Plumbing Fundamentals for the First Time Homeowner

Owning a home for the first time can be exciting and incredibly daunting at the same time. Previously if your water wasn’t hot, or your refrigerator took a crap you could call your landlord and they would get it fixed in a timely manner. Now, this is all your domain and responsibility. That being said, there are a few basics that virtually anyone can learn that will give you a great head start to become a handy homeowner. 


Thankfully, the mechanisms that allow a toilet to function are fairly simple. You have the tank, the bowl, the handle and the components inside the tank. Inside the tank, there is usually a chain connected to the arm of the handle, and the other side of the chain is connected to the flapper. Often toilet running problems are solved with a quick chain adjustment or a new flapper. Try to take care of your running toilets as quick as possible as they can cost you up to two hundred dollars a year in water costs. If your toilet is really old you might want to consider upgrading to a low flow toilet, it can save you quite a bit in yearly water consumption. This youtube channel has some great lessons on how to repair your toilet for a variety of issues. 


Most people are aware that grease, bones and other things cannot go down your garbage disposal, but did you know citrus fruit peels can cause major build up or damage as well? It’s a good idea when you get into your new home to keep an eye out for drains that may take longer than usual to take away the water. Usually, you can fix these by getting a cheap drain snake at your local hardware store or using a bit of draino. If these methods don't take care of your issue, consider handing it off to a professional. 

Water Heaters 

The second largest energy expense in your home is water heating. Water heaters are something most homeowners and/or residents don’t often think about until it goes out and you get a frigid shower. When moving into your new place take some time to inspect the current water heater and get an idea of the shape that it’s in. You can cross reference the serial number to determine the age of the unit, if it’s north of 12 years old it might be a good idea to start looking at newer units. Choosing an energy star rated water heater can save you up to 300 dollars a year in water heating costs. There are many options even if the space you pick is limited, for example, tankless water heaters are often more efficient than their tank-style brothers and last almost twice as long. 


Got a leaky faucet in your new home? Thankfully, diagnosing and fixing faucet problems are relatively simple. Most of the time it just needs a new rubber washer which is a cheap and quick fix. Other issues may occur and can typically be solved by disassembling the faucet and removing all the minerals and other build-ups with a wire brush.