When you turn on your faucet, the water begins running, but most people don’t know beyond that when it comes to how their plumbing works.
There is a lot more that goes on behind the walls and under your house to make the water flow and the toilet flush. Knowing a basic understanding of your home’s plumbing can help you know when it’s time to call a professional plumber for help.
Most households water enters the home from the water main on the street. It then passes through a water meter to measure how much water is used, which you can see on your water bill.
Near the meter is a water shut off valve. This is important to know where this is located, in case of emergencies such as large leaks.
If you are unaware where this is located, next time you call a plumber, ask them to show you, so if a pipe bursts or you have a major leak, it will not do additional damage. Remember, the main shut off valve will shut off water to your entire home, not just one fixture.
Once the water is inside your home, it travels through the skeleton of the system, the pipes.
While the cold water is immediately ready for use when drinking, cooking or washing dishes and clothes, the hot water must take a detour, to the water heater.
Your hot water is supplied from your water heater, generally located in a closet within your house, in the garage or in the attic.
From the hot water heater, a hot water line carries the water to the fixtures that need hot water.
Although we don’t see what goes on behind the walls, the fixtures we use on a daily basis would not work without it.
Wear and tear on your system and fixtures is normal, which means updates and maintenance will be necessary.
Some signs you need plumbing maintenance, repairs or replacement include:
If your fixtures are outdated
If you have a leak, or hear a leak
If your system is clogged
If you notice rust or mold around pipes
If water flows to it, it must flow down or away from it as well. Above we described how the water arrives at your home, but what about exiting your home?
Whether you have a sewer or septic system, your water waste has got to go somewhere.
Water waste leaves your home through drainage pipes, usually angled downward to allow water to flow down.
It continues to flow from the sewage line, to a sewage treatment facility or to your home septic tank.
Drainage is a lot more complicated than just your kitchen sink drain. There are a lot more parts to it than it appears.
From vents to traps and cleanouts, all parts of your drainage system help your home function properly.
Vents help allow air to enter your home's drain pipes. When air enters the pipe, it helps the wastewater flow properly, preventing any stench.
Traps are located under our sinks and your plumbing can not work without them. If you look under your sink, you’ll see the S-shaped part of the pipe which helps form a seal to prevent sewer gas back up in your home.
Clean-outs are often with traps to help plumbers and homeowners with easy access to remove a blockage from the pipes.
Knowing a little basic plumbing about your home can help save you time and money. Not all plumbing issues can be fixed DIY, so be sure to have your local plumber’s number handy to help you with your plumbing needs.
John Manning Plumbing, are experts within the Palmdale, California area and can provide top-notch plumbing services. Call us at (661) 338-6305 for all your plumbing needs!