Many homeowners go through an entirety of living in their homes without knowing how their plumbing system works. Understanding how a home’s plumbing system works is key to helping your plumber attack the root cause of the problem and save you precious labor costs.
Though a certified plumber, and perhaps with an apprentice plumber in tow, comes into your home to address plumbing emergencies, having some detailed knowledge of plumbing systems, the water supply system, and the drainage system will help you or your plumber execute plumbing repairs quickly.
Best of all, if you master your home’s plumbing system, you may even be able to fix simple plumbing issues yourself, such as replacing plumbing fixtures or basic troubleshooting for your hot and cold water supply.
How Does Your Plumbing System Work?
How long does it take to become a plumber? The answer is around two to six years! But how long does it take to learn your plumbing system? Don’t worry. It doesn’t take that long.
A home’s plumbing system can be divided into two categories: one for the water supply system and your clean incoming water, and another for your drainage system or the plumbing system that deals with getting rid of waste water.
The key to understanding plumbing systems is knowing how they should work properly, such as whether something should belong or happen to your intake water supply or drainage system. If you plan to install plumbing fixtures someday, learning about your home’s plumbing system can save you a lot of hassles.
The Water Supply System
The water supply system is set up to introduce and circulate the water from the main valve to various parts of your home. The incoming water is supplied at a high pressure to get the water to multiple portions of your home.
The city water supply is typically buried in the street and connected in front of your home. Other water supply systems could be connected to a private well.
The “main” is the portion of your plumbing system where the water comes near your home. Its primary purpose is to keep water from entering your home for significant plumbing installation, such as replacing the toilet or installing plumbing during renovations.
The “main” is a large pipe that typically runs under and parallels your street. Your water supply is tapped directly into the main. You may normally find a stopcock or a main shutoff valve alongside the water meter. If you have a private well, you may have a main shutoff valve near before the supply line enters your home.
Water supply pipes provide cold fresh water. To heat them, especially for a new home’s plumbing system, consider tankless water heaters to save space. Hot water is distributed throughout the house through water pressure, typically supplied by a circulating pump installed in the cold water side of the water heater.
Your Home’s Drainage System
Though all drain pipes angle downwards, the work of your drainage system is not as straightforward as your water supply lines. In the case of your water supply, the water runs to various parts of your home through water supply pipes because of pressure. On the other hand, your home’s drainage system works gravity.
The drainage system comprises vent pipes, traps, and other clean-outs to help gravity do its job. For instance, the vent pipe sticking out of your roof prevents suction, or lack of air pressure, above the drain water to enable it to drain through gravity.
The u-traps, on the other hand, prevent things like valuables from going down the drain. Since it is filled with water, this prevents odor from the drainage pipes from coming out through the sinks. The toilet’s p-trap does the same job of preventing sewer gases from escaping through the toilet or preventing valuables from escaping to the sewer.
The wastewater runs through plumbing pipes down to the septic tank, where the heavier particles, such as solid human waste, settle, letting lighter sewage water drain out of the septic system. Pipe materials used for handling wastewater are typically thicker because they carry other waste materials besides water.
Basic Plumbing Tips
Some tips are obvious, such as not letting large solid materials from being drained out to prevent clogged drains. Moreover, you must keep your vent lines clear to enable healthy and well-functioning drain lines.
It would help if you kept your strainer basket clean in your sink to prevent food particles from clogging your pipe. In the case of toilets, avoid flushing out toilet paper as much as you can. If you intend to do DIY plumbing work, please close the shutoff valves before performing any plumbing installations or other plumbing work.
To Prevent Major Hassles: Call the Pros
Curious DIYers might try doing a plumbing project, and knowing how the plumbing system works is handy. However, in the case of sewer lines or low water pressure issues, you will need qualified professional help to do the job for you.
Call Phoenix Plumbing and Drain for plumbing needs in home construction, such as renovation work, emergency plumbing repairs, or issues in hard-to-reach areas. If you are located in Phoenix, AZ, and surrounding cities, call us at 480-696-5048 or Support@phoenixplumbanddrain.com.