Plumbing 101 for Back to School

Plumbing 101 For Back to School

It’s hard to not feel the back-to-school energy and excitement during August, as so many students and families prepare to go back to school. With that energy in mind, it’s a good time to learn something new and to feel like you too are doing a little back to school learning.

In keeping with that spirit, today we’re going to talk about some plumbing basics. We’ll talk through your home’s pipe system, your kitchen plumbing, and your drainage system with the goal of making you a little more informed about how these important systems work.

The Basics of Your Pipe System

pipesystemThe pipe system is the center of your home’s plumbing system, but there are actually two different pipe systems in your home. One is used to bring clean water into your home, and the other is used to carry wastewater out of your home.

Clean water is brought into your home under pressure, which enables it to travel around bends and upstairs. In contrast, wastewater is carried out of your home using gravity, as all pipes are pitched to allow dirty water to flow down and out of your home.

Once it leaves your home, the wastewater continues to flow downwards towards the sewer system. Your home’s pipe system is relatively simple, and in most homes, pipes are a combination of copper, PVC or cross-linked polyethylene (PEX).

The Complexities of Kitchen Plumbing

kitchenplumbingWhile the plumbing in your kitchen functions in the same ways that it does in other areas of your home, the additional appliances and features in the kitchen make this part of the system slightly more complex.

For example, while your bathroom sink likely has just a faucet and a drain, the kitchen sink also has hookups for garbage disposal, a dishwasher and maybe even a water filter.

Additionally, in many kitchens, there are additional supply lines to bring water to appliances, for example to the refrigerator or ice maker. Despite the fact that the same basic plumbing principles apply, kitchen plumbing is generally slightly more complex than the plumbing throughout other areas of your home.

Your Drainage System

drainageAs discussed, your home has a pipe system dedicated solely to removing dirty water from your home. While this system primarily relies on gravity, it is also dependent on traps and vents.

Your home has vents in the roof that allow air to enter the drainage pipes. This air allows drainpipes to run smoothly. Another important part of your drainage system are traps, which are the s-shaped portion of pipes right under the drain.

Wastewater is able to travel through this portion of pipes, but the traps form a seal that keeps sewer gases from backing up into your home. Obviously, this is a simple but important feature of your drainage system.

Your drain-waste-vent, or DWV, system, plays an essential role in your home’s plumbing system and all components need to be working correctly to effectively remove wastewater from your home.

Hopefully, this plumbing overview helped you to better understand some key components of your home’s plumbing system. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact A & A Plumbing at (210) 566-2665.