We’ve all seen the how to plumbing books in stores- we may have even bought a couple. After all, plumbing is one of those basic things that everyone should know about. But learning about plumbing is also one of those things that we love to procrastinate! What you really need is a basic guide to how plumbing works. The good news is that the basics aren’t that complicated at all- in fact, they are pretty easy to learn! The first step in any how to plumbing guide is understanding what plumbing actually is. It refers to two main systems in your house. One system brings fresh water into the house and disperses it to the taps and toilets. The second system takes out the waste material and sewage gases from the home. Both these networks operate via a series of pipes. The water coming in is known as the water supply system and the water going out is known as the drain-waste-vent system. Supply And Demand Your plumbing water supply basically takes water from an incoming source and diverts it to your cold water taps and the hot water heater. Pipes from the water heater carry water to the hot water taps.
Compared to drainage pipes, your water supply pipes will be much smaller. You will find a meter next to the incoming water supply to your home- your main water shutoff will be located close-by. If you have a plumbing emergency either call for an plumbing emergency services, or it’s important that you switch this shutoff first, or you could end up with a burst pipe. An important thing to know about how to plumbing is the water pressure. The water supply works on water pressure- ideally, it should be around 50 psi. A lot of people think that high water pressure is a good thing. Remember that the higher the pressure, the more strain it puts on your pipes. Low water pressure can always be helped along with regulators. If you do get a leak with your pipes, it’s best to call in a professional since you will probably have to replace the piping. But faucet leaks are usually just a matter of replacing a worn washer, seal or o-ring, depending on the kind of faucet that you have. Before you do any work on your water supply system, even if it’s just fixing a small leak, always shut the main water valve off. If you plan on adding some extra pipes, know that there is a emergency plumbing code that your house has to adhere to. Certain repairs are prohibited by law. The Drain Game While the water supply in your home runs on pressure, the drainage system runs on gravity. The drain-waste-vent system or DWV works on the principle of gravity, allowing the waste material to run down and away from the house.
Compared to water supply pipes, drainage pipes are larger. While water supply pipes only carry water, DWV pipes also need to carry sewage gas away from the home. This is important not just in terms of bad odor- sewage gases can be very dangerous as well. Originally, these pipes were made of copper or iron- nowadays they are usually made from plastic. DWV pipes can be found in sinks, showers and the toilet. All pipes slope downward and lead into a septic tank or a sewage treatment area. Your house will also have a series of vents on the roof, to allow air to circulate through the drainage system. The biggest plumbing problems people have with DWVs are clogs and blocks. These can be a big hassle because stopped-up sinks and toilets can really make ordinary life miserable! Despite the problems they cause, most blocks are caused by simple things. Hair and soap, for example, are at the root of most clogs and slow drainage issues. These can be easily removed using a plumber’s snake, auger or plunger. If coagulants have gummed up your drains, all you need to do is run some hot water through your pipes to loosen the mess. It’s best to avoid chemicals as these can corrode pipes and lead to worse problems later on. Learning the basics of how to plumbing isn’t that hard and once you’ve mastered it, tackling plumbing repairs is child’s play!