There are several different types of plumbing systems in a house/home. First, there’s the fresh water delivery plumbing system that supplies water from the well or utility line to toilets, sinks, bathtubs, washers and other related fixtures. There’s also the drain-waste plumbing system, whose purpose is to carry wastewater away from the house to the drainage system, sewer, or septic tank. Lastly, there is the natural gas plumbing system that delivers fuel to your kitchen, gas burners, water heaters, cloth dryers, and furnaces. See the section on dispensers and water heaters for more information about gas powered water heaters.
1. The Water Supply System
The municipal’s water supply system branches into your home’s water supply plumbing system. This makes clean water available/delivered to showers, faucets, bathtubs, toilets, the dishwasher, washing machine, and water heater and other appliances in the house.
2. The Water System Meter and Valve
This system is essentially made of water pipes, fittings, faucets, a meter, and service valves. The accessories and pipes are mostly made of either galvanized iron, copper, or plastic. The pipes may also come in different diameters depending on the need/use and delivery. These range from ½ inch to 4 inches in diameter.
3. Drains and Typical Vents
The drain-waste-vent (DWV) is one of the most important and crucial parts of your home’s plumbing system. It plays a somewhat significant role in carrying waste water from showers, sinks, bathtubs, kitchen cleaning appliances, and the toilet to the public sewer or septic tank. Although the drainage system does all the dirty and less glamorous jobs in the plumbing sector, every other system depends on its efficiency to survive.
The vent system, the vent system helps the drainage system continue functioning correctly, and at the right pressure to prevent backflow. The system is also responsible for ventilating sewer gases to avoid buildup of the same in the system and the house as well.
The drain-waste-vent system is usually installed out of sight, in the attic, beneath floors, or even inside the walls. Despite the discreetness, a malfunctioning DWV system is quite hard to notice, and particularly if there’s a clogged drain. Clogged drains are among the most commonly reported plumbing problems in most homes today.
4. The Kitchen Plumbing System
The kitchen plumbing system is not only complicated but also among the most vulnerable. If planning a total kitchen remodel, or have been experiencing problems with your kitchen plumbing system, then this section is for you. We’ll discuss the most common issues, how to install, plan and even care for the plumbing in your kitchen here.
You are most likely to find two plumbing systems in the kitchen, the natural gas plumbing system, and water (hot/cold) water supply system. Most hot and cold water systems are relatively straightforward. You should also find a wastewater system in the same, mainly connected to the sinks, dishwasher, icemaker, and the hot water system. The natural gas supply system should also be somewhere in the kitchen as well, though a little different from the drainage and water supply system.
5. The Bathroom Plumbing System
The bathroom plumbing system needs to be efficient enough to handle water supply to all fixtures and faucets, as well as remove wastewater in a dynamic, organized, and leak-free manner. The most common fixtures in the bathroom include bathtubs, toilets, showers, and sinks. The bathroom plumbing is basically made up of two systems, the drain-waste-vent, and freshwater supply systems.
The water supply system delivered cold and hot water to the tub, sink, shower, and the toilet. The water supply can/may be tapped from a fresh water source (municipal supply or borehole), through a meter then into the house. The supply system then splits into two, hot water and cold water supply channels.
The drain-waste-vent plumbing system is somewhat larger than the fresh water supply system, and for a good reason. It collects all the wastewater from the kitchen, toilet, and bathroom fixtures to deliver them to the septic tank or sewer system. Vent pipes are also installed in place to help take care of gasses produced by the wastewater system from decomposing materials and bacteria. The vent system also provides the DWV system with enough air pressure to allow waste free-flow.