Home Improvement

A Guide to Understanding Your Home’s Plumbing System

Plumbing is essential to any home, office, or other building. It’s responsible for providing clean water for daily use, removing waste and sewage, and maintaining proper sanitation. Thus, learning about your home’s plumbing system can help you troubleshoot issues and ensure proper maintenance.

A plumbing system consists of a network of pipes and fixtures that work together to distribute water and remove waste. This system consists of two main parts— the water supply system and the drainage system. 

Let’s talk about these two systems in detail in this article. Understanding the basics of plumbing is the best plumbing service you can provide for your home.

1. The Water Supply System Vs. The Drainage System

The water supply system brings clean water into your home from a municipal water supply or a private well. The system includes a main shut-off valve, which controls the flow of water into the house, and a water meter, which measures the amount of water used. Water enters the home through a service pipe and gets distributed to various fixtures such as sinks, toilets, and showers through a network of pipes.

On the other hand, the drainage system carries wastewater and sewage away from your home and into a septic tank or municipal sewer system. This system consists of a network of pipes, vents, and traps that work together to remove waste from your home. Each plumbing fixture in your home has a trap, which prevents sewer gases from entering your home, and a vent, which allows air to enter the drainage system to help with the flow of wastewater.

2. Water Pressure 

Understanding water pressure is crucial for maintaining a functional plumbing system. Pressure can sometimes be too high or too low, and both can lead to problems. The high water pressure causes leaks and damage to plumbing fixtures and appliances. Alternatively, low water pressure makes it difficult to run multiple fixtures at once.

3. Water Quality

The quality of your water can impact both the plumbing system and your health. If you notice changes in water colour, taste, or smell, it’s essential to have your water tested. In some cases, you may need to install a water treatment system to ensure the safety and quality of your water.

Sometimes, the water can be hard, leading to several plumbing and health problems. In that case, you can try installing a water softener. Knowing these points can help you extend the lifespan of your plumbing system. 

4. Water Heater

Your water heater is a critical component of your plumbing system. It’s responsible for heating water for your showers, sinks, and other fixtures. As you will be using your water heater daily, you must know about it to avoid early replacements and unexpected breakdowns. 

For starters, you must understand the different types of water heaters, primarily storage and tankless water heaters. Each type necessitates a different approach to its maintenance. 

After all the maintenance you do, there will come a day when you need to replace your water heater. On average, if it breaks down frequently, you may have to look for replacements after 10 years or sooner. 

5. Local Codes

Plumbing codes and regulations can vary depending on your location. It’s essential to be aware of the codes in your area to avoid fines and ensure that your plumbing system is up to code.

For example, In Sunbury (Australia), all new commercial and industrial plumbing systems require backflow prevention devices installed to prevent the backflow of contaminated water into the drinking water supply. 

Your plumber in Sunbury will be aware of all the essential codes you must follow. So, have a deep discussion with your plumber. 

6. DIY vs Professional

While you can do some plumbing tasks on your own, others require the expertise of a licensed plumber in Melbourne. It’s important to know when to call in a professional to avoid making the problem worse and potentially causing expensive damage.

Simple tasks like cleaning your drains, checking for leaks, and replacing worn-out fixtures can be DIY. However, complex areas such as gas plumbing, sewer pipe replacement, etc., must have a professional touch. 

7. Plumbing Inspections

Proper plumbing maintenance is essential to ensure your system operates efficiently and effectively. This includes regular inspections and cleaning of pipes and fixtures, identifying and repairing leaks, and ensuring proper ventilation of the drainage system. 

It’s also important to be mindful of what you put down your drains and to avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage pipes and fixtures.

8. Hiring a Professional Plumber

While many plumbing issues can be resolved with simple repairs or upgrades, more complex issues require the services of a professional plumber in Melbourne

When hiring a plumber, choosing a licensed and insured professional with experience in the work you need, is important. Get a written estimate and ask for references to ensure you are getting the best plumbing service.

9. Emergency Preparedness

Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time. Knowing where your main shut-off valve is located and how to turn off the water supply can save you a lot of money and hassle in case of an emergency.

Just in case, keep a few emergency plumbing service contacts with you so you can get timely help when necessary. 

Final Thoughts

Some of the most common plumbing issues homeowners face include leaky faucets, clogged drains, running toilets, and low water pressure. You can resolve many of these issues with simple repairs or upgrades, such as replacing a faulty valve or upgrading your fixtures.

However, understanding the basics of plumbing is essential to troubleshoot these issues and making prompt decisions for upgrades and repairs. Regular maintenance and inspections by a licensed professional, when needed, ensure your plumbing system operates efficiently and effectively for years to come.

NLK Plumbing has vast expertise in plumbing. So, if you need help with your plumbing, do get in touch with them.