Construction

How Your Plumbing System Works (and How to Keep it Working)

We all rely on the plumbing systems in our homes to keep our space comfortable and functional. But how many of us understand how our plumbing system actually works? Most of us are pretty much entirely in the dark, which can make calling the plumber feel like calling in a magician. We may not even know what sort of regular maintenance our plumbing systems need.

The systems that make our homes comfortable and functional can be complex, but it’s a great idea to learn a bit more about how they work! Knowing the basics will give you an appreciation for the importance and complexity of your plumbing system, which will drive home just how vital it is for us to provide it with the upkeep it requires.

Your plumbing system has two main tasks. Its first task is to deliver fresh water to all of the sinks, showers, toilets, washing machines, and other plumbing fixtures and appliances in your home. Its second task, of course, is the reciprocal one. Your plumbing system is responsible for taking wastewater from your drains, toilet flushes, and so on, and getting all of that wastewater out of your space.

Your fresh water may come from a well or from a municipal water supply. Your wastewater may be delivered to a municipal sewer system or may head to a septic tank on your own property (if you have a septic tank, you can consider that a vital part of your plumbing system itself). But either way, your plumbing system will consist of two sets of pipes running in parallel directions and handling opposite tasks: one sending fresh water out of your faucets, and one taking the water that goes down the drain and getting it out of there. The drain system consists of drain pipes coming together to join larger pipes, which then usher the wastewater out of the home.

Designing a plumbing system isn’t easy, but engineers are very clever in how they go about it. Water flows downhill, of course, thanks to gravity, so your plumbing system makes use of that fact. Where water must go up — to reach a second-floor shower, for instance — your plumbing system uses other means to get it there, taking advantage of pressure and gravity (as well as some important pumps) to ensure that all of the water in your system flows in the direction that it should.

Your plumbing system is clever and powerful, but it’s not immune to wear and tear. Pipes can spring leaks, pumps can break down, and other parts of your plumbing can suffer issues as they age and deal with the stress of their various jobs.

Fortunately, you don’t need anything more than the rudimentary understanding of your plumbing system that we just established in order to protect it. All you need to know is that you should contact a plumber to handle repairs and maintenance — and that you should be proactive about your plumbing system’s needs, say the experts at Miranda Home Services. Plumbing problems require plumbing solutions, and neglecting issues with your plumbing system will only allow them to worsen and spread. That could mean higher costs when it comes time to repair your plumbing (one startling fact about maintenance costs is that deferred home maintenance is connected to foreclosures, statistically speaking), so take our advice: invest in preventative maintenance and tackle repair work as soon as the opportunity arises. If you do this, you’ll end up spending less than you would if you were to ignore the problem.