The Plumbing Basics


In plumbing, gravity, pressure, and water’s quest for level are the basic laws of physics. Knowing this, you can fix your plumbing system and understand its mysteries. By using our service, you’ll be saving time, money, and trouble.

Two subsystems are involved in the plumbing system in your home. A freshwater subsystem takes in freshwater, while a wastewater subsystem takes out wastewater. It is under pressure that water enters your home. When it enters your home, it’s under enough pressure to allow it to travel upstairs, around corners, or wherever else it’s needed. Water entering your home passes through a meter registering how much you use. Water shutoff valves are often situated near water meters. If the main shutoff valve has to be closed during a plumbing emergency, it’s important to do so quickly. If a pipe bursts, your house will flood almost immediately. You may not need to shut off your entire water supply, however, if the emergency is confined to a sink, tub, or toilet.  

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When you need cold water, you can use the main supply right away. In order to supply hot water, a second step must be taken. Your water heater receives water from a pipeline that runs from the cold water system. All fixtures, outlets, and appliances that require hot water are served by a hot water line that runs from the heater. Heaters have a thermostat that controls a device’s heating elements by turning them on and off as necessary to maintain the temperature you select. It is generally recommended that the water heater’s temperature be set between 140 and 160 degrees F, but 120 degrees F is more economical and usually adequate. The temperature of the water in some automatic dishwashers must be higher, though many of these machines include a water heater or tankless water heater that raises it another 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Drainage System

You can clean some sink traps without having to remove them from the drain thanks to the clean-out plug.

The systems in your home are the same, whether your home is connected to a sewer system or septic system. Pressure does not affect drainage as it does supply. The drainage pipes all angle downward, which causes waste material to leave your house. Waste moves forward due to gravity. Septic tanks and sewage treatment facilities handle the downward flow.

In addition to the vents, traps, and clean outs, the system does a lot more. There are vents in your house’s roof that let air pass into drainpipes. Vents supply air to the traps, thus preventing wastewater from flowing out effectively and requiring to be siphoned away from the traps.

A drainage system would not be complete without traps. Under every sink, there is a trap. This is the section of pipe that curves or has an S-shape under a drain. There is enough force in the flow of water from the basin to move it through the trap and down the drainpipe, but enough water stays in the trap afterward to form a seal that keeps sewer gas from backing up into your home. Traps are required on all fixtures. There is no need for a separate trap at the drain on toilets since they are self-trapping. Drum traps are commonly found in bathtubs, not only to prevent sewer gas from entering the house, but also to collect hair and dirt for easy drain cleaning. Grease traps are common in kitchen sinks to prevent clogging by collecting grease. The most common causes of drain clogs are grease and hair, so traps commonly have clean-out plugs that make it easy to remove any blockage.

Because drainage systems involve all of these components, they are commonly referred to as DWV systems: drain-waste-vent systems. A properly functioning DWV must have all components present and in good working order in order for water to flow freely and waste to exit properly. You can gain a better understanding of the plumbing heating system by looking at the pipes underneath your house.

Supply and Drainage Subsystems

Individual supply shutoff valves are the best way to make repairs, as you do not have to shut off the main supply line to do so.

There is no overlap between the two subsystems of supply and drainage. Bridges between the two are however necessary to make the homes plumbing system work, and those bridges make the system worthwhile. A fixture is anything that connects a water supply and drainage system.

There are two kinds of fixtures: toilets and sinks. Further, an outside faucet, as well as a washing machine, can be considered fixtures. The supply and drainage systems are tightly segregated using devices that draw fresh water and discharge wastewater.

The main shutoff valve does not need to be closed to repair some fixtures that have individual supply shutoff valves. Ensure that every member of your family knows where and how to use the main shutoff valve in your house. If you would like to tag it, you could do so so it’s easily identified.

Turn off the main water shutoff or the fixture’s water supply before starting any plumbing repairs. Before changing or adding any pipe, check with the official who maintains the plumbing code in your area. What work a homeowner can do for himself or herself is explained along with what is permitted and prohibited. Whenever possible, you should try to do your own repairs when you get the green light.

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