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An Overview of Your Home’s Plumbing System

pipes-layoutYour home’s plumbing is not a huge mystery. You know that water comes in from the water company, or perhaps from a private well on the property, and then drains to the sewer lines, or possibly out to a septic tank on your property. Most plumbing systems have the same parts and inner workings, but there may still be some components of your home’s sewer and water system you’re unsure about—and that’s okay!

The professional plumbers at VOGT Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to tell you the basics about your plumbing system. And when something goes wrong, you don’t have to worry about the rest.  

Appliances and Fixtures

The appliances and fixtures in your home are, of course, the parts you interact with every day. Nearly every plumbing fixture (a faucet or endpoint controlled manually) and plumbing appliance (equipment that uses motors or controls to operate) uses your home’s water lines and drains. Many people don’t realize that clogged drains can affect appliances like a dishwasher just as much as it can affect the sink.

Most appliances and fixtures have a water shutoff valve you can use in case of a leak. Everyone in a home should know the location of these and the main water shut off valve, usually located near the water meter.

Hot and Cold Water Line

The hot and cold water lines in the home gain their pressure from the municipal water supply. Water is already pressurized before it makes its way into your home, unless you have a water well on the property, in which case pressure comes from the well pump.

Water lines can be made of many materials. The most common water lines in use right now are copper and plastic PVC pipe. Water usage is measured through the water meter on your property. From there, water may go through a water treatment system if you have one on your property. At the water heater the water lines separate into hot and cold.

Sewer and Septic Systems

The sewer line underneath your property likely drains out to the municipal sewer system as well, but it may drain to a septic tank on your property. If you have a septic tank, you are responsible for having it pumped every few years. Most sewer lines have a cleanout for easy access when clearing out a major clog.

Drains, Traps, and Vents

The drain lines throughout your home lead to the sewer line. Sinks, fixtures, and appliances all require proper drainage. Some basements may also have floor drains to help control flooding.

Nearly every fixture in your home uses a plumbing trap as well. When you open the cupboard under the sink and see a U-shaped pipe, that’s called a trap. Its job is to block sewer gases from coming into your home, along with the plumbing vents that lead to the top of your home.

For everything you need to know about your plumbing in Minnetonka, MN, and to schedule service, contact the experts at VOGT Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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