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Plumbing 101

At its core, plumbing is very basic as it follows three simple laws of nature:

  1. Gravity
  2. Pressure
  3. Water seeking its own level.

If you can understand this, then you are on the right path to understanding the mysteries of plumbing. This will aid you in making many fixes in your home’s plumbing system thus saving you heaps of trouble, time and money!

Every home, business or plumbing system is structured with two different subsystems that are very logical. The first system brings fresh and clean water into your house or business. The second system removes it from your home or business. Water that enters your home or business is under pressure, which forces it to travel. This pressure ensures that the it can travel upstairs and wherever it is required in the home or business. To monitor the amount of usage in your location, the water travels through a meter.

All plumbing systems contain a main shutoff or stop value. Generally, this is located close to the meter. In most plumbing emergencies, the first thing to do is locate the stop valve to turn the water inflow off. Its important you turn the supply off quickly, as your house or business will be flooded in no time.

However, should you discover that the plumbing issue is located in a sink or toilet, then you do not need to use the shutoff to stop supply to the whole system. It is very common that most fixtures have a stop valve to prevent further flooding.

Cold water incoming to the house or business is immediately ready for your usage. However, your hot water will require another step prior to your use. A pipe carries the cold water to your hot water system. From the heating system, a pipe transports it to all taps and appliances that require use. In order to maintain the temperature on the heater system, a thermostat maintains the temperature that you set. The devices heating elements automatically turn on and off to maintain your desired temperature. The recommended water temperature for a home is somewhere between 140 degrees F and 160 degrees F. However, some homeowners set the temperature to 120 degrees F as its more economical.

Additionally, it is common that some dishwashers require high water temperatures to help with the drying process. In these cases, the dishwasher will contain their own mini heaters to increase the temperature by an additional 20 degrees F.

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