Household Plumbing: An Overview

Household plumbing has been in existence for many years as an integral part of any home construction or improvement. Although technology and fixtures have changed with time, the core principles have remained the same over the years. The system in your home is composed of two parts; i) water supply and ii) drainage, waste and vent. This simply means that clean water flows in the home; it is then used for various duties in the fixtures and then exits the home through the drainage system.

Water supply

Water may be supplied to your home from a spring, well, cistern or a town/municipal water supply. These sources usually supply cold water. The water is then diverted to heater for hot water and to cold water taps. Normally, a supply lines made of copper, plastic or steel will be used to supply the water. The pressure of the water being supplied will depend on the source. However, plumbing provides for use of pressure boosters which increase water pressure and regulators which reduce. This is important so as not to destroy pipes, fixtures or appliances.

Drainage system (Drain, Waste and Vent)

Here, pressure is not of so much concern but the waste lines must be arranged in a downward slope and must lead to a septic tank or sewer system. Where waste must go upwards, a plumber should use a pump to push the waste. DWV pipes are commonly made of plastic and usually larger in size than those used for water supply. Vents are an important part of plumbing to prevent sewer gas from flowing back into your home. Vents are usually installed next to fixtures. Vents allow sewer gas to flow up and out of the DVW system. Water does not enter the vent unless the drain is clogged which should not happen if the plumbing is well done. Cleanouts are also important for cleaning the DWV without cutting any pipes.

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