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Most people do not really think much about their plumbing until something goes wrong and they need to call an emergency plumbing service. As a homeowner, it is worth your time to familiarize yourself with your home’s plumbing. This way, you will be able to troubleshoot the problem and take steps to prevent it from worsening.
To help you get better acquainted with your home’s plumbing, let’s take a look at some plumbing basics. The plumbing system in your home consists of a series of pipes, fittings, fixtures, faucets, and drains. Essentially, there are two subsystems that make up the entire plumbing system.
Fresh Water Supply Lines
Fresh Water Supply Lines
One subsystem consists of the fresh water supply line that is connected from outside your home. If you have city water, then your water is supplied by your local city. If you have well water, then your water is pumped up from the ground and into the home.
Your well is also part of your home’s plumbing system since it is the primary source of fresh water to the home. You will have a few additional components that include different types of pumps, a bladder tank, and a pressure gauge.
Part of this first subsystem is the water main shutoff valve. It is normally located in the area where the primary water supply line is attached to your home’s fresh water supply line.
Another part of this subsystem is the split in plumbing pipes for both hot and cold water. Hot water lines run from your hot water tank to each of your faucets within the home. Cold water lines are normally run in parallel to the hot water pipes and also are connected to all of the faucets in the home.
The only exceptions are for garden hose attachments on the exterior of the home and toilets, as these are always cold water lines. Underneath each sink and toilet will be one or more shut-off valves. These valves are used to shut off the water in the event of a leak or when repairing or installing new faucets and fixtures.
Sewer and Drain Lines
Sewer and Drain Lines
The second subsystem consists of your drainage and sewer lines. Depending on the age of your home, this can be one continuous series of pipes, all connected to each other, along with backflow seals and piping used as air vents to release sewer gases.
In newer homes, you may have two separate subsystems—one for sewage and another for graywater drainage. Graywater is the wastewater from sinks, showers, washer machines, and dishwashers that is fairly clean.
It can be used to water the yard or wash your car if you have a septic system that collects graywater. It can also be recycled by your local city for watering public parks and other such areas.

Now that you have a better understanding of your home’s plumbing system, it will be easier to identify which part of the system is having problems when they occur. To schedule emergency or normal plumbing repair service, including septic system services, please feel free to contact A+ Service at (360) 491-2900 today!