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Plumbing Basics – The More You Know, The More Problems You’ll Avoid

Have you ever watched a stream running downhill? It follows a predictable path. Add more water, and it flows over the banks. But it always continues to run downhill. 

Plumbing Basics - The More You Know, The More Problems You’ll AvoidLikewise, the water in your home is designed to take a predictable path. Gravity and pressure assure it runs where it’s supposed to go. Your plumbing system is designed to use gravity and pressure to control the flow. By grasping these concepts, you can understand how your plumbing system works, which can come in handy when you have a problem. 

Your plumbing system is designed for two processes: take water in, and take water out. Clean water comes into your home, and wastewater moves away from your home. If at any time those processes intermix, it’s time to call in a plumber as soon as possible. 

Water comes into your home using the law of pressure. Pressure pushes it in from the outside, and continues the path using your pipes as a guide. However your plumbing system was designed determines the path the clean water travels. Plumbers attached valves to control the pressurized water and move it to every room in your home. 

Cold water feeds in from the outside and into your home. Hot water comes directly from your water heater. A cold water line feeds into your water heater where the water is heated. Then using hot water lines, it feeds hot water to the fixtures in your home that require hot water. Like your tub or shower.

Now that you understand how easy it is to bring the water into your home, you have a basic understanding of what it takes to bring wastewater out. Yet wastewater has more risks involved. If wastewater isn’t transported out of your home correctly, that’s where your plumbing problems arise. Working on this process as a DIY project can put your home in jeopardy if you don’t understand the proper way to handle wastewater. 

Wastewater also follows the law of gravity. It uses plumbing lines to flow outside of your home into the sewer or septic tank. The plumbing lines in this process use a series of vents and traps to ensure this process works properly. 

Have you ever looked at the S-shaped pipes underneath your sink? These are traps designed to eliminate sewer gas from entering the home. The vents allow water to flow. The vents are crucial to keeping the drainage system flowing. This is what keeps your plumbing from having a vacuum affect.

If any part of this process breaks, your home runs the possibility of having flooding or damage to the different rooms in your home. Repair your plumbing system incorrectly, and you increase the odds damage will occur. 

Keeping these simple rules and processes in mind can help you make better decisions about what projects to take on, and when to call in a professional. 

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