Home Plumbing 101
Buying a home is an exciting, life-changing time. Whether it’s just some added space, that sparkling pool, the prime location, or simply being free from renting – there’s a lot of benefits that can come with purchasing a home! However, with this investment comes great responsibility; like yard upkeep or remodeling over time, and with the freedom from renting comes to the sole obligation for maintenance. Problems you once could put in a maintenance request for are now all yours to take care of! One of the more critical systems to monitor is your internal home plumbing – so knowing what it is, how it works, and what to look out for is key.
Here’s a look at some of the home plumbing basics that will help you know how it operates, how to complete simple maintenance, and when to call a professional.
Subsystems & Water Metering
While many of us use our home plumbing systems for almost everything we do – it’s not uncommon for homeowners to lack an understanding of the in-depth workings. According to HowStuffWorks, home plumbing systems are made up of two different subsystems; one that brings fresh water into the home and one that takes out wastewater. In order to make sure that water is able to get to all of the rooms that you need it in, including on different levels, the water that enters your home is under pressure. This is how your water usage is tracked each month, as a meter registers the amount of water you use as it is pushed into your home!
Water Main Shut-off Valve & Individual Stop Valves
An essential piece of information that all homeowners should know is where their home’s water main shut-off (or stop) valve is located, which usually can be found at the meter or close to it. Knowing the location of the valve is critical because in the event of a flood, quickly closing the main shutoff valve can be the difference between devastating and fixable damages. Sometimes, however, floods can be confined to a sink, toilet, or tub; and individual stop valves located near the fixture do the same thing on a smaller scale – without having to shut off your home’s entire water supply.
Hot & Cold Water Supply
Many homeowners may not be aware that the water that flows from your main water supply is immediately cold – ready for everyday needs like cooking or laundry! To get hot water for your showers or dishes, it must first visit your home’s water heater where the temperature is maintained with a thermostat. It is then distributed to the appliances or fixtures that you’re “requesting” it for around your space. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners should set their water heater thermostats to 120ºF for safety and cost savings.
Whether you have a septic tank system or a sewer system in your home, drainage is pretty much the same for water and waste. But unlike when water first enters your home, you don’t need pressure. Why? Typically, drainage pipes are installed at an angle, relying on gravity to do the work. But it’s not quite as easy as it initially sounds – with essential vents, traps, and clean-outs in the mix.
Vents, Traps, and Clean-outs
Do you know those vents that protrude from the top of your home? These allow air to enter your drain pipes so wastewater can flow out without needing to be siphoned or drained. And located under each sink and fixture in your home is something even more crucial: traps. According to Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, these are curved or S-shaped pipes under your drain. They ensure that water flows out of the basin with enough force to enter, go through the trap, and out of the drainpipe, all while making sure enough water remains in the trap to create a seal that stops sewer gas from getting into your home.
Many fixtures are already prepared, like self-trapped toilets, bathrooms equipped with drum traps for hair and debris, or traps for grease in your kitchen. Tip: check for a grease trap before you pour grease down your drain, or else you could end up needing a repair. Many traps include clean-out plugs for any blockages or clogs so homeowners are able to perform some of this maintenance on their own. For most projects, it’s best to work with a professional!
Home Plumbing with B&D Industries
By partnering with B&D, you can ensure the success and longevity of your home plumbing system. And from inspection or scheduled preventative maintenance to fix a clogged drain or full plumbing remodel/re-pipe, B&D is here 24/7 to take your call. Contact us today at 505-299-4464 or schedule an appointment online.