Plumbing & Heating

Plumbing Systems

Plumbing Basics

Plumbing follows the basic laws of nature encompassing gravity, pressure and water seeking its own suitable level. Understanding this will help you solve problems within your own home plumbing system and save time in the process.

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Plumbing Within the Home

Essentially, the plumbing system of your household is comprised of two separate systems. One systems pumps fresh water in, whilst the other system takes waste products and waste water out. Moreover, the water that comes into your home is under a certain pressure. It comes into your home under enough pressure to makes its way up inclines and around corners, meaning it can come out of your taps and shower system upstairs. Wherever water is needed, the pressure will guide it.

As water enters your property, it travels through a meter that checks the amount you actually go through; thus, generating a bill. The main water shut off, or stop valve is virtually always located close to the water meter. In a plumbing emergency, it is important that the main stop valve is switched off in order to prevent flooding of the property. Furthermore, when a pipe bursts, if the stop valve is not shut off, flooding can unfortunately occur. If an emergency is down to a sink, toilet or bathtub, turning off the main water supply may not always be the best option, as many fitting and features that use water have their own individual stop valves. Therefore, it is best to independently isolates these features according to the manufacturer’s guidebook.

Water derived from the main supply is ready to use for all your cold water needs. Nevertheless, the hot water supplies requires another step to get the tap in a warmed condition. One pipe helps the water travel from your cold water system to the water heater. Once the water has been heated, a hot water line transfers the heated water to all household fixtures, outlets and kitchen/bathroom appliances. A thermostat on the main heater controls, manages and maintains the temperature that you select. This is done by selecting the device’s heating components on or off.

The standard temperature setting for a home water boiler unit system is between 140 degrees F and 160 degrees F. However, having the boiler unit on a temperature of 120 degrees F is acceptable and is often more economical. In addition, some automatic dishwashers need a higher water core temperature; however, many of these units have an inbuilt water heater which increases the temperature of the water to the required amount.

Advances in Home Water Systems

Home water systems have developed significantly in the last decade and plumber call-outs have decreased because a lot of plumbing related problems can be solved by the homeowner. Combi-boilers in many homes only needs servicing once a year and rarely malfunction. Appliances throughout the household can be independently managed and isolated, so problems do not occur throughout a property. Essentially, plumbers are now normally called out to fix major water problems.