Your home’s pipes are important. They perform a series of essential functions for your everyday necessities and comforts. Most people don’t think too hard about what lies beneath their home unless something goes wrong or some unfortunate leak requires breaking through walls or floorboards. Today’s piping system uses the same fundamental principles that plumbing used when it was first implemented. Of course, however, as time goes on, technology, innovation, and engineering improve the systems we use in our homes to enhance efficiency and functionality.
So here’s what you need to know to understand your home’s plumbing system and how things have evolved in the last couple of decades.
Your Home’s Plumbing System Explained
Your plumbing system was an essential part of the early planning stages of your home. Every municipality has a plumbing code that sets regulations and guidelines about how to plan a plumbing system in a home. An engineer will perform calculations and plumbing design and work along with the other engineers or architects on the project.
The Basics of Plumbing for Your Home
Plumbing uses two universal principles of gravity and pressure. Engineers and home designers plan the plumbing by utilizing how gravity and pressure behave naturally, so the piping is designed for this purpose.
Step 1: The Plumbing Supply System
So once you remember that gravity and pressure are the foundational principles, we move on to Step 1 in understanding your plumbing system. The plumbing supply system carries water throughout your home using pressure. This piping system brings in fresh water from outside your home and carries it at 50 to 60 psi pressure. This ensures that there are pipes and water supplies that reach your kitchen sink, toilet, and wherever else you need it. The system also involves a series of pipes that carry hot or cold water into your home.
Step 2: The Drainage System
The plumbing system uses the natural pressure flow to ensure water coming into your home flows where it needs to go. The drainage system uses gravity and ensures that wastewater can be carried away from your home. Drainage pipes are designed and installed with a downward slope, which naturally pushes the water towards the sewage lines or septic tank.
Step 3: The Venting System
In order to keep things running as they should, the plumbing system and drainage system should never mix. In other words, you want to keep these two very separate, as you never want the water coming into your home mixing with the water going out. The venting system connects the waste system piping and helps prevent mixing the two systems. The vents regulate the airflow to assure pipes are flowing as they should.
Plumbing Systems and Important Moments in Pipe History
The fundamental principles of plumbing design continue to be the same as they have been for many years. The Romans understood the role of gravity in carrying out wastewater. Their system was surprisingly sophisticated, including underground sewer systems, public and private baths, and lead and bronze pipes. And yet, technological innovations and better design principles have improved the systems we use in our homes.
Innovations that have made an impact in the plumbing industry include:
- Video Cameras. Especially-designed video equipment for the plumbing industry has become a beloved tool in the plumber’s toolbox. These waterproof cameras allow plumbers to visually inspect sewer lines or piping in hard-to-reach-places, including underground and under the foundation. The cameras transmit real-time video and provide images that identify problems before any digging is done.
- The tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters have become popular because they bypass the installation of new piping for people renovating or adding a bathroom to their home. In addition, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient for many.
- Leak detectors. These are unique little gadgets that are placed in places where leaks are likely to occur. They alert people when a leak has been detected.
- Smart toilets or low-flow toilets. Smart technology is all over the place these days. While still somewhat rare, smart toilets have raised a few eyebrows among some consumers. These toilets offer several functions, including automatic flushing, overflow protection, heated seating, water-saving features, and more. A more accessible option is the low-flow toilets that include dual-flush toilets. The dual-flush toilets have two buttons, each with a different setting to help households save water. Toilet issues are a big part of every homeowner’s plumbing woes, so ensuring a good installation and repair job can save you headaches down the line.
Get a Plumbing Company You Can Trust
If one part of your plumbing system breaks down or runs into problems or clogs, it might not take long for the problem to grow. So whether you have noticed an issue or want to upgrade your piping system or plumbing fixtures, find a plumber you can trust.
Learn more about our services and what we have to offer at Genevie Plumbing.