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So you bought a new house... oops, didn't check the plumbing out????

Updated on August 26, 2011

There is nothing like the feeling of owning your own home. You can paint and build on and change the carpet or the lighting. All of this without making a call to your "landlord" first. The feeling of freedom is intoxicating. You kick your feet up, flip the T.V. on and... "what the Hell is That sound???"

"There is no hot water!!!!!!!" The words echo through the house. A cold shower is NOT what she intended on taking. Down to the basement you go. It only takes a second to see why there is no hot water. The floor is soaked and the drain taking in all the water it can. The line going into the hot water heater is pouring H2O every place but the water tank. You reach up to turn the water supply valve off. Oops #2 appears. You never checked the shut-off valves before you laid down a Lot of money and signed a million papers, just so you didn't have to call a landlord. Hmmmmm???

O.k., lets do the switch up and make it my own scenario, because, it was, and only a few days ago. I ran to the main water shut-off valve and turned it off, thankful that it Did shut off. After taking a closer, dry look at the pipe going into the hot water heater, I discovered issues with holding tank. There was rust showing on the backside and when I used the top to lift myself high enough to see the break in the line, my hand nearly went through the top. Soooo, oops #3 is now evident.

I decided to go from the 30 gallon tank to a 40 gallon tank. More bodies, more hot water needed. Shopping on line first, I checked out different stores, knowing, I think, that Sears would be my choice. They were a little higher but still within tyhe range of a good price. I went and bought the water heater to bring home. Of course, it was taller, bigger in diameter, and the piping did Not line up. It is important to start a project like a new water heater or replacing pipes early in the day. You want to leave yourself time to finish while Hardware stores are still open, lest you be stuck with leaving your water off all night until you can get the parts you need to finish your work.

If you can see damage or wear on the pipes near your work station, consider replacing as much of the old plumbing as you can, based on time and affordability. Parts such as pipes and water valves are not cheap. If you intend to do work in your hime on plumbing fixtures, you might want to budget in a little extra for the parts. The high side of DIY {do it yourself} is the labor... is Free. Following the line from the water heater, I found that the water line that split open was also attached to the downstairs toilet and sink. I replaced them also while I had the water off and the lines detached.

The gas line to the water heater lined up perfectly but the water lines did not. Once you set the shut off valve in place, you can then turn water on to the rest of the house. this serves two purposes. It enables you to turn the water on right at the water heater when you are ready and it gives water to the rest of the house, making "Momma" a happy lady. And as for our house, ;) if Momma is happy, the house is happy. When putting the pipes together, try to use as few connections as possible. The more directly you can hook into your lines and to the water heater or sink or toilet, the less chances and places you have for a leak to happen.

I finished replacing th plumbing to the toilet and sink, finished the connections to the hot water heater, slo-w-w-w-w-w-w-ly turned the water on and, yep, it worked and No Leaks. I marked the plumbing that I will replace soon so that I could measure and get exactly what I need for the next project. But, for now, Momma has hot water again for a hot shower.

A final note I want to add here, unrelated to the plumbing part, but as important for certain, is this. Be sure when you are thinking of buying a house that you look closely at everything. The plumbing often gets over looked and it can run into a very, very expensive over-look. Look at everything and have someone in the Know look through the house for you and give you a "heads-up" as to what to expect as far as repairs. It is More than worth the money to invest in someone to look the house over.


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    • Dday50627 profile imageAUTHOR

      Darrel Day 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      So nice to see you here, Becky. I am not a Lover of working with the electrical part but I can and do if I must. I would rather hire that part of it but will do it if I must. Thank you for reading this and for your comment. Always good to see you. Darrel

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I changed the hot water heater myself but had to hire someone to re-wire the electrical. That was over my head. I can run it if the house is not put together but if the house is put together, forget it.

    • Dday50627 profile imageAUTHOR

      Darrel Day 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      I am so smiling here. Thank you for reading this and DIY takes on a whole new meaning when you sign your name on the dotteed line. Thank you again for your very kind words. Wishing you Many Hot showers. ;)

    • Paradise7 profile image


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Excellent hub! I think every first-time home buyer in the world has found some issues, after the fact. Plumbing would be my nightmare, just because I'm about as handy as a left-handed monkey wrench! I admire the heck out of anyone that can fix his own hot water heater and water lines. You're my hero for life, and Momma's hero, too!


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