Plumbing In Your Home 101: What You Need To Know

Plumbing In Your Home 101: What You Need To Know

Do you know how the plumbing works in your home? Not many people realize that water actually moves through their plumbing and around their home via gravity. They also often don’t understand how many parts are involved to bring in fresh water and take wastewater out. To learn more about how the plumbing in your home works, here’s what you need to know.

The Meter 

When water enters your home, it passes through a meter that is designed to register your water usage and detect leaks in the home or a drought in the area.  In most homes, it’s installed inside the house close to the main water line. If installed outside, it’ll likely be housed on the lawn or near the sidewalk within a box that’s clearly marked. Often, meters are placed directly on the side of the house as well.

Water Shut Off Valve 

In the case of an emergency, there’s a water shut off valve in the home. Some systems will also have individual shut off valves located near each fixture. It’s wise to let all your family members or tenants know exactly where the water shut off valves are located in case of a water backup or leak. 

Water Supply System 

Water enters the house below the frost line by way of the water supply line. It then splits into two lines – one that is already filled with cold water and one that connects to the water heater. These lines eventually travel to the fixtures or appliances to provide water in your home. 

Drain Pipes 

Unlike supply systems, drainage systems do not rely on the pressure but rather on gravity to pull the waste down. The vents on top of your roof are connected to the waste drains to pull air in that directs the wastewater down to the sewer drain and then out to the municipal sewer system or septic system. 

Vent Pipes 

Drains require ventilation. The air admitted by the vent stack and pipes keeps the traps properly sealed and works to prevent any sewer gases from coming back up the vents.  

Pipes and Fittings 

Pipes are what holds the water, and the fittings manipulate the flow. With pipes, all you need to do is pick the right size and material, but fittings are much more complex. That’s why it’s always important to speak with a plumber when trying to fix or change out a pipe. 

Plumbing Fixtures 

The plumbing system distributes water to the fixtures so that the water can be released. The main plumbing fixtures include toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showerheads, and sinks.  


All plumbing fixtures such as your sinks, shower, and bathtubs will have a drain trap that is designed to prevent smelly sewer gases from backing up in your home. It looks like a curved S-shape section of pipe found underneath a drain. Fixtures often have other traps like grease traps found in the kitchen sinks to collect grease that could cause a clog. 

As you can see, your plumbing system is made up of much more than just the fixtures that you constantly interact with. Behind the scenes, there are traps, vents, pipes, and fittings that all need to be the proper type, size, and material to do their job. That’s why it’s always wise to call in a plumber if you experience any plumbing issues – they’ll know exactly what to do, and they’ll ensure it’s fixed right the first time. At Faucet Fix, our team of licensed plumbers can tackle any plumbing related issues in your home. Get in touch today!

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