We often take the power of plumbing for granted, but these hidden pipes control so much of daily life. When plumbing powers your sinks and toilets, the hot water for your bath and shower, and even your clean drinking water, it’s essential to upkeep the pipes in your family home. The last thing you need is a leaky pipe or dirty water in your faucets so it’s important to understand how your plumbing systems work and how to spot a problem before it ruins your home. Below I’ll list the main plumbing systems in most homes and ways you can catch problems before they happen and help you understand how the various systems work.
The water supply system in a home routes your water from either the city water supply or if you live in a rural area it may route from a well. This system brings water to your appliances including bathroom systems, water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines so it’s vital for this system to be working right.
The drain waste vent system is also a crucial component in your plumbing for your home. This system carries waste water and sewage from your appliances and delivers them to the septic tank or public sewer. A crucial part of this system that is not well known is the vent part which stops harmful sewage gases from building up in your home. Problems in this system can start at clogged drains so it’s essential to keep an eye on it.
Most kitchen systems include hot and cold-water supply lines, a waste line, and possibly a gas supply line. These lines contribute to almost everything in your kitchen so if you’re having problems with water in your kitchen this is where you should check first.
It’s not a secret that bathrooms are all about plumbing. But it’s also no secret that an overflowing toilet is something no one wants. The plumbing systems in the bathroom must deliver water to your toilet, sinks, and showers, as well as remove waste from these fixtures. The bathroom uses both the water supply system as well as the drain waste vent system to keep yours house running smoothly. Because everything in the bathroom relies on these systems functioning properly, it is important to upkeep these pipes.
How to Avoid Trouble
The first step in being a step ahead of problems is knowing where your homes main water shut off valve is. Know where your main valve is and how to turn it off so you can avoid excess water leaks. Most valves are located near the street and or around the house, usually in the basement, and looks like a wheel or lever. Cutting off the water is as simple as turning the wheel clockwise slowly until it stops, or pushing down the lever. If you’re unsure if the water has been fully stopped just test it at a sink.
As well as locating your main valve you should find the valves on any appliances. Most of your household appliances will have smaller valves attached to stop the water for a particular place. These can be found on toilets, sinks, and washing machines usually behind the appliance and low to the floor. The valves for bathtubs and showers can be trickier to find and these appliances may have cut off valves in an adjacent closet or basement. If you know ahead of time where these valves are you can avoid water filling your home and causing damage by quickly stopping it before it becomes a problem.
If you know how to spot problems and turn off your water, you’ll have much less water trouble. With regular maintenance to your plumbing systems you should save money and trouble in the future. Even if you can’t fix the problem, you’ll know as soon as you need to call plumbing installers and you won’t have problems sneaking up on you.