The development of the modern American home included one very important, basic but fundamental element – Plumbing. This meant that clean water was accessible within the house and waste water was effectively removed. The wordPlumbing originates from the word ‘plumbum’, which is Latin for lead, which is the first material that pipes were made out of. Thankfully the lead, clay, bamboo and stone pipes have been replaced with copper, steel, plastic and other non toxic materials. The most useful tool for fixing water system are wrenches, pliers and pipe vises.
Water pressure and gravity play an important role in a working plumbing system as well as high pressure pumps. These are some of the components which need to be in place for the system to work smoothly:
- Mains Water Shut-off Valve: it is extremely important to know where this valve is in case of any accident/emergency. It should be located close to the Water Meter
- Water Meter: monitors and records how much water you use every day so that your water bill can be correctly charged.
- Fixture Stop Valves: these are usually found underneath the sink or close to the fixtures to stop water going to the faucet, bathtub or toilet so they can be isolated and shut off easily
- Drainage Traps: these are typically S shaped pipe which allow the waste water to pass through for drainage, but prevent sewerage gases leaking up through the drain. These are very important. Also, if you accidentally drop something down the drain, they could be caught in the S Bend (and can be retrieved) until they are flushed away with more water going down the drain.
- Hot Water Heater: cold water enters the heater, gets heated up and then is transported by pipes to the faucets and fixtures which need it.
- Sewerage System or Septic Tank: for the removal of waste materials
Some Plumbing problems can be solved easily by you, but other jobs may be more serious and may require a plumber to be hired. Maintenance jobs which can be DIY include:
- Unclogging drains
- Fixing or installing pipe insulation
- Fixing broken toilet chains and other simple toilet plumbing
- Fixing broken O-rings inside faucets
Jobs for a plumber may include:
- Installation of bathroom plumbing and kitchen plumbing
- Leaky pipes
- Internal plumbing problems
- Pipe replacement
- Removal and replacement of a sink unit – especially porcelain ones
- Replacing a toilet
- Big clogs and total blockages in a pipe
- Installation of hot water tanks and systems
Usually you do not think about the Plumbing in your house if it is working properly; however if you have an older house or there are persistent problems, then dripping taps and smelly sewerage can be very annoying.