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Plumbing Basics



Ever wondered how your plumbing system works? These systems are a basic need in every property. They work to provide the property with clean water and direct waste water away from the property. These systems also play an important role in ensuring that the property is comfortable when conditions outside are extreme. In this blog, we’ll help you learn all about plumbing systems and how they work.


Before diving into the parts of the residential plumbing system, it is important to understand that the functions of these systems rely on the basic laws of nature i.e. gravity, pressure and the fact that water will always seek its own level. With this understanding, you’ll be able to not only understand how your system works but also be able to address many simple issues you may encounter.


Fresh Water Supply Systems


The basic house plumbing diagram can be split into two subsystems. The first is the system that brings freshwater into the home. The other system is that which takes wastewater out. Water coming into your home does so under pressure. The pressure is enough to get the water to the taps and appliances in the upper levels of your property. This water makes it into your home after passing through a water meter which registers the volume of water entering your home. A main shut-off valve is used to stop water from entering your home. For example, if a pipe bursts, the water can flood your home. This main shut-off valve can help prevent a disaster from occurring.


Waste Water Drainage Systems


When water has been used in your home, the dirty water and waste drain into the waste water drainage system. The drainage system connects to a sewer or septic system. Unlike the water supply system, waste water in the drainage system is not under pressure. Instead, this system relies on gravity. The pitch or angle of the drainage pipes is vital to the function of the system. All drainage pipes should slope towards the sewer or septic system. Gravity will work to pull the waste along the pipes. The sewer line continues on to a sewage treatment facility. In some cases it goes to a septic tank.


The drainage system may sound simple but there are various intricate details including vents, clean outs and traps that are necessary for its function. Vents are vital for preventing the occurrence of a vacuum in the system and ensuring waste flows properly. Traps are vital for preventing large particles of waste from entering the sewer system and causing blockage.


Plumbing Subsystems


It is important to remember that the supply and drainage systems are two distinct systems. There is no overlapping between these systems. However, there are bridges between the systems. These in the world of plumbing are known as fixtures. They include sinks, tubs and toilets. In fact, any device that draws freshwater within the home and discharges wastewater is considered a fixture. When performing any repairs on your plumbing, it is important to ensure that water supply to your fixtures is shut off.


Still Need Help With House Plumbing? We Can Help You


While the above information provides you with a basic understanding of house plumbing systems, these systems are actually quite complex. A problem with any part of the system can easily escalate. You can avoid damage or the risk of health hazards by letting a licensed plumber handle the repairs. RooterPal Plumbing is a family-owned business containing qualified and highly skilled plumbers, ensuring you can have peace of mind when our plumbers are on the case.


Plumbing FAQs


What are the basic components of a residential drainage system?


The basic components of a residential system include vents, traps and drain pipes. These parts help to move water to the sewer line and prevent backflow of waste water or release of toxic sewer gasses.


Can fixtures such as toilets and showers share a vent?


Yes. You can use the same vent for fixtures such as toilets and showers. However, the toilet should be the last fixture connected to the drainage system to prevent backflow as well as release of sewer gasses.


How should pipes in drainage systems slope?


It is important for drainage pipes to slope horizontally at a vertical drop of a 1 ⁄ 4 inch per foot of the drainage pipe. This will ensure that the waste can drain properly under the pull of gravity. No mechanical force will be required with a properly sloped drainage system.


How can I identify the main water line to my house?


The best way to find the main water line to your house is by looking for the water meter. This should be located at the perimeter of your property. It is where the main line to your house enters the property.

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