Every homeowner should know plumbing basics so that there’s less mystery when water problems do occur. Gravity and pressure are two of the most fundamental concepts of plumbing, which is comprised of two separate subsystems. The supply system allows fresh water in, while the drainage system forces waste water out. Knowing that water seeks its own level helps demystify plumbing systems. Below are some of the most important plumbing basics for homeowners to know.
1. Main Shut-off Valve
It’s a good idea to know where the main shutoff valve is in case of an emergency. Water coming into your home is under pressure, measured by a meter, which is usually in close proximity with the main shutoff valve. Knowing how to shut off this valve quickly can save your property from a flood caused by a broken pipe.
2. Cold and Hot Water
Cold water is always ready in your kitchen and bathrooms. The reason hot water takes a few extra minutes to access is that the water has to go through an extra step. The water must travel through a hot water heater at a temperature of at least 120 degrees F. If you are regularly experiencing a lack of hot water, consult a plumbing professional who can repair or replace your hot water heater.
Waste is sent through a drainage system, powered by gravity as the sewage pipeline points downward toward a tank at a sewage treatment facility. An essential part of a kitchen drainage system is the use of a “trap,” which is an s-shaped pipe below the sink that blocks unpleasant odors. Many times when drains are clogged it’s because of waste materials built up in the trap. Some traps have easily accessible clean-out plugs at the bottom of the pipe.
A Clogged toilet can be the result of blockage between the bathroom and the main drain. Many times a plunger can resolve the problem, forcing water pressure through the drainage system. But if the problem exists further down the drainage system, it could involve tree roots interfering with the sewage line. This requires professional help.
Any type of water device connected to your supply or drainage system is called a fixture. Examples of common fixtures are sinks, toilets, tubs and washing machines. A fixture can also be an outdoor faucet or sprinkler system. Many modern water fixtures have their own shutoff valves. It’s important to fix leaky fixtures as soon as possible, since any leak can lead to bigger problems.
Before you make any changes to your pipes or install new plumbing, you need to check your local plumbing code to make sure that you comply with regulations. If you are unsure about any aspect of your plumbing that goes beyond the basics, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local Toronto plumber. At ExpressRooter, we’re always on-call to help you out, just get in touch with us by calling 416-760-7656!