Learn the Basics of Your Home’s Plumbing System!
A home’s plumbing system can seem complex and mysterious, so many homeowners find it intimidating to learn about the ins and outs of their plumbing systems. But getting even a little more familiar with how plumbing works has a variety of benefits, from being able to spot issues and preventing potential problems in the first place. The trick is to start with the fundamentals, which are easier to understand than most people think. So this article will serve as a quick and easy guide to the basics of home plumbing!
Where Residential Water Comes From - And Where It Goes
When discussing home plumbing basics, it’s best to start from the beginning, where water enters the home. Water from nearby reservoirs, aquifers, or other large water sources is pumped through the municipal main line under pressure. A smaller underground pipe (usually ¾ inch in diameter) called the house water main carries it from here to the home’s water meter.
The water meter measures how much water enters the home, typically via a mechanical or electromagnetic sensor. The utility company uses this to track water usage and charge the homeowners accordingly. The water meter can also be used to detect leaks. If all the faucets and plumbing fixtures in the home are turned off, but the numbers on the meter keep rising, there’s likely a leak.
After passing through the meter, the water splits into two pipe networks - cold and hot. The cold water line proceeds directly to every faucet and fixture, while the hot water line stops at the water heater before following suit.
Once the water has been used, it flows down the drains past a curved section of pipe called a P-trap, which prevents sewer gases from seeping up from below. Every drain in the house leads to a larger pipe called a lateral line, which carries all of the home’s wastewater into the city sewer main (or the home’s septic system).
Different Kinds of Plumbing Fixtures
Plumbing fixtures include everything from faucets, sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets to water-using appliances like dishwashers, clothes washers, and water heaters - essentially any device that allows homeowners to use or dispose of water.
Plumbing fixtures tend to wear out or become outdated faster than the home’s pipes because valves grow worn and loose, gaskets crack, sinks and tubs get chipped and stained, and appliances burn out after years of heavy use. The good news is that each new generation of fixtures and appliances tends to be better than the last.
With today’s water-saving faucets, showerheads, toilets, and energy-efficient appliances like dishwashers and water heaters, it’s never been easier for homeowners to cut down on their utility bills. They can simply look for fixtures bearing the WaterSense or EnergyStar labels when it comes time for an upgrade!
Why Plumbing Maintenance Is Important
Having a feel for the components that make up a plumbing system and how they function is valuable, but it’s even more important to understand how to take care of them. That’s where plumbing maintenance comes in. Routine maintenance by a professional can help keep the plumbing system running smoothly long-term and prevent dreaded issues such as clogs, leaks, and appliance malfunctions.
Basic DIY drain cleaning can also be done every month or two using household supplies (baking soda and vinegar work well) to help prevent clogs. Still, it’s also a good idea to schedule professional drain cleanings to eliminate nasty buildup in the lateral line and prevent clogs.
Water heater maintenance is also important to protect the plumbing. Drain and flush the water heater at least once a year to remove sediment from the tank. This improves the unit’s efficiency and extends its lifespan. Annual inspections of the plumbing and water heater by a certified plumber can help catch leaks and other issues before they worsen. By keeping up with maintenance tasks such as these, homeowners can ensure that their plumbing systems run smoothly and efficiently for years to come!
About Warhold Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning
Warhold Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated company serving its neighbors in Greensburg, PA, and the surrounding areas. They offer competitive pricing, personalized options, and prompt arrival. Call them today for plumbing services in Greensburg, PA.
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