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Purchasing, and then moving to, a new home is a major milestone and doesn’t come without its stresses and strains. The sense of relief, once the process is over, is usually considerable.
New homeowners, though, can still face a bit of a to-do list once they have fully moved into their property. Towards the top of this list will be checking that the plumbing is in tip-top condition.
So if you’ve recently bought your first home, sold a starter home and moved to a bigger abode or purchased a home for the third, fourth, fifth or even sixth time, checking your plumbing is up to scratch remains of the utmost importance.
Luckily, WaterSafe - the UK-wide accreditation body for approved plumbers – has created a quick and easy to follow five-step guide for new homeowners, to ensure homes across the country have the correct plumbing in place, as well as offering advice on what people should be keeping an eye on when it comes to pipes, taps and fittings.
The guide is part of WaterSafe’s Moving House campaign, which has been launched to overlap with the busy summer sales period in the housing market. Activity tends to ramp up around this time, as people take advantage of the longer days and better weather to view homes and put their home-buying plans into action.
The guide was put together after a survey with WaterSafe approved plumbers, which stated the most common issues they get called to deal with and the advice they give to manage these issues.
Taking the plumbers’ top five tips, and adding in a bit of our own expertise and knowledge as a leading estate agent operating in north London, Essex and Hertfordshire, we outline some steps you can take to ensure your plumbing is in order.
This will tell you when your boiler was last serviced and whether it needs to be serviced again imminently. It’s recommended that you service your boiler annually to ensure everything is working correctly, something that should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This page on the British Gas website gives further tips and advice on how to ensure your boiler is functioning properly and the best steps to help maintain its efficiency. When you move into a new home, it’s also recommended that you check there is a lid on the cold water tank (which is usually found in the loft).
The internal stop tap is the place where your water supply comes into your home. In an emergency situation, it may be necessary to switch your water supply off, so it’s important to know where your internal stop tap is situated. If you’re unsure of its whereabouts, you could seek the help of the previous homeowner or an experienced plumbing professional.
Soon after you’ve moved into a new home, it’s a prudent move to do a sweep of the property and check for any leaky taps, toilets or radiators. Signs that something could be up include low water pressure, rust and water stains on floors or carpets. What’s more, mould on ceilings and walls can be an indicator that something is up.
When it comes to mould and damp, it’s especially important to act early to prevent the issue from spiralling out of control. If left untreated, mould and damp can be costly and difficult to remove.
It’s also recommended that you find out if your home has any lead water pipes. You can achieve this by scraping pipes with a screwdriver. If they’re shiny, you know they are lead. Unfortunately, lead can be harmful, which means it’s a good idea to replace such pipes if your new home includes them. Once again, if you are unsure whether or not your home has lead pipes – and whether they need to be replaced – get in touch with an experienced plumbing professional.
If your home possesses a water meter, you’ll be billed for the amount of water you use, so it pays (in more ways than one) to know if you have one or not. If you do have one, it’s usually located in the ground outside the front of your property. If not, it is likely to be found inside, close to the stop tap. If you’re not certain, seek reassurance from the previous homeowner or a plumbing professional.
Many of the actions outlined above are plumbing basics and probably won’t require the support of a plumbing expert, but if you’re unsure about anything or there are any major problems that need fixing it’s then time to get in touch with the professionals.
In addition, WaterSafe has some great advice and tips on its website to help with various plumbing needs. If you need to find a local approved plumber, you can also use their postcode search facility to locate your nearest expert.
If you would like further guidance on buying or selling a property in North London, East London, Hertfordshire or Essex, we would be delighted to help.
To find out how much your home could be worth on the current market, you can request a free instant online valuation.