Go Back

School Is In With Plumbing Basics


Now that back to school time is here, it is time to dust off your studying skills and get ready to take notes. It is not only while in school that research skills and note-taking is important. As homeowners, we know that any major changes or remodeling are all better with plenty of research and knowledge.

This is particularly important when it comes to the intricacies of your plumbing. Plumbing is a complex setup that can be costly, ineffective, and lead to many inconveniences when not installed, repaired, or set up correctly.

With that in mind, we want to take homeowners back to plumbing basics, so you can make informed decisions based on the importance of a well-working system. Without our plumbing systems, many of our modern conveniences would not be possible.

Get To Know Your Piping System

Your piping system is made up of four different components that all work together to allow everything to work properly. The four components are as follows:

  • pipesystemSupply System- This is the piping that carries the clean water from its source to your various faucets, showers, toilets etc.
  • Stop Valves- Stop valves are the knobs you can find under your sink or toilet that allows you to shut off the water to that particular fixture.
  • Drainpipes- These pipes are how we eliminate the dirty water and waste from our homes into either a septic tank or sewer.
  • Traps- Traps in your plumbing system are typically the S-shaped pipes you see under your sink. These traps have a duel purpose. First, with the help of pressure and gravity, they are a part of the drainage system, but due to the shape, they collect an excessive amount of water. Second, the excess water acts as a barrier between it and any gas from your sewer/septic tank. This stops those gases from filling up in your home.

The four components are then divided up into two subsystems. One subsystem is comprised of your supply system, while the second subsystem is comprised of your drainage.

A Look At Your Kitchen Plumbing

kitchenplumbingYour kitchen is a great example of the two subsystems working together. Your water supply piping brings fresh water to your kitchen faucet. The dirty water then goes down the drain, where it will pass through the trap, and be moved into your septic tank/sewer. You will also find the shut-off valve under the sink.

While this is a very basic look, your kitchen’s plumbing is actually more complicated than that due to the appliances that are also found in the kitchen. Appliances such as your dishwasher, ice machine, and even your washing machine, and hot water heater, are all connected to both subsystems of your plumbing.

Another portion of your plumbing that has yet to be mentioned is your gas line. A gas pipe is part of your overall plumbing system when you have natural gas. While your stove will only need the gas line, appliances such as your water heater will need a supply pipe, distribution pipe, and gas pipe to operate correctly.

Get To Know Your Drainage System

drainageHaving a well-working supply subsystem is imperative to being able to wash, cook, and flush the toilet. Unfortunately, without your drainage, you would not be able to have access to freshwater.

Your drainage system, otherwise known as your drain-waste-vent (DWV) system, is what removes all of your dirty dishwater, clothes water, and toilet waste and uses pressure and gravity to redeposit them in your sewer/septic.

Your drainage system also uses a series of vents to assist it. The vent system helps build up enough pressure for the waste to get to where it needs to be. It also helps release the build-up of gases from the sewer, so they do not back up in your home.

Be Ready To Test Your Knowledge

If you are thinking about a remodel, or you are planning to build a new home, it’s very important that you do have a basic knowledge of your home's plumbing. Plumbing that is installed incorrectly can cause major issues. Pipes that are not set at the right slope, for example, will cause backups and clogs.

Knowing the basics is always important, but it is best to leave the intricacies of plumbing to a trusted professional. Blue River Plumbing & Heating is an experienced plumbing contractor. We are committed to making your plumbing run as smoothly as possible. Give us a call today at (303) 500-3953. We have friendly team members standing by ready to answer your questions!