Plumbing is a system of pipes and fixtures that distribute potable water and remove wastes. It is usually distinguished from water and sewage systems that serve entire cities or groups of buildings. If you’re interested in plumbing, learning the trade through an apprenticeship or a plumbing trade school program is possible. This will allow you to become licensed as a plumber.
The water supply in a plumbing system refers to the pipes that transport water to different locations in your home. These pipes use different materials to transfer water from the main water line to essential fixtures, such as sinks and showers. The water quality in a plumbing system depends on where it comes from and what it’s used for. For example, surface water can be contaminated with chemicals, motor oil, or sewage waste.
Water distribution systems must be designed and maintained to deliver safe water to end users, so they do not leak. Leaks can be expensive and increase the risk of recontamination of the water as it moves from the source to the consumer. Likewise, groundwater can be contaminated with pesticides or fertilizers injected into soil or runoff from septic tanks.
The drainage system in a plumbing system is responsible for transporting wastewater from sinks, toilets, and showers. It also conveys waste to public sewer and private sewage disposal systems. Drains are also essential for removing surface water from buildings and gardens. This ensures that rainwater can flow off and not cause soil erosion and mud build-up.
Typically, drain pipes are shaped to make them play the forces of gravity to their advantage when transporting wastewater. They are larger than water supply pipes to handle larger amounts of waste and prevent clogs that could lead to unpleasant smells, dirty water, and poor water quality. There are two drainage piping systems: fixture and branch drain. Fixture drains are the visible pipes that everyone is familiar with, such as sink and shower drains.
The ventilation system is part of your plumbing system that helps regulate air pressure inside. This allows your drainage pipes to work properly and move waste and water from sinks, toilets, and showers through the pipes to the city sewer or septic lines. Your plumbing vents are located on the roof of your house and help prevent negative pressure from developing in your drainage pipes that can lead to slow drains and other issues. Negative pressure is created when air is trapped in your home’s plumbing system, leading to gurgling sounds and stagnant water in sinks or other drains.
The ventilation system also prevents odors and noxious gasses from entering your home from the sewers, which can cause nausea and dizziness. This is accomplished using a special vent called an air admittance valve (AAV), which opens when waste drains and closes by gravity to prevent odors and gasses from entering your home.
A plumbing system is an intricate network of pipes carrying water, sewage, and power. These systems have been around for centuries and are vital to maintaining a home. A properly installed plumbing system should be able to handle the demands of a modern family. A reputable plumber should be able to recommend the best materials, design, and installation methods to ensure your home is safe and functional for years to come.
There are many ways to put a plumbing system to the test, but they need to match the efficiency of a properly designed and maintained system. A properly installed and tested plumbing system should deliver a steady stream of cold, hot, clean water to all areas of your home while handling all of your waste with ease. The best way to see if yours is up to snuff is to schedule an appointment.
Plumbing contractors are licensed by their communities or states, which vary from state to state. Typically, they need at least two to five years of experience and have passed a test testing their trade knowledge. Some plumbers also have specialized licenses for gas lines, which require additional training and experience.
Plumbing apprenticeships are the most common route to obtaining training as a plumber. These programs are sponsored by unions or companies and require about 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. Apprenticeships also teach plumbers local codes, blueprint reading, and safety regulations. Apprentices must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma.