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4 Basic Things You Should Know about Your Home’s Plumbing

4 Basic Things You Should Know about Your Home’s Plumbing

Home’s PlumbingIt’s good for you to be concerned about the plumbing system of your home because often homeowners neglect this very important system and one day when it’s broken down it causes havoc. For taking care of your home’s plumbing system, you need to understand some basics. Here they are.

1. Plumbing is Based on the Laws of Nature

The simple nature’s laws are also followed by the plumbing, i.e. pressure, gravity and water stabilising on a level. Once you remember this, you can disclose its mysteries and can make scores of fixes on your own to your home plumbing, and thereby save your time and money.

2. Two Subsystems

Plumbing system in a home consists of two separate subsystems. One of these subsystems is for bringing fresh water in and the other is for taking wastewater out. The water coming in your home is under enough pressure to be able to travel upstairs, in angles, around corners, in garden and wherever else it’s required.

When water enters your house, it goes through a meter that records its quantity you use. The main water stop, or shutoff, valve is usually located near this meter. If a plumbing emergency arises, it’s necessary for you to know its position so that you can quickly close it. Otherwise if a pipe bursts and if you don’t do this, your house may be flooded in no time. However, when the emergency is limited only to a toilet, tub or sink, you don’t need to close the water supply of entire house. Hence it’s a good idea to have individual shutoff valves for most fixtures.

Water coming from the main supply is ready for your cold water requirements. However, the hot water supply needs one more step. Here one pipe takes water from the cold water system to your water heater. From the heater, a line of hot water carries the heated water to all outlets, appliances and fixtures that need hot water. There is a thermostat on the heater which maintains the temperature you choose by turning the heating elements on the device on and off as needed. Usually, the temperature setting for a home water heater is from 140°F to 160°F. However, 120°F is normally sufficient and more economical too.

fresh water in

3. Drainage Systems

Whether your house is on a septic or sewer system, the systems in your house are typically the same. Drainage systems are not dependent on pressure, like supply systems. Rather, waste matter goes out of your house because the drainage pipes are all angled downward. Gravity drags the waste down. The sewer line facilitates this downward flow to pass towards a septic tank or sewage treatment facility.

Although this may seem simple, it contains many elements including traps, vents and clean outs. The vents erecting from your roof let air enter the drainpipes. If air is not supplied in this way, wastewater would not properly flow out and the water in the traps would have to be drained off.


4. Subsystems of Supply and Drainage

Supply and drainage subsystems never overlap. Instead they have bridges between them and these bridges make the plumbing system work smoothly. These bridges are known as fixtures in the plumbing jargon.

Sinks, tubs and toilets are fixtures. Also an outside faucet and washing machine are fixtures. All devices drawing freshwater in and discharging wastewater are fixtures, and all are created to keep both these systems strictly separated. Thus you can see many fixtures in your bathroom.

fixtures in bathroom

Some fixtures have independent supply stop valves so that you don’t have to stop the main supply while repairing them. It’s recommended to make sure all members of the family are aware of the location of the main shutoff valve in your house and how to use it. It’s a good idea to tag this valve so that everyone can easily find it.

Knowing the basics of your plumbing will help you take care of it and save you from hazards.

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