Although we rely on it every day, few people truly understand how the plumbing in our homes works. You may see a complex network of pipes and valves if you take a close look at your plumbing system, but the basic premise underlying its functioning is relatively easy to understand.
The water supply comes from a system of pipes that are used to bring fresh water inside the home, where it is then distributed to toilets, bathtubs, washers, sinks and other fixtures.
Water in the pipes generally comes from city water or wells. City water enters the home from a main pipe that runs parallel to the street. This pipe is connected to a water meter with a shutoff valve that can cut off the water supply during repairs. Those who do not have access to city water typically get fresh water from a well.
The equipment that delivers and distributes water through the home is a system of water pipes, service valves, faucets and fittings. Pipes and fittings are typically made of copper, galvanized iron or plastic, and they can range in diameter from half an inch to four inches or more.
Water is pumped into the home from the source at a high pressure to allow it to reach the highest and furthest parts of a home and ensure bathrooms run smoothly.
Common Plumbing Problems
Water supply systems perform optimally when the pressure is high. Pressure issues are a common plumbing problem, and they can be caused by leaks and blockages. Many people first notice insufficient pressure in an upstairs shower.
Leaks are another common plumbing issue. A leak that is caused by a loose connection can be easily fixed, but leaks that require repiping require the services of an experienced plumber.
Piping in a home that has been installed correctly is leakproof. If it was properly designed, it will deliver water to the different fixtures and appliances throughout the home efficiently and carry wastewater away without any clogging.
Moreover, when a home is planned wisely, overall plumbing expenses can be kept low by positioning laundry rooms, kitchens and bathrooms near one another to allow them to share parts of the system. However, it is important to keep in mind that these systems slowly disintegrate over time, and the home’s plumbing may eventually need to be completely overhauled.
Drain water vent systems meet the home’s piping at fixtures such as sinks, washers, faucets and other points of water use. At these points, clean water enters the fixture and wastewater leaves it. Drainage systems rely on gravity to get rid of wastewater from the home. Water waste is brought to sewers or septic tanks.
A drain water vent system uses downward angled pipes to drain water from the fixture to the sewer line. The pipes must be placed in a way that allows them to take advantage of gravity and be large enough to carry waste without blockages.
Drain traps are U-shaped pipes that prevent backflow from occurring in plumbing systems. Also known as P-traps, these pipes consistently hold water thanks to the curve in their design.
The reason they must constantly hold water is because they connect the home to the sewer line; without a drain trap, sewer gases would make their way in through the sinks and showers and create a very unpleasant smell within the home.
A drain vent, meanwhile, is used to release air into plumbing so that the water drains smoothly. It typically runs from the roof into the drainpipe.
Plumbing Systems In The Home
Plumbing within the home is generally concentrated in two main areas: bathrooms and the kitchen. Here is a closer look at these two types of plumbing systems.
The Bathroom Plumbing System
Bathrooms rely heavily on pressure for their plumbing systems to work properly. These systems have separate hot and cold piping systems. When homeowners notice a drop in pressure, it is typically indicative of an extensive leak that requires professional repair.
The Kitchen Plumbing System
The plumbing system of a kitchen is mostly hidden within its walls. The water supply system will bring hot and cold water to the fixtures in the kitchen, such as sinks and dishwashers.
Plumbing Is an Essential Component of a Home
Maintaining a home’s plumbing is essential. Many homeowners take for granted things like running water, flushing toilets and hot showers and do not give the underlying processes much thought – until something goes wrong.
Reach Out to The Professional Plumbers
Plumbing that is not functioning correctly can range from mildly inconvenient to disastrous. If you are looking for an experienced plumber in the Northern Virginia area, reach out to Baumbach Plumbing and Remodeling LLC. In business for more than 92 years, we offer emergency services such as clog extractions, general plumbing, installations, water heater services and sewage system repair.