Have you ever stopped to think about your home’s plumbing system and how it all works together? With most of the plumbing hidden behind your home’s walls, it may seem complex or confusing. But in reality, it really is simple and straightforward. Understanding how your plumbing system works is an important first step to doing routine maintenance or diagnosing the root of any plumbing problem. Integrity Home Solutions explains how all your plumbing works together!
THE BASICS OF YOUR PLUMBING SYSTEM
Your plumbing system follows the basic laws of nature—gravity and pressure. Gravity and pressure can explain your plumbing system in two basic and simple terms.
Your home plumbing has two separate subsystems—one that brings in fresh and clean water and one that takes out dirty wastewater. The water that comes into your home comes in under pressure and when it leaves as wastewater it leaves by gravity. Let’s dive in – well you know what we mean…
WATER SUPPLY INTAKE SYSTEM
Fresh, clean water comes in through the main water supply. This water source is supplied through municipal or City water or by an underground well. The water that comes in comes in under pressure.
It then passes through the meter, which registers the amount of water you use. The main shutoff valve is located before and after the meter. This is important to remember if you need to turn off the water for repair work or because of a leak!
Having a plumbing problem? Our Tampa area plumbing pros can explain the ins and outs of your system when we come out to visit your home. We can troubleshoot any plumbing issue. Contact us 24/7!
Heat It Up
After the water comes into your home, the water is ready for immediate use if the cold water temperature is appropriate for use, like in a toilet. But if the water needs to be warmed it will then go through the hot water heater. A hot water line will run parallel to the cold water line to bring the water supply to every fixture and appliance throughout the house. These include your sinks, bathtubs, showers, dishwashers, water heaters, and washing machines.
Your water supply intake system is a vital component of your home plumbing system as you use running water regularly usually daily. The system’s primary concern is to have clean, instant water that is hot or cold everywhere in your home whenever you need it.
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WASTEWATER DRAIN SYSTEM
Get it Gravity
Once the water has flowed through your home it is now wastewater and needs to be eliminated. This is done through gravity.
For example, you have probably noticed that the pipes under your sink are angled down; this is because gravity is responsible for the drain vent system. Each fixture has its own drain that connects to the main drain line, which eventually ends up in the city sewer or a septic system.
The drain-waste-vent (DWV) part of your plumbing system includes traps, vents, and cleanouts to help gravity pull the wastewater along.
When wastewater enters the drain system it first flows past a trap. This is usually a U-shaped piece of pipe that forms a seal to prevent sewer gases from backing up and entering your home. Every fixture must have a trap.
As the wastewater flows downhill through a series of pipes, these pipes are attached to a system of vent pipes. Vent pipes allow air to enter the drainpipes because if there were no air the wastewater would not flow out properly and it would get stuck.
The vent pipes bring fresh air to the drain system which prevents any suction that would stop or slow drain water from flowing freely. Usually, vent pipes exit the house at the roof vent.
For the drain-waste-vent system to work properly, it is important to periodically check the cleanouts. Oftentimes drain clogs are the results of grease or hair and need to be cleaned out. Traps often have clean-out plugs that give easier access to removed or break up any type of blockage.
And finally, the wastewater eventually reaches the main waste and vent stack before it exits the house through the sewer line or is emptied into a septic system.
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Now that we have broken down your home’s plumbing system into two basic subsystems— these basics should give you a better understanding of how your plumbing system works and where a potential problem could be. But if you are still unsure or do not know how to proceed even if you know the initial diagnostic location in your plumbing, do not hesitate to call Integrity Home Solutions.
Our expert plumbers are available 24/7 to help you when you are experiencing a problem and need professional help. Just call us at 813-328-1550 or contact us online to reach our local plumbing pros!Do You Need Two AC Units in Your Home? » « AC Repair: How to Troubleshoot Your Unit