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Facts about interior plumbing
The first fact about interior plumbing that you need to know is that plumbing is governed by the rules of nature, namely the basic law of gravity, which means that all of the water flowing through your homes pipes is seeking one thing: the lowest point possible.
All homes have two basic systems: one that brings the clean, freshwater into your home, and one that takes the dirty, wastewater out after it has been used. In order for the water to make its way upwards, to your first and second floors, there needs to be a fair amount of pressure in the pipes. If there’s no pressure in your plumbing, then the freshwater coming into your house isn’t going to make it to the desired destination; rather, if there is no pressure to force it upwards, then it will seek the lowest point in the plumbing system. The system’s that bring water in and take it out are separate, with their own separate network of pipes. They do meet up, however, at fixtures such as showers and sinks, anything where you have hot and cold water.
When you turn on the tap for cold water, the water entering your house is delivered and is ready for you to use or consume. However, if it’s the hot water tap that you’re turning, then there are some extra facts about plumbing you should known. Hot water, obviously, needs to be heated, it doesn’t enter your home already heated. Your home’s plumbing has a pipe that is connected to the main entrance for water to your home; it leads to your home’s hot water heater. The heater obviously heats the water; then its carried through a system of pipes leaving the heater and going to all of your faucets. There is a thermostat on the hot water heater which you can adjust; plumbers suggest you keep your hot water heater at between 120 and 160 degrees fahrenheit. The lower the temperature, the less energy you are using, so the lower the electricity bill! In a climate like Florida, you can afford to lower your water’s temperature to 120; some dishwashers need a temperature of hot water that is slightly more than that, though.
There is a place where all of the water enters your house; if you have a water meter, this is where it will be, reading the amount of water coming in. This is also where the valve to shut off your home’s water supply should be located. Why is this important to know? Because if you have a burst pipe, you will want to shut off the water supply as fast as possible to minimize flooding and damages.
For the system of pipes that make up the exit of used, or wastewater, gravity is the ruling factor. Whereas pressure is what brings water in and pushes it around your plumbing system, gravity is what gets the water out. All of the exit pipes in your house’s plumbing are all angled downwards. The top of your home will have a vent related to this system; they let air into the pipe system. If this vent gets clogged (birds nest, debris, ice, snow, etc), and no air can get in, then your drains won’t drain and your toilets won’t flush.
These are some basic facts about your home’s interior plumbing that will help you identify the source of problems and help you keep your plumbing system properly maintained. Remember, when in doubt or in case of emergency, make sure you give a local Jacksonville plumber a call. Don’t try and fix things if you have doubts.