How does your Home Plumbing Work?

Oct13 Plumbers

How much do you know about your home plumbing? It’s something most of us don’t think about as long as it’s running smoothly. It’s a good idea, though, to have at least a basic understanding of how your home plumbing works. While it may seem complicated, your home plumbing is essentially made of just three components.

  • Water supply: The water that comes into your home can come from a municipal water supply, or it might come from a well. Once it reaches the house, the water splits into two different lines: a cold water line that goes straight to the fixtures, and a hot water line that goes to the water heater first. The water that comes into the house is under pressure, which allows it to reach all the parts of your house, and it passes through a meter first, to measure how much you use. There’s a main shutoff valve located near that meter so that in an emergency, you can close the main valve and prevent a burst pipe from flooding your house. In a minor emergency, though, you may just need to turn off the water supply to whichever individual fixture is involved.
  • Appliances and Fixtures: Some of these require only cold water, like toilets and outdoor faucets. Indoor faucets, washing machines, sinks, dishwashers, showers, and tubs all require both hot and cold water pipes. All of your fixtures draw freshwater and discharge wastewater, and are designed to keep those two types of water separated.
  • Drains: Your drainage system might be septic, or it might be a sewer system, but both systems work in essentially the same way. Drainage systems don’t need pressure, because they use gravity to pull waste out of your house and into a septic tank or sewage treatment facility. Along the way, vents allow air to enter the pipes and keep the water flowing, and traps to keep sewer gas from backing up into your house. Each fixture has a trap, a curved or S-shaped section of pipe under the drain. Water flows through these traps and out through the drainpipe, leaving just enough water behind to create a seal. Some of these traps, like the ones under your kitchen sink and bathtub drain, collect grease, hair, and debris that would otherwise clog your popes.

When you have a basic understanding of how your home plumbing works, you may be better able to manage small problems that arise. When you need professional help, though, Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating is there for you. At Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating, we’ve been taking care of business owners and homeowners in Seattle for over 20 years, and we can meet all your heating, cooling and plumbing needs. Family owned and operated, we provide superior service at affordable prices because our customers are our top priority. For help with your plumbing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call (206) 350-0079 or contact us through our website.

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