you can take to make sure this doesn’t happen to your pipes.
- Insulate pipes located in the attic or crawl space with pipe insulation. Pipe insulation can be found at any hardware store. The best pipe insulation will depend on your home. If you need help with insulation, contact our professionals at Knight Plumbing. We are here to help!
- If you see any cracks that could be letting in cold air, seal or caulk them.
- Preventing frozen pipes should be done outdoors as well – disconnect garden hoses and check your sprinklers. In the winter months they should be turned off and completely drained.
Be on the Lookout for Leaks
If you suspect you have a water leak somewhere in your new home, taking a close look at your monthly water bill is highly recommended. Monthly water bills are usually very predictable. If you have not been using excess amounts of water but your water bill is unusually high, you might have a leak. Another proactive practice to adapt once in your new home is to watch your water meter. Check your water meter and take notes of the numbers. Come back in an hour or two and if the numbers have changed, it is safe to assume you have a leak. Other indicators of a plumbing leak include:
- Walls or floors that are wet or discolored where nothing has been spilled
- Foul odors coming from floors or walls that are located near drains
Detecting plumbing leaks can be challenging for new homeowners. These techniques listed above can help, but if you still haven’t found the leak, it would be best to double check with a trusted professional. Don’t wait until it gets worse – call Knight Plumbing today!
Know What Can and Can’t Go Down the Drain
Once you own a home, if something gets clogged it’s up to you to fix it. A blocked drain will always be an inconvenience but if you’re careful, they can be easily prevented. To make things easy, only three things should go down the toilet – urine, feces, and toilet paper. Not paper towels, kleenex, flushable wipes, disposable diapers, or feminine hygiene products. It might seem like we can get away with flushing these items down the toilet, but over time, it will cause issues with your septic system.
It might seem tempting to just throw everything in the sink and down the drain after cooking. Let’s put this to an end now! Some items you should keep out of the drain include egg shells, fats and oils, coffee grounds, produce stickers, cleaning products, medications, and so much more. These products can be extremely harmful to our environment as well. While water treatment facilities work hard to remove them, a lot of these chemicals will end up in our lakes, oceans, and rivers.
Main Water and Gas Shut Off Valves
Shutting off your utilities is fairly common if you’re making a repair or upgrade of some sort. If your house has natural gas, there are two main gas shutoff valves – “street side” and “house side.” The street side valve is usually located outside of your home on an exterior wall, near the gas meter. It could also be in a basement or garage, wherever the furnace or water heater is located. The shutoff valve has a flat-sided tab that is about ½ inch thick; this is what you turn to shut off the gas. The valve is open when the line is parallel to the lever; perpendicular means the gas is cut off and closed. In order to close the valve, you need a special wrench that you will use to turn the valve fully perpendicular to the gas line. It will only take a quarter turn. It is recommended to purchase this special wrench especially if your home doesn’t have an inside main shutoff.
The main water shutoff valve will be in a similar spot to the gas shutoff. The location of your valve will depend on the age of your home and the climate of your location. The lever will either be a circular spigot or a ball valve, which is a lever style handle. Once you’ve found the lever, turn it a couple of times clockwise, until it can’t turn any farther. The next step is to relieve the pressure in the pipes by draining the water that is already in them. You can do this by turning on the sink that is on the lowest level of your home and keeping it on until no more water comes out. When the repairs are finished and you need to turn the water back on, you repeat these steps again.
Once you find your main gas and water shutoff valves, label them with colored tape to prevent confusion in the future!
Being familiar with the plumbing in your new home is key in giving your family peace of mind. Plumbing and drainage issues can be prevented with annual plumbing maintenance – let Knight Plumbing be the one you call to keep your plumbing system running smoothly! A good plumbing system is beneficial for every home, so call us today!