What comes to mind when you hear the word “plumbing”? For most people, plumbing means their toilet, primarily, and maybe also their shower, sinks and dishwasher. In fact, however, there are many different types of plumbing systems, each responsible for a different kind of water and/or a gas inflow or outflow. If you are a homeowner, or even if you live in a rental and don’t want to have to deal with the landlord too often, it pays to educate yourself about the basics of plumbing systems.
Having a base of knowledge allows you make simple fixes to plumbing problems that are easy to manage and to know when you need to call in a professional. Likewise, understanding plumbing systems means you won’t fall prey to a plumber who overcharges you or performs work that is not really necessary. Here is the info you need to know about plumbing systems so you can take charge of yours.
The first type of plumbing is your potable water supply plumbing. This is the plumbing that provides your tap water, the water in your toilet, the water that runs your dishwasher and washing machine – in fact, all of the running water in your home. The source of the water in this system of plumbing varies depending on where you live. Sometimes, potable water comes from wells and sometimes there is a regional water treatment facility that supplies homes with water.
Either way, your potable water plumbing system is attached underground to the water source, and through this system of pipes, which go from underground to inside your walls, water is delivered to your home as needed. This is probably the most important type of plumbing in your home.
The second type of plumbing that you need to know about is the plumbing drainage venting system. Whereas the potable water supply plumbing brings water into your home, the plumbing drainage venting system takes waste away from your house. This system includes the outgoing pipes from your toilets, your drains in your sinks and shower and your garbage disposal.
This plumbing feeds into the sewer system that is maintained by your city, or in some cases, into a septic system. Back ups of these pipes are common problems faced by homeowners, and they often require professional repair jobs.
The third type of plumbing a homeowner might have to deal with is plumbing that handles rainwater run-off and surface water drainage. Not all homeowners have these systems – it depends on the climate and the land the house is on. Clogs in these systems are relatively easy to fix and can usually be done without calling in help.
There are other types of plumbing, such as those systems associated with water fountains, but they don’t have much importance to homeowners. Knowing these three systems will help you make informed decisions about your home.