Your home’s plumbing system may seem like a mystery. While you can leave the unraveling of most of those mysteries to us here at J.W. Freeman Plumbing, there are some parts of the system you need to familiarize yourself with. Understand your home’s plumbing a little better with this quick guide to knowing the difference between your water supply lines and your sewage pipes.
What is the Water Supply Line?
All the water entering your home comes from the water supply line. If you’re on a municipal water system, this connects to the water mains on the street. For homes relying on wells, this is a line that runs between the well and the home. They’re always buried until they reach the home, where they enter below the slab, or into a crawl space. Well, water supply lines aren’t metered, so they enter the home through the crawlspace or below the slab in most cases. From that main supply line, the freshwater system branches into smaller supply lines that run to the sinks, toilets, and tubs throughout the home.
Where Are the Shutoff Valves?
Individual supply lines at toilets or washing machines should feature a stop valve to let you immediately cut off any overflowing or damaged fixtures. These shutoff valves allow you to cut off just one or two fixtures at a time without interrupting the flow to the rest of the house. However, knowing the valve for each fixture or feature isn’t an alternative to familiarity with the location of the main shutoff valve. Located on the main water supply, it’s either a circular or straight-handled valve that cuts off the entire water supply.
What are Cleanouts?
Plumbing cleanouts are located on the sewage system, which involves a larger diameter pipe than the water supply lines. These are caps or covers on the sewage pipe to give access to recurring cleaning. Some may be located on the pipes in the basement while others rise up on a few inches of PVC pipe outside in the lawn to connect to buried pipes. While you shouldn’t open these cleanouts yourself, you should know where they are so you can advise any of our plumbers that stop by.
What Plumbing Tools Should You Keep on Hand?
For quick responses to common plumbing emergencies, keep a kit that includes:
- Absorbent shop towels or rags
- Quality plunger
- Drain zip tool or plastic snake
- Adjustable pipe wrench
- Pipe tape
help with understanding your home’s plumbing system.