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Home Plumbing Systems: Understanding Your Pipes

Article Archived | Posted By Nick

Home Plumbing Systems: Understanding Your Pipes

When you hear the word plumbing, what comes to mind? You might think of you bathrooms, your toilets, maybe the shower, sinks and perhaps the dishwasher or the disposal. In reality, there are several types of plumbing systems, each different. Each responsible for kind of water and/or gas inflow or outflow.

As a homeowner, it pays many times over to become knowledgeable about the basics of plumbing systems. For those that rent and rather not deal with the landlord if avoidable this is a great idea also.

With a solid foundation of knowledge, you can take care of easy to fix plumbing issues while knowing when you should call a professional. Also, you are much less likely to fall prey to plumber that overcharges you or does work that isn’t really required when you have a good understanding of plumbing systems.

The following is a start on the information you should know about plumbing systems so you can understand yours.

Your potable water supply is the first type of plumbing. This plumbing system provides your with tap water, toilet water, the washing machine water and the water in the dishwasher. In fact all of the running water in your home. Depending on where you live, the source of the water in the potable water system varies. Most likely potable water comes from a regional water treatment facility that supplies water to homes and businesses. More rural areas often have water coming from wells. Your potable water system in both cases is connected underground to the water source. Through a main pipe line which typically in Houston is a quarter inch connects as it emerges from the ground to a main shutoff valve just before it enters your house walls or runs underneath the floor (common in Houston’s older homes). Delivering water as needed this is the most important type of plumbing in your home.

Next, the second type of plumbing is the plumbing drainage venting system. While the potable water supply plumbing delivers clean water into your home, the plumbing drainage venting system removes the waste away from your home. The drainage venting system includes the outgoing pipes from your drains in your sinks, showers, garbage disposal and from your toilet flush system. This plumbing system feeds into the sewer system maintained by your city. In more rural areas onsite septic systems are necessary. Homeowners face most commonly back up problems with these pipe systems and these issues very often require professionals to properly repair.

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