How Your Plumbing System Works?

How Your Plumbing System Works?

Plumbing Installations

In this article we'll cover how a plumbing system works in an avarage home. Mostly everything we do at home involves your house plumbing system in a way or another; washing your car, cooking, bathing, washing clothes and so on.

Plumbing systems are composed of:

  1. Waste Drains
  2. Waste Vents
  3. Potable Water
  4. Rain Water Management

We will go through all of these to get a better idea of how is the complete avarage plumbing system.

Waste Drains

Most homes use either ABS, PVC or Cast Iron material for their pipes and vents, which are connected to all fixtures in your home like toilets, sinks, bathrubs and showers. once the fixture is used the now contaminted water flows down the drain pipies, which are connected to the main drain. The water flows through the main drain until it reaches the municipal sewer line.

Cleanouts are found every here and there among your pipes. These allow plumbing professionals or yourself to have acces into the pipe in case there are any blockages or issues in it.

Standard Pipe Sizes

  • Toilets: 3"
  • Sinks: 1 1/2" or 2"
  • Bathtubs: 2"
  • Main Stacks: 3" or 4"

Homes without Access to the Municipal Drain

How do homes and businesses with no access to the municipal drain manage their waste? Not too complicated.The main drain pipe is connected to a septic tank instead of the municipal drain. Septic tanks separate solids from liquids. Liquids are then carried through a pipe into a drain field, where water is released into the ground for it to be processed naturally. Solids will eventualy need to be pumped out for the septic tank to work correctly.

Waste Vents

For pipes to work properly they need to be properly vented. Why? Well, when a toilet is flushed the water pushes the air downstream causing a negative pressure behind it. Vents equalize this depressurization to avoid gurgling or gases traveling up your pipe and being released in your home.

These vents get their air through the roof so it has to be clear of debree for it not to get clogged and have pipe ventilation problems as a result.

Potable Water

Potable water comes from the street just like most other services and tytpically have between 40 to 80 PSI. Homes need to have a shut-off valve on the outside in case the city needs to stop the water flow.

Water is captured by copper lines of 3/4" in size that carries the water into your water heater and other services. Water heaters are fed cold water, which is then heated and then distributed across your house thanks to the city pressure. Houses generally use cPVC and copper pipe but these days PEX is being preferred as it is relyable and quick to install.

Potable Water in Rural Homes

Homes in rural areas without access to city potable water source it from wells. These go deep doen the ground to reach a natural water vein. The water is pumped back up, filtered and then distributed in the house.

Rain Water Management

Houses are designed to direct rain water into the gutters installed in our homes. These gutters carry the water and dump it out away from the construction to avoid water infiltrations. Gutters can also take water and dumped it in receptacles for later home and gardening use.

These are the main procesess of home plumbing installations. Now, once waste and rain water is taken from your home into the municipal drain, these are carried to different destinations.

Rain water, as it is generally clean, is filtered and then released in natural rivers and water bodies. City waste or better said, everyone's waste, is taken to sewage treatement plants where it is cleand and then released for it to be able to be captured again and taken into the potable water city lines, making a more sustainable water management.

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