Plumbing is an intricate system that brings in fresh water, heats it for washing and distributes it throughout your home. To keep it functioning optimally and prevent issues like leaks or clogs, it’s essential to keep it in good repair.
Plumbers are experts in piping and fitting systems. To do their work effectively, plumbers use specialized tools as well as experience to identify any issues that may arise.
Plumbing pipes transport water, waste and gas between homes. They form part of the infrastructure that delivers and removes water from household systems like kitchen sinks, toilets, showers and laundry machines.
Pipes come in a range of materials. Some are constructed from metals, while others are plastic.
Copper piping is widely used for domestic water supply and distribution systems. It comes in various sizes with threaded ends to accommodate tees, elbows and couplings.
Plastic piping is becoming an increasingly popular option for both hot and cold water supply lines due to its durability, lack of corrosion, ease of joining pieces together, resistance to rust and chlorine disinfection.
Pipe fittings are essential in plumbing for connecting straight sections of pipe, altering their direction of flow between pipes, or controlling fluid flow. These fittings come in various materials and sizes with typically one purpose in mind.
Elbows: Also referred to as tees, an elbow is a type of pipe fitting that alters the direction of flow between two pipes. They come in various angles with 90-degree elbows being one popular option in residential plumbing installations.
Crimped Connections: A powered crimper attaches special fittings to tubing with an installed sealant or O-ring, then applies high pressure to deform the fitting and compress it against the inner tubing for a leakproof connection.
Caps and Plugs: These essential fittings secure pipe openings during checks and repairs. Depending on the material of the pipe, these may be threaded or soldered together.
Water heaters provide warmth to the water that flows through pipes in your home. They’re commonly used, and come in various forms such as electric, gas and solar.
Water heaters typically come as tank-type or instantaneous units. A tank-type unit consists of an outer steel jacket enclosing a pressure-tested water storage tank inside.
The tank contains a gas burner that heats the water inside. It is controlled by a regulator assembly with thermostat that measures water temperature and turns on/off the burner as needed to maintain that set temperature.
A hollow flue runs through the center of the tank, carrying exhaust gases from the burner up to an exhaust vent. A spiral metal baffle traps heat from these exhaust gases and transfers it to water in the tank.
Drains are underground pipes that transport rainwater and wastewater away from houses and buildings. Generally, they’re separate from your house’s plumbing system; however, in older properties they may be combined.
When wastewater from a sink or toilet is flushed, it first goes to a small pipe in your home before reaching larger sewer pipes under the road that join a network of municipal sewers before reaching a sewage treatment plant.
On their journey, most liquid water will go through primary treatment and some waste will settle out at the bottom of the pipe. In secondary treatment, bacteria break down any organic matter to form solids which can then be disposed of in your household bin or taken to your local recycling center for recycling.
Fixtures are receptacles connected to the plumbing system for water delivery and drainage. They can be found in many different areas of a residence or business.
These devices are typically constructed of materials that will resist rust, erosion and staining from water damage. Common materials include porcelain, plastic, fiberglass, tile, glass, marble as well as stainless steel or copper.
They also feature drains to evacuate water and stoppers that hold it in place if desired. Each fixture should have a shutoff valve installed for each water supply line leading to it, so you can turn off the flow of water if there are any issues with plumbing.