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Plumbing 101: How plumbing sub-systems work

Knowledge has always been power, and it’s important to know enough about your plumbing system to communicate with a professional about what it is they need to fix. This week, eieihome spoke with Wayne Rampersaud, a technician with Drain Rescue, a GTA residential and commercial plumbing company, about how the plumbing sub-systems in your home function.

Water Supply System

A water supply system brings water into your home as supplied by the municipality from the street.  It then splits the water making it available to all sinks, toilets, bathtubs and all other water using features in your house.  “The equipment needed for this is a series of complex pipes that run throughout your household and are commonly made of plastic or copper and occasionally galvanized iron,” says Rampersaud.

Drain-Waste-Vent System

While not entirely glamorous, the drain-waste-vent-system is entirely necessary. This is what takes all dirty water, from showers and baths along with waste from toilets, and delivers it to the sewer or septic tanks. By ventilating the gasses out of the home, you avoid potential health risks and unfortunate odours. This system also helps to maintain proper water pressure for drainage. “We’ve found that the most common problems with these systems are clogged drains,” Rampersaud tells eieihome.

Kitchen Plumbing

The majority of plumbing in the kitchen is going to be found beneath your sink, from hot and cold supply lines to a waste line.  More than likely you will be able to find the hookup for your dishwasher here as well, as the same water-pipe will be pumping water into it as well as your sink.

Bathroom Plumbing

From bathtubs and showers to sinks and toilets, your bathroom is the one room in your house with the single most plumbing available to it. A full two systems are required for a functioning bathroom, the water-supply and the drain-waste-vent system. In order for this system to work properly, air pressure is needed for the waste to flow freely. This is done through vent pipes located by each sink, shower, tub and toilet, which exhaust sewer gases up and out of the roof

A fundamental understanding of the plumbing in your home can mean the difference between a quick fix and hours of labour while the plumbing technician tries to discern the problem.

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