Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Should Know 

Whether you’re new to home ownership or you’ve been there for years, knowing a little about your plumbing system can save you a lot of time. A plumber in Mount Barker can tell you how complex plumbing systems can be. 

There are two subsystems in your plumbing, one that carries water for drinking and showering and the other that carries wastewater. Understanding the basics of each can help you keep your system running smoothly and prevent serious breakdowns in the future. 

Water Supply 

Whether you’re just starting out as a homeowner or you’ve been in the game for some time, it’s important to understand the basics of your water supply. This knowledge will help you detect problems before they become too serious and competently deal with emergencies and other plumbing issues. 

The water supply is the equipment that allows your house’s water to travel throughout the home. This includes water pipes, service valves and fittings, and faucets. 

It also involves the water heater and other appliances. The water supply is divided into separate cold and hot lines for different areas of the home. 

A high-quality water supply system is crucial for your home’s efficiency, safety, and health. Water that is contaminated with minerals, bacteria, and other substances causes problems like clogs and pipe corrosion. 


Drains are critical to the proper functioning of your plumbing. Each plumbing fixture – including toilets, sinks and showers – must have a clear path to drain outside where it can be expelled in the septic tank or sewer system. 

If the drains are clogged, waste water will not be able to move freely and will back up in the lines. This can result in leaks, odors and other serious problems inside the house. 

Moreover, improper drainage can cause damage to your landscaping, hardscaping and foundation. Pooling water will erode soil and allow fungus and pests to set in. 

The primary purpose of home drainage is to allow melting snow and ice and rainwater a route away from your foundation. It also protects your foundation from the damaging effects of moisture buildup. 


Your home’s plumbing system is crafted to move waste and water efficiently out of your house. It has drainage and vent functions that work together to make this happen.

When these systems aren’t working properly, there can be several issues that can occur in your home. Among these are clogged drains, leaks and sewer gas. 

These issues can be expensive to repair, so it’s important that you know how your vent pipe system works. 

Your vent pipes’ first purpose is to supply fresh air to the plumbing fixtures in your home. This helps the water flow through your drain pipes smoothly, and it also removes sewage gas that’s accumulated in the vent pipe. Sewer gas has a bad smell, and it shouldn’t be able to get into your home. 

Fixture Shutoff Valve 

The fixture shutoff valve is a small, easy-to-use device that controls the flow of water to plumbing fixtures like faucets and toilets. This important piece of equipment can save a homeowner thousands of dollars in damage and inconvenience if they accidentally rupture a water hose, freeze pipes or leak supply lines. 

Fixture shutoff valves are located at various points in the home, usually near toilets and sinks. This can make it easier to make repairs and replace plumbing fixtures. 

Fixture shutoff valves have a variety of different designs, but typically use a simple compression washer that opens and closes against a valve sear operated by the handle. Others use a diaphragm design, in which the valve stem controls a flexible diaphragm that presses against a valve seat opening to stop water flow.

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