We all rely on household plumbing for day-to-day living. Things can quickly get messy if the kitchen drain is dysfunctional or the water heater isn’t working correctly. Understanding how your plumbing system works can better prepare you if something goes wrong. You’ll be able to make an informed decision and call a professional plumber to resolve the issue quickly.
How Your Home’s Plumbing System Works
While many components make up a home plumbing system, it all comes down to three systems – water supply, water heating, and drainage.
Household Water Supply: Understanding Where Your Water Comes From
Every household has a system of pipes that brings water to the home. It comes from wells or city water and is highly dependent on pressure.
City water enters your home through a pipe connected to the ‘main pipe,’ which runs parallel to your street. The water goes through a water meter before entering your home’s plumbing system. It measures the amount of water used in your household, allowing the city’s utility system to bill you for consumption. A shut-off valve is located at the water meter, and it shuts off the water supply into your home. It can be handy in the event of a broken pipe or other plumbing emergencies. Repairing broken water mains is a big job best left to the professionals. Contact us at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth for a water main repair plumber.
Those who don’t get water from the city get it from wells. It is pumped at high pressure, ensuring that it gets to your home’s farthest and highest parts. This requires a combination of components – well casing, a pump, and a pressure tank – that provide a continuous water supply. If the water coming from the well consistently has low pressure, a professional plumber from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth can install a pump. This will re-pressurize it enough to move through the house.
Common Plumbing Problems with the Water Supply
Some of the common plumbing problems associated with your home’s water supply include:
- Low water pressure: This is a common problem in old houses and can come suddenly or develop slowly over time, depending on the underlying issue. Low water pressure makes it difficult to shower, rinse utensils, or even do laundry. Common causes include a water main break and a pipe leak. The buildup of sediment in the faucet aerators, pipes, or showerheads can also cause low water pressure. Resolving this issue should be a priority, and our plumbing experts can help.
- Main water line leak or break: The public delivery line and the supply line bringing water into your home could break. While fixing the former is the local municipality’s responsibility. You’re responsible for repairing the supply line to your home. This calls for heavy equipment and major repairs. Tackling any issue with the water main is among the biggest jobs for any plumber. Depending on how old your home is, resolving the issue might mean replacing your water main.
Household Water Distribution: Understanding How Water Moves Through Your House
Water enters your home through a pipe known as a supply line, usually made of galvanized iron, plastic, or copper. It runs directly to the water heater but splits into two pipe paths known as hot and cold water services.
The cold water service line slopes away from the heater and runs directly to every appliance in your household. Plumbing experts install these pipes in slight downward slopes, straight lines, or 90-degree angles to facilitate better flow.
The other pipe empties into the water heater tank, which triggers a sensor at the base of the tank to send a message to the heating element. It applies heat to the water tank and warms up the water. It takes time to heat water, and the heater maintains a certain quantity in the tank for immediate use. If you run out of hot water during a long shower, you’ve used up these reserves. You won’t be able to get any more hot water until more water floods the tank and activates the heating element. Hot water service lines originate from the water heater and run parallel to the cold service lines.
Every appliance in your home has hot and cold water settings as intake pipes connecting with the hot and cold water lines. The intake pipe connections ensure that the appliance can receive hot and cold water, and turning the valves on at the same time is the only time hot and cold connections collide.
Suppose you have a leak in the bathroom and need to shut off the water temporarily until a plumber can take care of the repairs. Shutting off the entire water supply into your home doesn’t make sense in such a case. This is where stop valves come in – you’ll find them throughout your home. There is one at the point where water enters your home, and it can be helpful when you need to shut off water to prevent frozen pipes or during a vacation. Other places you’ll find stop valves include beneath sinks and toilets. They make it easy to isolate areas that need replacement or repair work.
Common Plumbing Problems with Water Distribution
Plumbing problems related to water distribution are expected for most homeowners in Arlington, TX. We can only hope the hot and cold supply lines are functioning well since we can’t see them. However, certain signs point to a plumbing problem. We’ve identified common plumbing problems to help you know if you’re dealing with faulty water distribution problems and need a plumber.
- Dripping faucets: According to the EPA, a leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second wastes over 3000 gallons. That’s a lot of wasted water, which you have to pay for. In addition, all that excess water can create patches of rust in metallic fixtures, which can lead to more leaks. If the faucet leaks onto wood, it can lead to rot and breed mold. Call a professional plumber to repair or replace the dripping faucet.
- Running toilet: A small running toilet can waste 20-30 gallons of water each day. If you can’t get your toilet to stop running after a few handle jiggles, place a service call to Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth to have a plumber sent over. The plumber will get to the root of the problem in no time.
- Water heater not working: The most common problem with a water heater is providing too little or no hot water. Other issues include corrosion or rust in the tank, sediment due to the buildup of mineral deposits, leaking, and valves giving way and causing flooding. Most of these issues require the services of a professional plumber.
- Leaky pipes: Like dripping faucets, leaking pipes can cause a lot of water wastage and damage to your home, including wood rot, corrosion of metallic fixtures, and creating breeding grounds for mold, bacteria, and viruses. You can save up to 10% on your water bill by fixing such leaks. So don’t hesitate to call a plumber if you suspect a pipe leak.
- Burst pipes: Plumbing pipes become old and brittle with time, especially in places with hard water or corrosive metals that eat away at the pipe material. Whatever the case, burst pipes are hazardous and a costly plumbing issue to fix. Besides wasting water, it can reduce the pressure of your water supply and cause contaminants to enter your water supply. Enlisting the help of a local plumber in Arlington, TX, will ensure that pipes are restored to optimal working conditions.
Household Water Drainage: Understanding How Water Leaves Your Home
Water has to flow back out once it’s used, and that’s where the drainage portion of the plumbing system comes into play. It relies on gravity to drain wastewater away from the homestead and into a septic field or a municipal wastewater system.
It consists of three main components:
- drain pipes
- drain traps
- drain vents
Drainpipes take waste from the fixtures to the main sewer line out of the house. They slope down for better flow, relying on air pressure and gravity to remove wastewater quickly. Drain pipes are also bigger than the hot and cold water supply lines, allowing them to carry waste without blocking.
Drain traps are U-shaped pipes used to prevent backflow into your plumbing system. Their curvature allows them to hold water consistently. This ensures that sewer gas doesn’t get into your home and turn into a stink-fest. These traps also allow debris like hair and grease to sediment, which keeps it from clogging the drainpipe down the line.
Water flows through a closed system can be chaotic, and this is where drain vents come into play. The system runs from the roof and releases air into the drainpipe, ensuring smooth drainage.
Common Water Drainage Problems You Should Know About
It’s easy to spot most home drainage problems and keep them from becoming a more significant issue. Here are a few to watch out for:
- Clogged and sluggish drains: Water backing up as you take a shower or empty a sink is a telling sign of a clogged drain. The signs are more immediate in the case of a clogged toilet. The water backs up into the toilet bowl or overflows. The leading cause of a clogged drain is a partial or complete blockage. The leading culprits include hair, toys, or flushing a non-dissolvable item down the toilet. Whatever, removing the clog usually restores your drains to normal. You can use a plunger or tweezers to remove a simple enough blockage, but it’s always best to let a plumber handle clogged drains.
- Sewer line issues: Problems with the sewer line can be disgusting and often occur due to simple blockages. Putting flushable wipes and other stuff that don’t belong down the toilet will eventually lead to a sewer clog. In older homes that have clay pipes, chipping or breakage leaves you with a disagreeable. Having a plumber replace the sewer pipes is usually the best course of action in such cases. Whatever the issue with your sewer line, a professional plumber in Arlington, TX, can take a look and recommend the best solution.
- Wet spots on the lawn: This is more of a sign to watch out for. It could indicate minor grading problems or significant issues like leaking or otherwise damaged sewer systems, water mains, and sewer mains. All of these require immediate mitigation before they turn into utter disasters. Depending on the underlying problem, you may need an expert plumber to resolve it.
- Essential Preventative Plumbing Maintenance Tips for Homeowners: Every homeowner experiences a plumbing problem now and then. Here are preventative maintenance tips to minimize the risk of plumbing issues.
- Create a preventative maintenance schedule: Finding time for household tasks is difficult, especially if you have a busy life. But when it comes to your plumbing system, letting a small problem fester can result in lasting damage. The average cost of plumbing costs is $325, but it can be as high as $3000 or more if the issue is severe. Creating a plumbing maintenance schedule with the help of a local plumbing professional can help avoid such costs.
- Check appliances for leaks: Most appliances connect to a water main. Considering the heavy water use by some of these appliances, leaks are bound to occur. You’ll notice standing puddles or water stains around an appliance with a leak. The best course of action is to check for leaks regularly and schedule repairs as soon as possible.
- Fix leaking faucets and showerheads: Inspecting your faucets and showerheads regularly for leaks can prevent water wastage, an increase in your water bill, and other issues. Ensure that there aren’t any leaks around the handles when you turn the water off. You should also check for water stains and water puddles underneath the sinks to establish if you have a pipe leak. You’ll need to call a plumber right away if you have a leak in your home.
- Keep the drains clear: Pouring a mixture of hot water, baking soda, and vinegar down the drain once a month can help keep your drains clear and prevent clogs. But if you have tried this and still have a persistent problem, you should contact a local plumber in your area.
Keep Water Flowing Through Your Home
There are many twists and turns in your home’s plumbing system, and things could go wrong in plenty of places. If you suspect a problem with your water system, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth. Our team of professional plumbers can handle drain cleaning, leak detection and repairs, pipe breaks, and handle any plumbing problem you could be facing.