How much do you know about plumbing? Plumbing may seem complicated, but you don’t have to be a plumber to understand the way your home’s plumbing system works. The principles that apply to plumbing are straightforward, based on the laws of gravity and pressure. While understanding how your plumbing works won’t eliminate your need for a competent plumber, it will help you keep up with basic maintenance and know when you need to call in a professional.
- The basic concept: freshwater and wastewater. In each plumbing system, there’s freshwater coming in and wastewater going out. The freshwater comes in under pressure, typically through a pipe that runs through the home’s foundation near the water meter. It’s divided into two lines, one for cold water that comes straight from outside into your cold-water taps, and one for water that will be routed to your water heater, which is regulated by a thermostat. Wastewater is not under pressure and flows out of your house because the waste pipe system is pitched downward and works with gravity.
- There’s a reason for the curved pipes under your sink. Those S-shaped pipes allow water to drain from the sink and pass through the trap, but because the bend in the pipe stays full of water, sewer gas can’t be released into the home. The traps also collect grease and hair, and it’s much easier to clean that kind of gunk there than further down the pipe.
- Knowing where your shutoff valve is located is crucial. There’s a shutoff valve on the line that brings water into your home, and if you have an emergency like a burst pipe, it will need to be closed. Closing the main shutoff valve will turn off all the water in your house.
- Your plumbing fixtures draw freshwater and release wastewater. Some of them have their own shutoff valves, and if you need to work on a fixture, you can just shut off the water going to that appliance. Of course, you can also shut off the water to the whole house.
- Plumbers have to understand and follow regulations. Safety standards and materials used in plumbing have changed over time, and plumbers must be licensed and understand current regulations and practices. Any time your plumbing requires an extensive repair, it’s important to call a licensed plumber so that you’ll know the job was done correctly, following current safety regulations.
It’s helpful to understand the basics, but when you need professional help with your plumbing, trust Puget Sound Plumbing to get the job done right. For over 20 years, we’ve been taking care of business owners and homeowners in Seattle, 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.