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Residential Plumbing 101: How Your Plumbing System Works | Gold Star Plumbing Heating & Cooling

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Residential Plumbing 101: How Your Plumbing System Works | Gold Star Plumbing Heating & Cooling


Residential Plumbing 101: How Your Plumbing System Works

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From toilets to sinks and drains, you’re familiar with the individual components of your plumbing system. However, you might feel intimidated when figuring out how your plumbing system works.

It’s helpful to understand how your home plumbing works in that instance that you encounter gurgling toilets, clogged drains, or leaky pipes. Here are the plumbing basics all homeowners should know.

Water Supply Systems

To fully know how your plumbing system works, it’s essential to start with the plumbing basics: understanding how the individual systems in your home work. Your home has two central plumbing systems: a water supply and a wastewater system.

The water supply system brings fresh water into your home via the water main—the primary pipe in a municipal water distribution system connected to your residential plumbing system. From here, the water flows to faucets, toilets, showers, and appliances such as the water heater and washing machine.

Alternatively, you can get fresh water from a well. If you have a personal water supply, it must be treated for contaminants before being used. Additionally, water from a well may require a pump to ensure that the water pressure is high enough to reach your faucets and showers.

Accessing Hot Water

All in all, the main water supply line or well only provides cold water. If you’re looking for a hot water supply, turn your attention to your water heater. The main supply line sends cold water to your water heater when you want hot water. After heating the water, the water heater sends this water to your faucets, showers, or appliances.

Locating the Water Meter

Before trying any plumbing projects, you’ll want to shut off your freshwater supply. To locate the shutoff valve, first, find your water meter. This may be located on the side of your house or in the basement (if you have one).

Drainage System

To fully understand how your home’s plumbing works, you’ll need to learn about drainage systems. While your water supply brings in fresh water, drainage carries wastewater out of your home.

The kitchen and bathroom drains remove sewage and “greywater” from your home. Sewage comes from toilets, and greywater comes from sinks and appliances.

How are sewage and wastewater removed from your home? The drain system is responsible for carrying this wastewater via a sewer line to a septic tank or municipal water treatment center.

Kitchen Plumbing System

Now that we’ve reviewed how your plumbing system works, let’s focus on the kitchen plumbing basics. In general, kitchens have hot and cold water supplies that feed to many fixtures and appliances.

Your sinks and appliances all rely on a drainage system to effectively remove wastewater. The wastewater from these fixtures is sent through a drain to drain traps, and eventually, the sewer system.

Bathroom Plumbing System

Your bathroom uses both a water supply and a drainage system. Now that you understand how your home plumbing works, you know that the toilet sends waste water to a water treatment center via the drain.

Additionally, there are vent pipes located near your toilets, sinks, and other fixtures to properly exhaust sewer gasses.

Contact Us

There you have it: you finally understand how your plumbing system works. However, just because you know plumbing basics and how your home plumbing works doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to tackle repairs on your own. In most cases, it’s best to leave plumbing and sewer repairs to licensed professionals.

If you find yourself searching for “gas boiler plumbers near me,” Gold Star is here to help. We provide top-quality solutions for a wide range of plumbing problems and will get your home plumbing system back in top shape. Contact us today to learn more about our leading plumbing repairs!