Posts Tagged ‘traps’

How does a home plumbing system work?

May 22nd, 2012

Large house

A critical aspect of your home

Let’s look at some of the very basics here – house-hold plumbing systems are one of the most crucial aspects of a house, without a plumbing system, you may as well consider yourself living in antiquity. Indeed, plumbing systems have been one of the benchmark achievements of modern civilizations, and have been around since the times of ancient Rome. Although home plumbing seems to be a very difficult science to master, by understanding the general principles by which a plumbing system operates, you can understand a lot about plumbing. Firstly, it is crucial to understand that in any plumbing system there are certain key forces at work; gravity, pressures, and water seeking.

Plumbing subsystems

All plumbing systems have two main components, called subsystems. One component works to bring in water from the street, while the other functions primarily to remove water that is already used. When water initially enters your house it is pressurized. This water pressure allows it to flow into house and go around any obstacles like bends and turns, that it may run into. As the water flows into your house, it is measured by a meter which allows a meter reader to inform the water company of how much water you are using. Typically, the main water shutoff is located somewhere in the general vicinity of the meter. If you have a plumbing emergency, it is important that you go to this main shutoff valve and shut off the entire water supply. If you do not do so, then your entire house could stand a risk at being flooded.

Sink faucet

Taps are, of course, a critical aspect of home plumbing

Conversely, if the problem area is confined to a smaller part of the house, let’s say, a sink or toilet, it could be possible to shut off only one stop valve located nearest to the problem area. The drainage system which allows the waste water to exit your home does not depend on pressure. All of the drainage pipes pitch, or angle, downward, allowing gravity to pull the waste water out of your plumbing system. This is the simplified version of how a home plumbing system works. There are, however, additional components that make the system function. There are vents that go into your drainage pipes. These vents enter into the drainage pipes, letting air in, for if there were no air entering into the drainage pipes, then the waste water in the traps would need to be siphoned out, as it would not flow correctly.

Plumbing traps

Traps are another vital part of your plumbing system, traps, also called u-joints, and are S-shaped sections of pipe under a drain. Water flows through these traps with enough force to remove the excess water, but the trap retains enough water in it to not allow sewer gases back into the house. There are many these fixtures in your home such as in your sink. Remember: Before you attempt to do any repair on a fixture, make sure that you have turned off the water supply to the fixture or the main shutoff. This is what home plumbing is all about.