Posted 1 month ago

The Ultimate First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide to Plumbing Maintenance

Congratulations on buying your first home! It’s an exciting time, filled with new experiences and responsibilities. As you settle in, it’s essential to get familiar… (keep reading)

Plumbing Checklist

Congratulations on buying your first home! It’s an exciting time, filled with new experiences and responsibilities. As you settle in, it’s essential to get familiar with your home’s plumbing system. Understanding and maintaining your plumbing can save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run.

Plumbing issues can arise at any time, and knowing the basics can help you handle minor problems before they become major ones. Let’s dive into some essential plumbing tips that every new homeowner should know.

Know Your Plumbing System

Locate Main Shut-Off Valve: One of the first things you should do is find your main water shut-off valve. This valve controls the flow of water into your home. In case of a major leak, turning off this valve can prevent flooding and water damage. It’s usually located in the basement, crawl space, or near the water meter. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and how to use it.

Identify Individual Shut-Off Valves: Each appliance, like sinks, toilets, and washing machines, has its own shut-off valve. Knowing where these valves are can save you from having to shut off the water to the entire house for a minor issue. These valves are usually located near the appliance they serve. Keep these areas accessible and free of obstructions, so you can quickly turn off the water in an emergency.

Essential Plumbing Tools for Homeowners

Plungers: Every bathroom should have a plunger. It’s your first line of defense against clogged toilets. A good plunger can save you from messy and inconvenient overflows. Make sure you have one handy in each bathroom.

Wrenches and Pliers: Keep adjustable wrenches, tongue-and-groove pliers, and hex keys in your toolkit. These tools are perfect for tightening and loosening nuts, bolts, and fittings. They come in handy for minor repairs and adjustments, making them essential for any homeowner.

Drain Snake and Auger: These tools are lifesavers for clogged drains. A drain snake can reach deep into pipes to clear blockages, while an auger can handle tougher clogs. Using these tools can prevent bigger plumbing issues down the line.

Regular Maintenance Tasks

Check for Leaks: Regularly inspect faucets, pipes, and fixtures for leaks. Look for water stains, mold, and damp spots. Catching leaks early can prevent water damage and costly repairs.

Clean Fixtures: Keep your shower heads, faucets, and drains clean using household items like vinegar and baking soda. Soak shower heads in vinegar to remove mineral buildup. Use baking soda and vinegar to clean drains and eliminate odours.

Inspect and Replace Washing Machine Hoses: Washing machine hoses should be replaced every 3-5 years. Old hoses can crack and burst, causing floods. Regularly check for signs of wear and tear, and replace them to avoid potential water damage.

Addressing Common Issues

Unclogging Drains: Clogged drains are a common issue for homeowners. The best tool for the job is a plunger. Make sure to use a good-quality plunger to create a strong seal and apply firm, consistent pressure. 

For tougher clogs, a drain snake, also known as an auger, can reach deeper into the pipes to dislodge blockages. Avoid using chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage your pipes over time.

Handling Low Water Pressure: Low water pressure can be frustrating. Start by checking if the problem is isolated to one fixture or if it affects your entire home. If it’s just one fixture, the issue might be a clogged aerator, which can be easily cleaned. For whole-house low pressure, check your main shut-off valve to ensure it’s fully open. 

If that doesn’t help, there might be a leak or a build-up of mineral deposits in your pipes. In such cases, it’s best to call a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the problem.

Dealing with Hard Water: Hard water contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can cause build-up in your pipes and appliances. Signs of hard water include spots on dishes, dry skin, and dull hair. Installing a water softener can solve these issues by removing the excess minerals. 

Soft water helps your soap and shampoo work better, keeps your plumbing system clean, and extends the lifespan of your appliances. If you notice signs of hard water, consider getting your water tested and investing in a water softener.

When to Call a Professional

Complex Repairs: Sometimes, plumbing problems are too big for a DIY fix. If you have a major leak, persistent clogs, or sewer issues, it’s time to call in a professional. These issues can cause significant damage if not addressed promptly and correctly. 

Professional plumbers have the tools and expertise to handle complex repairs efficiently, ensuring your home stays safe and dry.

Routine Maintenance: Regular professional inspections are essential for keeping your plumbing system in top shape. A plumber can spot potential problems early, preventing costly repairs down the line. Scheduling routine maintenance can help you avoid unexpected issues and ensure your system runs smoothly. Western Rooter offers comprehensive maintenance services to keep your plumbing in perfect condition.

Benefits of Professional Installation and Maintenance

Expertise and Efficiency: Hiring professionals like Western Rooter ensures your plumbing system is installed and maintained correctly. Their expertise guarantees that everything is set up efficiently, reducing the risk of future problems. They know the best practices and have the right tools to get the job done right the first time.

Long-Term Savings: Professional maintenance can save you money in the long run. By preventing major issues before they start, you avoid costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your plumbing system. Regular check-ups and timely interventions keep your system running smoothly, ensuring you get the most out of your investment. Trusting experts with your plumbing needs means fewer headaches and more savings over time.


Taking care of your plumbing system is key to a happy home. Knowing where your shut-off valves are and doing regular checks can stop small problems from becoming big headaches. 

But remember, some jobs need a pro’s touch. If you’re ever unsure or need help, call Western Rooter. Our friendly team is ready to keep your plumbing in top shape, making your home comfortable and safe. Reach out to us anytime for expert support!

Western Rooter Plumbing Staff

Book Service Today!

If you’re having plumbing issues or emergencies, contact Western Rooter & Plumbing online or call our dispatch center at (626) 448-6455. We are the Los Angeles County and San Gabriel Valley’s number one plumbers – don’t wait, call now!

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