Home Plumbing Basics For The Homeowner

plumbing-basicsHow much do you know about your plumbing system? Even if you don’t intend to become a master plumber or a DIYer in the future, it is only wise that you know how the system works. This way, you would understand causes of simple (or complicated) plumbing emergencies should they arise. Another reason why you should have plumbing know-how is that you can perform simple repairs in case you’re faced with unexpected trouble.

The Plumbing System


Your home’s plumbing system is comprised of two subsystems: the freshwater system and the drainage system. The freshwater system obviously supplies clean water to all your faucets, showers and plumbing appliances. The drainage system, meanwhile, transports the soiled or gray water out of your home and into your septic tank or the public sewer.

The Freshwater System


Have you ever wondered how clean water comes out of your faucets and showers? Well, it’s because of pressure. This pressure in the systems it possible for clean water to travel anywhere inside the pipelines. And to ensure that your utility company tracks your water usage, you have a meter installed outside the house. Whenever water passes through this meter, it registers or monitors its amount. Aside from the meter, there’s also a water supply valve that’s vital to the system, too. It is simply used to allow or restrict the flow of water inside the pipes. When emergencies arise, it is advantageous to shut the water supply valve right away. However, if there’s only a specific fixture that’s affected by the problem, such as a toilet, bathtub or sink, you can always turn its individual supply valve.

Now when you have a water heater, you can have hot water anytime. It has its own supply line and when water comes through it, it heats it up and then delivers the hot water to the faucet, shower, tub or plumbing appliance where you need it.

The Drainage System


Now let’s talk about the drainage system. Whenever you use your plumbing, you produce gray water. Your drain pipes carry the soiled water from the fixture that you used and deliver it straight to the septic tank or the public sewer where your property is connected to. To make these drain pipes work efficiently, your property must also have vents, clean-outs and traps. The vents are pipes that extend from your roof. They allow air to get into the drainpipes in order to make the wastewater flow out properly. The traps, meanwhile, are essential because they hold water which blocks sewer gas from escaping out of your drains. Lastly, the clean-outs are just as important as the other two components of your drainage system. These are access pipes that provide plumbers access in your drain lines should you experience clogs, backups and other issues.

We hope that you learned a lot about plumbing basics through our blog today. If you experience issues with your plumbing, just call the most reliable Bladensburg plumbing contractor. Plumbers 911 Washington DC provides trusted local  plumbing services in Bladensburg MD including drain cleaning, water heater repair, camera sewer inspection, home remodeling, frozen pipes repair, gas system installation and many more! Call us now at (877) 932-5325 to schedule a service!

Learn how to choose water supply piping. Watch this video from This Old House!

Posted on: July 9, 2015