The plumbing of your house is like the intestines of your gut; a bit gross, important not to get blocked up and you never want to see them! Plumbing plays a big role in your household, it is vital to keeping your house warm as most home heating systems such as central heating or underfloor heating require pipes full of hot water to function properly. Just like your intestines your pipes and fittings require maintenance and care to avoid having to replace them.
A home plumbing system has three key elements. The water supply system, the appliances and the fixtures (such as your boiler, toilet and washing machine) and the drainage system. Water enters your home via the main water supply line. Knowing where your water mains are is handy in times of burst pipes or flooding- so find it and remember where it is. If you need help finding it The Family Handy Man: How to find your gas and water shutoff valves will give you a good indicator.
Once inside you home, a very important pipe splits off- the hot water pipe! This is the necessary piece for all home heating, hot showers, clean dishes, everything you can think of that needs hot water. This runs to your boiler and hot water cylinder and then pumps hot water to wherever it is needed around the home. A cold water pipe runs alongside the hot water pipes to all the places that need both hot and cold water, like baths and kitchen taps.
Wastewater then enters the drainage system, which usually works entirely through gravity. First it enters a U-shaped pipe (a trap), which has standing water and prevents sewer smells entering your home. Then the wastewater flows through a series of pipes, moving downwards towards a vent pipe system that mixes fresh air with the water to prevent suction from slowing, or even stopping, the water drainage. Vent pipes are connected to the roof, which is where they bring the air in. Be aware that leaves and other debris can block the vent pipes at the roof end, and so they need to be cleared regularly. Once the water and air have mixed, the solution flows towards the main waste and vent stack, where it then flows out your home along the sewer line.
It is important to get to know your pipes, especially how they can be controlled and gauged. The temperature, flow and pressure of pipes is measured with gauges that are attached to the outside of the pipe. Attached to the gauge is little knob that you can rotate to increase or decrease the temperature and pressure as you desire. Do be careful not to go to high or you will wreak havoc with the pipes; it is important to monitor pressure, temperature and flow, as too much of any of these can cause bursts, leaks, and other forms of expensive damage. Nowadays most pipes are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) but some are made from copper. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, for example PVC is more resistant to corrosion but can cause to water to have a slight plastic taste. On the other hand copper is better in an earthquake as it is more flexible, but it is more expensive. When making an informed decision view the complete list of pros and cons to make sure you make the best choice in pipes for your home.
Keep track of how many litres of water your household is using with metering. Metering can be done manually, but if you don’t want the meter man crushing your prized roses with great, big, stomping books then Hydrolink Metering will be better for you. Hydrolink is a M-Bus hard wired system, this means it is wireless and the meter man can collect information on how much water you have used remotely. All they have to do is be within transmission range. This prevents the errors caused by manual reading and keeps for flowers safe! For more information on Hydrolink visit us here.
Luckily for us all Waterware has everything we need to keep our plumbing safe, working and up-to-date. Just look at our website or call our great staff (+64 9 273-9191) for a chat and to find out more about our great range of plumbing supplies; pipes, fittings, gauges, boilers and water systems. All the necessary things to keep your pipes and your home running smoothly!