Types of Plumbing Systems (Unique Features, Functions, Purpose, etc.)

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When you think about your plumbing system, you may consider only the toilets, showers, and sinks. There is a lot more to your plumbing system than meets the eye. In fact, the plumbing system in your home is highly complicated.

All plumbing components are attached to a series of pipes that either deliver water to the residence or usher away waste. Below, we will explain the different types of plumbing systems, their features, and their purposes.

Types of Plumbing Systems in Homes

There are three types of plumbing systems in homes. Sanitary drainage, potable water, and stormwater drainage systems all work to protect homes, businesses, and roadways against water damage while providing for your water needs.

What Is a Sanitary Drainage System?

The sanitary drainage system in your home gets rid of wastewater. Wastewater comes from doing the dishes, washing clothes, or putting food down the drain at your disposal.

Sanitary drainage systems are designed with a series of plumbing pipes that carry wastewater away from your home and take it to the municipal treatment plant. These systems are essential for protecting your family against exposure to sewage.

What Are the Components of a Sanitary Drainage System?

The sanitary drainage system, sometimes referred to as the sewer system, contains multiple parts that work together as a single system. The following are the components.

  • Every drain and appliance that uses water has a drain pipe connected.
  • Most drains contain traps that are bent in the pipe. These traps prevent sewer gases from entering your home.
  • The main drain line connects to all the drains throughout your home. This drain is larger than the other drains in your home.
  • Ventilation pipes control the amount of air inside the pipes to keep waste flowing.
  • The main cleanout allows access to the main drain line so it can be flushed.
  • The sewer lateral connects your home to the main line after the cleanout.
  • The sewer main is the main line that connects every home in your neighborhood to the sewer treatment plant.

What Is a Potable Water System?

Potable water is safe for consumption. The potable water system of your home delivers water for drinking, flushing toilets, taking showers, and many more tasks.

The potable water system contains a series of pipes all connected to a singular system. Most potable water systems have a valve attached that allows homeowners to shut off the water supply, such as in the event of a leak.

Most potable water systems also have a meter attached. The municipal water provider uses this meter to determine how much to charge you for water usage each month.

Components of Potable Water Systems

Potable water systems have more components than the other types. The following are some of the main components of these systems.

  • The main line runs from the municipal plant to your home, delivering treated water ready to drink.
  • Your home has a series of plumbing lines that connect with the main line to deliver potable water to all the faucets in your home.
  • Faucets feature valves. When turned on, these valves open to allow water to flow into your sinks, tubs, or showers.
  • Your home also has a shut-off valve that allows you to shut off the main water supply to the home.

Stormwater Drainage System

You have likely seen a stormwater drainage system but may not realize what it is or how it operates. Have you ever noticed those small holes on the sidewalk or the metal grates that go over storm drains? These are part of the stormwater drainage system.

The water that goes down a stormwater drainage system goes to a storm sewer where it will eventually head to the water treatment plant. The gutters of your home are also an integral part of the stormwater drainage system.

Leave Your Plumbing Systems in the Hands of Certified Plumbers

As you can see, there are many components to your plumbing system. Homeowners are often surprised to learn the complexity of the systems because they do not see many of the components.

Most of your plumbing system is hidden behind walls, ceilings, flooring, and under the ground. What you cannot see could suffer damage without your knowledge.

Although plumbing systems seem cut and dry, they are more complex than meets the eye. Leave your home’s plumbing system in the hands of professionals.

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