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Explaining Major Home Plumbing Features

A blue pipe laid in the ground exposed

Explaining Major Home Plumbing Features

There’s a lot going on in your home, and we’re just talking about what’s behind the walls! Your plumbing system, with its various touchpoints, connections, and appliances, is complex and it can be tough to know exactly what’s necessary in order to maintain it properly.

But don’t worry, because the Lloyds Plumbing team is here to dispel any confusion and break down in a simple way some of the most important components of your home plumbing system. Grab a notepad!

Main Lines

There are two plumbing pipes that often get referred to as “main lines”: your water main and your sewer line. The water main brings water into your home, likely from a municipal source. The sewer or septic line either brings waste from your home to a municipal sewer system or a septic system on your property.

There’s another important line as well: your gas line. If you run natural gas appliances, including a furnace, water heater, stove, or dryer, you’ll have a gas line entering your home from the local municipal gas company.

For your water and gas lines, it’s important to know where your shutoff valve is located in order to cut the supply in the event of an emergency with either.

Drain Traps

At every drain, there’s something called a p-trap (named for the way the pipe is shaped). Instead of a straight line between your drain and the rest of your pipeline, there’s a quick curve in the pipe before it continues straight.

In that trap, water pools, creating a seal. That seal prevents sewer gas from traveling back up your drain and into your home.

Water Heaters

Your home is equipped with a water heating appliance. The majority of homes use tank storage heaters, which keep a few dozen or so gallons of water in a giant metal tank. The heater is set to a certain temperature and keeps the water around that temperature, ready for you to use. So, when that hot water is called up for duty by your shower, sink, or dishwasher, it’s ready to go. The tank then replaces that water with cold water, and the cycle continues.

Another option for water heating is through a tankless heater. This type of system heats water as you use it, so there’s no giant storage tank. These units are becoming more popular as homeowners look to take advantage of energy efficiency and space savings.

Water Filtration

While water is usually treated before it gets to your home, it still may not be of great quality. There may be contaminants that make your water taste bad or even unhealthy. A whole-home water filter is a great solution to have fresh, clean water at every tap.

Many homeowners opt for a source filter, either at the tap or in a pitcher. While this helps with cooking and drinking water, you still have to think about the water used in your washing machine, shower, and sinks.

Separate from water purification is the issue of water hardness. Hard water contains excessive amounts of certain minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium. These minerals affect the chemical reaction water has with your plumbing pipes, fixtures, and appliances. Hard water will leave behind green or white limescale around fixtures and inside pipes, eventually clogging them. Hard water can also make your skin and hair feel dry and prevent soap from properly lathering.

A water softener, or softening and purification combo, is necessary to treat hard water.

Absolute Service Since 1965

The Lloyds Plumbing team has been providing customers with reliable plumbing services for decades and is dedicated to helping you, too. Contact our team today at (805) 495-8766 to learn more about our variety of services.