Thursday, July 6

Common Challenges First-time Buyers May Encounter in Their First Home and How to Solve Them

First-time homeowners normally face several challenges after moving into their new homes. This is even more serious in old homes that haven’t seen any major renovation or maintenance work for years. From plumbing to electrical problems, these issues are normally caused by aging features and equipment and poor maintenance. Out of the many, plumbing-related problems seem to top the list of challenges homeowners face. However, we will go deeper to tackle other issues. Here are some common problems first-time homeowners are bound to face and how to solve them.

Common plumbing issues 

The plumbing system is one of the most critical installations in every home. It can also be a source of headache for every homeowner due to its importance. It, therefore, needs some special attention, and you don’t need to wait until issues start cropping up before addressing them. Regular checks and maintenance are key to keeping the plumbing system functional. Plumbing issues you may encounter include: 

Water leak

One of the major plumbing-related problems is leaking pipes and fixtures. Water leaks, when left unnoticed for a longer period of time, can have devastating effects on your building.  It causes dampness, mold, and foundation problems. Some leaks may be hidden in walls and require professional leak detection services from companies like Leak Science to have the problem solved.

Causes of plumbing leaks 

  • Clogged pipes 

Aside from the discomfort clogged lines cause in the kitchen, toilet, or bathroom, they can also lead to severe leakages. A heavily clogged drain obstructs water flow, leading to overflow and pipe bursts. Whenever you notice a slow flow of water through the drainage system, check and unclog the drains. 

  • Broken seals 

During pipe, fixture, and equipment installations, plumbers use seals around the connectors to prevent leaks. With time, these seals can break or wear out, resulting in small leaks along the broken lines. One way to identify a broken seal is when you notice condensation around your pipelines or appliance connectors.

  • High water pressure 

Some pipes and fixtures cannot withstand high water pressure. Therefore, any high-water current flowing through them can strain them, causing the joints to disconnect or the pipes to break. When you notice high water pressure, control it from the main connection.

  • Damaged joints 

The joints of a plumbing system are mostly the weakest points of the connection. Joints can easily disconnect or be damaged due to high water pressure and aging. Since most joints are buried underneath or in walls, they are difficult to maintain, and any damage can be hidden for a long time. You need a professional plumber to regularly evaluate your plumbing system and solve pressing issues.

  • Aging plumbing system 

As your pipes, fixtures, and other plumbing material/equipment age, they become weak and susceptible to damage. This increases their probability of breaking and causing leaks.

How to prevent plumbing leaks 

  • Regular inspections 

Regularly inspect your plumbing system, including the pipes, faucets, and fixtures, for signs of leaks. You should check for signs like moisture buildup, dripping water, and decolorization around connections. 

  • Unclog the pipelines and drains

Food residues and other particles can be trapped in your drain. As this builds up, it prevents the free flow of water through the plumbing system. Avoid dumping fatty waste, leftover food, and other waste materials into your drains. Also, check and clean your drains frequently.

If you already have clogging issues, pouring a solution of vinegar and baking soda can help you solve the problem. However, with a heavily choked drain, you will need the services of a professional plumber. It is very important to ensure a well-maintained septic and drainage system for good environmental health and safety.

  • Change weak plumbing fixtures and fittings

Plumbing fittings and fixtures like faucets, bathtubs, etc., grow weaker with prolonged use and can cause water leaks. You need to regularly check your fixtures and replace weak ones. Some plumbing fixtures can be repaired, and the good news is that you can do it yourself.

  • Maintain proper water pressure

As already mentioned, high water pressure puts stress on the plumbing system, increasing the risk of pipe bursts and leaks. Control your water pressure with a pressure regulator to keep the water pressure at a safe level.

Running toilet issues

Running toilets are another prevalent plumbing issue in most homes. It is normally caused by a faulty flush valve or overflow tube. This results in a waste of water and can significantly raise your water bill. If you notice that your toilet keeps running even after refills, it means you have a running toilet issue. 

To confirm this,

  • Check the water level in the tank to confirm if it is running into the overflow tube. If you notice this, either the water level is too high or the overflow tube is too short. 

If the water level is too high, it can be adjusted to solve the problem. However, if the overflow tube is too short, you will need to replace the flush valve. The best way to solve this is to call in a plumber. 


To prevent any future running toilet issues, homeowners should 

  • Regularly check the flappers to ensure they are not misaligned

  • Properly adjust the chain connected to the flapper

  • Have regular fill valve inspections, as it controls the water level in the tank. Any malfunction will lead to a continuous flow of water into the overflow tube and tank.

  • Check the overflow tube

Sewer line blockages 

Blockages in main sewer lines cause sewage buildup, which is not only highly unsanitary but can also cause disease outbreaks. These blocks hinder the flow of sewage, causing other lines to also clog and end up releasing bad odors. If you notice the clogging of multiple drain lines, then you may have a sewer line blockage.

To prevent sewage blockage, avoid throwing just anything into your toilet and other drainage lines. Don’t flush solid items or non-biodegradable items like sanitary pads, wipes, etc., into the toilet, as they cause clogging. You should pay attention to the septic tank and ensure its proper maintenance. You may want to learn how to maintain a septic tank to do this task yourself.  

Water Heater issues 

The water heater can also cause serious plumbing issues in your home. As you move into your new first, run a test on the water heater to check if there is any problem. Associated issues may include insufficient hot water, leaks, strange noises, and discoloured water, among others.  

Causes of water heater pro

Heating element failures;
Corrosion or sediment buildup in systems;
Loose or broken electrical connections;
Improper water heater installation;
The wrong size or type of system to support a home’s needs


  • Regularly flush the water heater to remove any buildup that can cause leaks or corrode the tank.

  • Regulate the temperature to a safe level, not exceeding what is prescribed by the manufacturer. Normally, the temperature should be around 120 degrees. This makes the water heater efficient and saves energy.

  • Perform regular maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Replace the aging water heater.

Common electrical issues 

Electrical issues are another major problem a new homeowner may face after moving into their new home. Here are some common electrical problems you may face.

Faulty or aged wiring 

Faulty or aged home wiring can be a time bomb waiting to explode. Aside from the rampant power cuts it comes with, it can also start a fire outbreak. Before moving into the new house, hire a professional electrician to run a test on the wiring and other electrical installations. They can solve any eminent problem before you move in. 

Overloaded circuits

This is one of the most common electrical problems in homes. But the good thing is that it can be solved easily. Plugging many appliances onto a single circuit can cause the circuit breaker to trip resulting in power cuts. This can damage your appliances beyond repair. To prevent this, don’t exceed the load limit of your circuits. You may need to install additional circuits if your load needs exceed existing ones. 

Damaged/faulty electrical fixtures 

Broken, faulty, or damaged outlets and switches are common problems found in homes. If you are lucky enough, the old homeowner will fix all these problems before you move in. If not, you have to do it yourself. Faulty fixtures can cause loss of wiring connections and even spark a fire. So, replace all damaged and very old fixtures that can be a source of problems. 

Outdated electrical panels

Older homes that haven’t seen any major electrical system maintenance and replacement may have outdated electrical panels. These are mostly unable to handle high power demands. You may want to change this panel before moving into your new house. 


As you buy your first home, you expect to have maximum peace of mind. But this cannot be achieved with prevalent plumbing and other home-related issues. Before closing a home deal, ensure proper home inspection is done by a professional to avert some of these issues. Also, run a trial test on all the major home systems to ensure they are in good condition. 

If you agree to buy a home, known problems, including plumbing issues, ensure proper maintenance to put everything in good shape. Doing this will make you enjoy your home.


No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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