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Plumbing Basics: What You Need to Know as an Investor

Plumbing is the system or network of pipes, tanks, fittings, and other fixtures required to build water supply, heating, and sanitation systems in a building.

Heating, cooling, gas fitting, water removal, and supply of potable water are some of the important parts of this profession. Plumbing follows the basic laws of pressure, gravity, and water level.

The nature and size of a plumbing system depend on the size and structure of a building or facility. The waste disposal system usually has two parts: a venting system and a drainage system. Pipes in a drainage system connect various fixture drains to the central main. On the other hand, the venting system comprises pipes leading from an air inlet to other points in the drainage system.

The plumbing is composed of two separate subsystems. One subsystem brings freshwater in, and the other takes wastewater out.

Waste matter leaves your house because the drainage pipes all pitch, or angle, downward. Gravity pulls the waste along. The sewer line continues this downward flow to a sewage treatment facility.

While the system sounds simple, there's more to it, including vents, traps, and cleanouts. The vents sticking up from the roof of your house allow air to enter the drainpipes. If there were no air supply coming from the vents, wastewater would not flow out properly and the water in the traps would need to be siphoned away.

Traps are vital components of the drainage system. You can see a trap under every sink. It is the curved or S-shape section of the pipe under a drain. Water flows from the basin with enough force to go through the trap and out through the drainpipe, but enough water stays in the trap afterward to form a seal that prevents sewer gas from backing up into your home. Every fixture must have a trap. Toilets are self-trapped and don't require an additional trap at the drain. Bathtubs frequently have drum traps, not only to form a seal against sewer gas but also to collect hair and dirt to prevent clogged drains.

Supply System

The water that comes in is under pressure. It enters the building under enough pressure to allow it to travel upstairs, around corners, or wherever needed.

Water from the main supply is immediately ready for your cold water needs. The hot water supply, however, requires another step. One pipe carries water from the cold water system to your water heater. A hot water line carries heated water from the water heater to all fixtures, outlets, and appliances that require hot water.

The supply system typically consists of water supply pipes, joints, and shut off valves to each fixture.

Types of Plumbing Pipes:

•PVC – Typically for drain or DVW

•Cast Iron – for drain lines or DVW

•CPVC – For water supply lines

•Copper – For Waterlines

•“ PEX” for water lines

•Black Iron – Galvanized pipe

The supply and drainage subsystems are two distinct operations, with no overlapping between them. There are bridges between the two, however, and the bridges are what make the plumbing system worth having. In plumbing jargon, any bridge between the supply and drainage systems is a fixture.

Toilets, sinks, and tubs are fixtures. An outside faucet is a fixture and so is a washing machine. All devices that draw freshwater and discharge wastewater are fixtures, and all are designed to keep the supply and drainage systems strictly segregated.