A good friend of ours in the real estate business told us that 2016 was a good year for first-time home buyers in Northeast Ohio. That got us to thinking! What advice would we give to first-time home buyers to help them avoid plumbing problems in their new home. Around the lunch table, we probably came up with about 20 or more tips. We whittled the list down to a more manageable number and one that new homeowners would be more likely to follow.

So here are six good tips to help you get the full enjoyment out of your home and avoid common plumbing problems.

1. Put the phone number for The Plumbing Source in your phone, right now! Make sure it’s in your personal phone book at home or on the list that’s on your over-crowded bulletin board. Seriously, put it in your phone right now. Here’s why…

As much as we want you to avoid problems in your home, at some point you may need a professional plumber. What’s worse is that you might be under an incredible amount of stress because a burst pipe is spraying more water in your house than the Indians use at Progressive Field. Or at least it seems that way. That’s not the time to do research on plumbing companies. In the worst case scenario you can think of, at least you’ll have a number to call under “plumber.” Trust us, you want to do this one right away. Our 24-hour emergency number is 877-768-7239.

Set of plumbing and tools on the table. Fitting, suede gloves and adjustable wrench for plumbing works

2. Make sure you know where the main shutoff valve is, and make sure your spouse knows where it is, too. You’d be surprised how much water comes out of a leak while you’re looking around the basement for the shutoff valve. Tag it if you have to, but make sure you know exactly where to go in an emergency.

3. Schedule a maintenance checkup annually. Call us, and we’ll come out and inspect your pipes, fixtures, and water heater. We’ll flush your water heater to help extend the life of the unit. Doing this once a year can really make a difference. Having us inspect your plumbing will also give you peace of mind.

4. Avoid liquid drain cleaners. That’s right, if you can’t clear a sink with a plunger or a small snake, it’s time to give us a call. Chemical cleaners are very hard on your pipes. We recommend using a safer, all-natural product like Bio-Clean.

5. Make it a point to clean your shower drain. We know, it’s not a pleasant job. But if you keep up with it, you’ll avoid the type of clog that will have you calling us at three in the morning. This is one of the most common problems we get calls for. Stay on top of it, and you’ll save some money to spend on your summer golf league.

6. We think it’s a good idea to put a basic plumbing kit together, just to have when you need it. You’ll need a five-gallon bucket (which can also hold some tools), some wrenches, duck tape, teflon tape, a plunger, a small hand snake and cloth or heavy paper towers to help clean up the mess. Keep this handy in the garage or basement and you’ll be ready to spring into action when a problem arises.

When in doubt, call the number you put in your phone in #1 above. We’ll be there in no time to fix the problem. Remember, when you call The Plumbing Source, you’ve made the right call!