Home Plumbing Systems: What’s all involved?

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What is Under Those Floorboards?

The joys of modern plumbing are often taken for granted. The second nature use of plumbing systems can make it seem like an inherent part of our lives. Imagining life without running water, a hot shower or a flushing toilet can be hard to imagine. Because of this, plumbing is incredibly important.

Home plumbing systems are a complex network of water supply pipes, vent pipes, drain pipes, and more. Because it is such a complicated and also the costliest system to repair in a home, it is important for it to be installed correctly the first time. Understanding the way plumbing systems work gives a better understanding of the problems that occur if it isn’t installed correctly.

A well-designed and well-installed plumbing system will carry water to all of the various water outputs efficiently and will remove wastewater without blockages. Creating smart home designs shrink plumbing expenses by centralizing water systems near one another to bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms.

There are several different systems that make up a home’s plumbing. Freshwater is delivered to a home through water supply pipes from the water intake and then distributed throughout the home to sinks, toilets, washers, bathtubs and other fixtures. The drain-waste-vent system carries away used water and waste to sewers/septic tanks. Below is an overview of all of the different systems and how they work within the plumbing of a house.

The first system is the water supply. A home’s water supply system takes municipal water from the main water supply under the street and routes it to your house, where it branches out to deliver the water to faucets, showers, bathtubs, toilets, and appliances.

The work of distributing this water is carried out through a system of pipes, fittings, water valves, and faucets. These pieces are made from a range of different materials such as plastic, copper, or galvanized iron with diameters as small as ½ inch to 4 inches or more.

The second system is a drain-waste-vent system. Although it isn’t the most glamorous part of a house, the drain-waste-vent (DWV) system is one of the most important. The job of the drain-waste part of the system is to carry wastewater and sewage from sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, and water-using appliances and deliver those wastes to the septic tank or public sewer.

The vent part of the system, which is usually less known to most homeowners, is connected to the drain-waste piping, and its job is to ventilate sewage gases so they don’t build up in the house. The vent system also helps drain pipes maintain the right pressure for proper drainage.

The pipes of the DWV system are usually hidden away from sight, within walls, beneath floors, and in the attic. However, if the system is not working properly, its value and necessity quickly come to the surface. Clogged drains are among the most common problems that occur in a DWV system and are hard to ignore.

The third system is the kitchen plumbing system. Most kitchens have a fairly simple plumbing setup that includes hot and cold water supply lines to the faucets, a waste line for the sink, and a gas supply pipe. Many kitchens also have hookups for a dishwasher, disposer, ice maker, and or instant hot water, but these are generally tied into the sink’s plumbing.

The fourth system is the bathroom plumbing system. Bathrooms have a lot of plumbing, with sinks, showers, bathtubs, and toilets. The plumbing in the bathroom must handle water delivery to, and waste removal from, all of these fixtures in an organized, efficient, leak-free manner. Two systems are needed to handle a bathroom’s plumbing needs: water supply and drain-waste-vent.

Water supply plumbing delivers hot and cold water to the sinks, tub, toilet, and shower. This system originates from the municipal water supply, goes through the meter, and is delivered to the house. At the water heater, it splits into two lines– one that carries cold water and the other that delivers hot water from the water heater to the fixtures that require it.

The drain-waste-vent system collects wastewater from fixtures and waste from toilets and delivers them to the sewer or septic system. Near each of the sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets, vent pipes exhaust sewer gasses up and out the roof and provide air pressure so wastes can flow freely.

This complicated and important system deserves to be set up correctly the first time. If you need expert professionals to install your plumbing needs, call Fitzgerald Mechanical today.

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