The Importance of Plumbing in Your Home

Plumbing is essential for all buildings and ensures occupants access to clean water, safe gas, and proper waste disposal. It involves a complex network of pipes, fixtures, and fittings.


A plumber’s job is to install, repair, and maintain these systems. They must adhere to building codes and standards their government’s governing body sets. Contact Bryco Plumbing for professional help.

The water heater is an appliance that holds and keeps a large amount of hot water ready for use. Dishwashers, laundry machines, showers and tubs all rely on the water heater to heat incoming cold water to the desired temperature before it can be used in your home. Most household water heaters are the tank type, which hold 75-400 L (20-100 US gallons). They are powered by electricity, natural gas, propane, heating oil or solar energy.

Inside a typical residential water heater is a large cylindrical vessel with a glass liner that sits on top of the metal shell. A heavy-duty insulating blanket covers the entire surface of the tank, and there is a copper, iron or steel pipe that diverts effluent from the drain valve to a sturdy heat-resistant drain pan. This protects the floor and surrounding individuals from extreme heat should a hot water heater fail or rupture.

There is a gas or electric heating element at the bottom of the tank that will keep the water heated until it reaches your desired temperature. There is also a thermometer that monitors the water temperature and will turn on or off the heating element accordingly. The dip tube brings in cold water from your home’s water lines to the interior base of the tank and the hot water supply line is located at the top. Since hot water is less dense than cold water, it rises to the top. Once it is used, a new batch of cold water enters the tank to replenish the hot water being consumed.

A drain valve is also found on the bottom of the tank and a shut-off valve is located outside the tank, above it. A water pump is typically included with gas tank water heaters, but a electric water pump can be purchased for an electrical unit.

Another option is a tankless water heater, which does not have a storage tank and instead heats the water as it flows through the unit. This eliminates standby energy losses and can save you money on your utility bills. There are pros and cons to each, so we recommend talking with an experienced plumber to determine which option is best for your home.

Valves and Pipes

Valves are vital to the operation of a plumbing system because they help regulate water flow and pressure. They are found throughout a plumbing system and come in various styles, each designed for a specific function. Some examples of valves include gate, ball, globe, and butterfly valves.

Gate valves are the most common type of valve in a plumbing system, and they feature a wedge-shaped metal gate that can be lowered to stop the flow of water or raised to allow the flow of water to continue. Gate valves can be easily damaged if the gates are not opened or closed correctly. This can wear away the valve’s internal parts and cause leaks.

Ball valves are similar to gate valves in that they both contain a perforated, pivoting ball sitting inside of a tubular body. The difference is that a ball valve features a lever handle, which makes it easier for homeowners to shut off their water. Ball valves can be set to either be all the way open or completely closed, which allows or restricts the flow of water.

A globe valve is a type of valve that features a bulge in the center of its body, which gives it a unique appearance. These types of valves are often used for industrial purposes, but they can also be seen in residential plumbing applications. They are commonly used to control and throttle the flow of water in applications such as water towers and firefighting hoses.

In addition to regulating the flow of water, valves can also help prevent backflow and keep water moving in the right direction. These are accomplished through a variety of methods, including swing check valves, which use a flapper that is forced into position by water flowing the wrong way. Other types of check valves use diaphragms and spring-mounted discs to accomplish the same task.

While most people do not think about their pipes or valves on a daily basis, they play an extremely important role in keeping the plumbing system in good working condition. Without them, the pipes would not be able to transport water or other liquids throughout the house, and they would not be able to maintain proper pressure and temperature. Additionally, valves are crucial in minimizing damage to the building in the event of a pipe failure or replacement.

Drainage System

Drainage plumbing has two essential tasks: it carries water away from features such as sinks and showers, and it removes wastewater. This latter function is crucial, as it protects you from health risks and disgusting messes in the event of a failing or clogged drainage pipe. Because it carries hazardous waste, plumbing drains must be protected from accidental human contact. The pipes are usually covered with heavy, hefty covers for this reason. They also are sealed with traps that prevent noxious gases from entering buildings. Traps come in several varieties, but most drain systems use either S- or P-traps. S-traps typically go with toilet plumbing, while P-traps go with kitchen and bath drains.

Plumbing drains work with gravity, not pressure, to carry used water and waste away from appliances. Each fixture has its own drainage pipe that leads to a main drain pipe, which in turn connects to a sewer line. A public sewer system is a network of high-capacity drainage pipes that serves a community of residential homes. It includes the main sewer line and the lateral sewer lines that connect to it. A home’s drain pipes are connected to the public sewer system through a manhole or inspection chamber.

The main drain pipe in a house carries all waste water to the municipal sewer line. It typically runs horizontally, with a slight slope, under the lowest level of a building. It may also run vertically to a sewer manhole or into a septic tank and field. The septic system is a separate system of drains that collects and disposes of household waste and sewage. It consists of a series of tanks, leach fields and drains connected by a system of pumps, piping and valves.

Most drainage pipes are made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, because it’s inexpensive and flexible enough to bend around tight corners. However, steel and copper are also common choices for plumbing drains because they are durable. Because the pipes are under such heavy loads, they must be sturdy and strong enough to resist corrosion and rusting.

Sewer System

Sewer systems are the infrastructure that transports wastewater and sewage from homes and businesses to treatment centers. They are responsible for reducing water pollution by removing contaminants from the wastewater. The system is made up of several components including collection pipes, lift stations, screens, and flow meters.

A sanitary sewer system is a network of sloped piped drains that transport human waste away from buildings and homes. This wastewater is then sent to a sewage treatment plant where it can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. A sanitary sewer system is usually comprised of tiny plumbing pipes inside your house that connect to larger ones outdoors, until it enters the street’s main sewer line.

The sewage then moves to local sewers that are owned and operated by the city or town sewer department. Most sewage flows by gravity until it gets to flat municipalities where pumps are required. There are typically several thousand miles of local sewers pipes in a municipality.

As the sewage moves through the pipes, it will pass through filters that remove large objects such as plastic and logs. After that, it will move to a grit chamber where sand and small particles will settle down to form sludge. Once the sludge is separated from the water, the sewage will travel to a lift station that will pump it up to the sewer treatment plant.

A sewage treatment plant will remove any toxic chemicals and heavy metals from the sewage before it is discharged into the environment. This process is extremely important to prevent the toxins from entering the marine life in ocean waters or potentially hurting people if they are used as fertilizers on land.