The Plumbing Basics: Understanding Your Home Plumbing System
It’s easy to take indoor plumbing for granted; afterall, the vast majority of Americans have it. But if you ever go without it — even for a short camping trip — you’ll develop a newfound appreciation for how well this miraculous system functions. A home’s plumbing system not only provides clean drinking water on demand, but also hot water for bathing, cooking and cleaning. Most impressively, the indoor plumbing system carries waste away from the house, keeping homeowners safe and sanitary. Largely unseen, the indoor plumbing system is a mystery to most homeowners. Although it functions without much upkeep, a plumbing system will occasionally need maintenance, repairs and replacements. However, it’s hard to recognize when these needs arise when you have no idea how a plumbing system functions. Keep reading to learn about the basics of indoor plumbing and how to keep your Grand Prairie plumbing system in tip-top shape. At Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating, we want homeowners to have all the tools they need to maintain their home’s plumbing system for as long as possible. Questions, concerns or requests? Give us a call at (972) 291-0740.
Water Supply SystemAt the most basic level, a home plumbing system consists of two primary systems: the water supply system and the water drainage system. The water supply system moves clean water into the home, and the water drainage system moves waste water out of the home. These two systems never mix; if they did, the clean water would be contaminated with waste.
How Do Homes Get Clean Water?Although some homes get their water from a private well, the majority of homes get their clean water from a city-controlled supply. For homes that use a municipal source, freshwater enters the home through a water main that shoots off from the city’s main valve, usually located beneath the street in front of the home. Each home’s water main has a shutoff valve that can stop the supply of water from coming into the house.
Clean Water DistributionA home’s water main sends freshwater through a series of water pipes, fittings, service valves and faucets throughout the home. All of these components lead the freshwater to fixtures, like the water heater, sinks, bathtub and toilet. After being used in a plumbing fixture, the freshwater’s journey is complete; once it drains, it joins the wastewater drainage system.
Wastewater Drainage SystemAfter you’ve taken a shower, rinsed the dishes or used clean water for anything else, that water drains from the fixture. When it drains, it is no longer considered part of the clean water supply, but rather wastewater. Waste water drains from the house through a series of pipes.
Where Does Wastewater Go?The home’s drainage system removes wastewater from the house and empties it into the municipal sewer system or the home’s septic tank. From the municipal sewer system, wastewater travels to a municipal wastewater treatment facility. After the city treats the water, they release it into local waterways where it is used again to supply drinking water, irrigate crops, sustain wildlife and more.
What Makes the Water Drain?Whereas water pressure fuels the water supply system, gravity is what pushes wastewater away from the home. In order to accomplish this, drain pipes must angle downward. For this reason and a variety of others, the wastewater drainage system is more complicated than the water supply system. A home’s drainage system includes a system of traps, vents and other features that help move the water along. No matter how responsible you are, your pipes will occasionally get clogged. When this happens, don’t Google “plumbing repair companies near me” — save yourself the headache and call Dial One Johnson for expert clog removal services.
Common Plumbing ProblemsNo plumbing system will function perfectly forever, no matter how well the homeowners treat it. Within such a complex system, a variety of issues can arise. Although some of them can be fixed without calling a plumber, many require professional assistance. Here are some of the most common plumbing problems that plague homeowners:
- Dripping faucets. Many people think of dripping faucets as just an annoyance, but in reality, they can waste a tremendous amount of water and drive up utility bills. Causes range from a worn-out washer to corroded pipes.
- Water heater problems. If the water in your house won’t get hot, you’re dealing with a water heater issue. These issues can be caused by anything from a faulty flame sensor to sediment buildup to a broken electrical connection. The best way to find out is to call a water heater repair service.
- Leaky pipes. Unlike some plumbing issues, leaky pipes require emergency repair; failing to fix them could result in a catastrophic burst and expensive water damage. Leaky pipes can be caused by clogs, corrosion, pipe damage, poor fittings and more.
- Running toilets. Like dripping faucets, running toilets can waste a ton of water over a short period of time. More often than not, a damaged or defective flapper, valve, flapper chain or toilet handle is the culprit.
- Low water pressure. No one likes taking a shower with low water pressure. In addition to being an annoyance, low water pressure can signal hidden water leaks, sewer clogs, pipe corrosion or blocked lines.
- Clogged drains. Clogged drains can prevent your toilet from flushing or water from draining from the sink or tub. Although some clogs are superficial and can be plunged away, others require professional clog removal services.