What is Plumbing

home plumbing system
Photo: preferredplumber.com

Although the plumbing in your home may seem complicated, it really comes down to two simple systems: one for bringing water to your home and another to draw
away waste and used water.

In coming water supply. see photo.The most common kinds of pipes used in homes are copper and galvanized iron. Plastic piping is now being used more and more as technology gets over problems such as high water temperatures. At present, copper is probably the most desirable material for piping because it is non-rust and does not build up scale which can clog galvanized piping. Rust, which can occur in galvanized pipes, not only discolors and “tastes” water, but can stain fixtures and clothing washed in it.

Because the water reaching your home is under pressure, you have only to turn on a tap and the pressure forces the water out. This pressure also ensures that the water can travel wherever it is needed, upstairs, around corners or whatever. All the water comes to your home as cold water. lt is fed through pipes to all cold water outlets and one part of the cold water system carries water to the water heater. From here, the hot water is carried to the required fixtures such as shower and kitchen sink.

Water heaters

There are several different water heating systems you can have installed. The simplest is the instantaneous type which supplies hot water to one or more outlets. Turning on the tap automatically switches on the water heater, whether it is gas or electric operated. Another heater is the storage type which has a tank or cylinder in which heated water is stored until drawn off, when cold water comes into the tank to replace it. Storage heaters contain their own heating element and the tank is usually sited near the main draw-off point, such as the kitchen. Storage heaters come in different forms. It may heat and store water during periods of low fuel demand (called off-peak). Ask about various kinds of water heating at your supplier.

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