Cornel's Tips and Tricks

Plumbing Basics for New Homeowners

Owning a home in Oregon is a rewarding experience, but it also comes with some challenges. If you’re a new homeowner, it can be difficult to know when to call a plumber and when to reach for your DIY toolkit. 

 

Review these plumbing basics to see what you should and shouldn’t do to keep your home in prime condition. 

 

Get to Know Your Plumbing System

While major plumbing problems warrant a visit from a locally licensed professional, there are a few plumbing basics you can do to help avoid a major issue. Check out these areas to learn more about your home and any potential maintenance concerns.

 

Find the Shut-Off Valves

Few homeowner problems are more stressful than hearing running water when no one is using a faucet, toilet, or shower. Water lines can crack or rupture in several places and for a number of reasons.

 

Instead of hunting around your home for the source of the water leak, head for the main water shut-off valve. This shut-off valve turns off all running water in your home, which can at least minimize the damage until a plumber can find the problem.

 

Check for Leaks

A professional may need to fix a faulty water line or major drain clog, but you can at least check for leaks yourself. Periodically check under your sinks and around your appliances for signs of water damage or dripping water.

 

Avoid Puncturing Pipes

Some homes have water lines running in wall cavities. This setup is especially common in two-story homes with bathrooms on the second floor. To avoid damaging pipes, know where your water lines are before you start hanging picture frames and drilling holes for other projects. 

 

Common Plumbing Mistakes

Now that you know some plumbing basics, take a few minutes to review common mistakes to avoid as a new homeowner. You can prevent damage to your plumbing system by avoiding these issues:

  • Don’t use drain cleaning chemicals.
  • Don’t flush baby wipes.
  • Don’t pour grease or coffee grounds down the sink.

 

Know When to Call a Plumber

Some issues go beyond plumbing basics. You may need to call a plumber even when following all the above recommendations and avoiding common mistakes. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional in Oregon if you notice one or more of the following signs.

 

Running Water

Stop and listen for sounds of running water. You may hear the water pump running if you have a private well, but you shouldn’t hear any water sounds when all fixtures are turned off. Dripping or running water is a sign that you have a cracked water line or compromised fixture that needs professional repair services.

 

Low Water Pressure

If you notice a drop in water pressure or varying pressure levels throughout your home, you may have a plumbing problem. The problem could result from a small leak or buildup in an aerator, but it’s best to have a professional inspect it for peace of mind.

 

Gurgling Sounds

Another warning sign of a compromised system is a gurgling sound when you flush the toilet or let water drain in a sink. You can use a plumbing snake to attempt to clear a clog by yourself, but some large clogs go beyond plumbing basics and are best handled by a professional.