What is Residential Plumbing?
Residential plumbing services cover any part of the home that is a part of the complex system of pipes and water flow.
This may include sewer lines, water heaters, pipes, and plumbing fixtures. In some cases, plumbers will be called to install fixtures such as shower heads or fix fixtures like toilets and sink drains.
Any time that a plumber is called out, they will do a diagnostic of your home’s plumbing in the area of concern to ensure that they are solving the problem, not just the symptom.
Residential plumbing is different than commercial plumbing because it often has smaller and fewer pipes than a commercial space, and it sees less use. It is also commonly hidden between walls or underneath floors, where it’s difficult to reach a pipe without invasive work.
This type of plumbing most often deals with plumbing that is contained within the home, but it can occasionally expand to work on lines that are just outside the perimeter of the home. Residential plumbers cannot dig lines that expand beyond the property line, however, requiring collaboration with the municipality.
How Does a House Plumbing System Work?
There are a few essential parts to any residential plumbing system that help the home function well without any loss in pressure.
A source of potable water typically comes from the city or municipality, allowing the home to receive water through its pipes.
Once the water enters the home, it travels to the water heater and splits into both a hot and cold water line that then travel to different fixtures throughout the house, such as the toilet, bathtub, and laundry hookups.
It may also travel to the hose fixture on the outside of the house, as well as some appliances like the refrigerator.
Water Supply System
The water supply system travels to the home through a main supply line, typically provided by a municipality. If the home has a private well on the property, however, it may also come from this source.
In the case of private wells, the water supply system may need maintenance to ensure that it is providing enough water and is not clogged in any way.
If the home is receiving municipal water, the municipality typically services the supply lines on a regular basis to ensure that nothing is clogged. In some cases, it is also the plumber’s job to verify that the main supply line is providing enough water when they are called out.
Drain, Waste, and Vent System
The drain, waste, and venting system is an important part of the home’s plumbing system because it prevents a backup of sewage and prevents problematic smells from entering the home.
Clean water enters the home, and dirty water exists the home with the help of the drainage system, gravity, and dedicated ventilation pipes that prevent sewer gas from entering the home while also providing the lines with fresh air.
A prime example of the drainage system in the home is the U-shaped pipe that every sink has underneath the basin before the piping disappears into the wall. This classic pipe holds standing water so that unwelcome smells don’t enter the home through sink or shower drains.
Bathroom and Kitchen Plumbing System
The bathroom and kitchen are two of the most popular rooms in the home that contain water fixtures. If the home has a laundry hookup, water from the plumbing system may also be diverted from the main line to accommodate this fixture as well.
Bedrooms, offices, and living rooms never contain faucets or drains but running water and a drainage system is required in both the kitchen and bathroom for the appliances in these rooms to function correctly.
In the kitchen, sinks, dishwashers, and refrigerators all need plumbing fixtures to function properly.
Featuring a toilet, sink, and bathtub or shower, the bathroom is one of the most common places to encounter a problem with the plumbing just because of the usage it sees compared to other areas of the home.
What Residential Plumbing Services are Available?
Many residential plumbing services involve drainage services, water heater repairs, or addressing leaky pipes. For closed sewer systems, or sewer lines that have been damaged, regular sewer drainage may be required as a part of standard household maintenance.
In more complex situations, the plumber may need to seek the assistance of a master plumber. (1) Plumbers graduate through experience and licensing, ensuring that they are equipped to handle a wide range of plumbing problems that may come their way.
Learn more about the basic qualifications a plumber needs to get the job done as well as questions to ask to ensure you’re choosing the right professional for your needs.
Common residential plumbing services often include leaky pipe repair or, in areas that receive frost during the winter, frozen pipes may need to be addressed to prevent them from bursting.
It is essential that leaky pipes are addressed as soon as possible, as water damage and mold buildup can occur quickly between walls and underneath floors.
What is the Most Common Plumbing Problems?
Chances are your household will experience at least one plumbing problem in a 5-year span. What is it most likely to be?
According to many residential plumbing services, the most common calls they get are for clogged drains. Shower drains and sink drains are most likely to clog, as food or hair gets stuck in the pipes that can’t be retrieved easily.
Leaky faucets or pipes, low water pressure and problems with the water heater are also common plumbing problems that many households and businesses alike deal with on a regular basis.
It’s the plumber’s job to go in with an understanding of how the system functions and diagnose the problem. Sometimes, the symptoms reveal a different problem than originally thought.
Once diagnosed, the plumber must come up with a plan to fix the issue. With small problems, it is often an easy fix that the plumber can resolve right there with the tools in their belt.
For larger or system-wide problems, however, they may need to come up with a more complex suggestion to remedy both the immediate issue and prevent it from happening again.
Is Copper or Plastic Plumbing Better?
There is an ongoing debate between many homeowners and plumbers alike as the world switches out many old copper pipes with PVC during upgrades.
When the plumber asks whether this is something that you want on your next major renovation, you might find yourself at a loss of which one you’d prefer.
The general consensus is that PVC is the better pipe material, as it can withstand more acidic water due to its resistance to corrosion, and it is a much cheaper material that is appealing to homeowners on a budget.
The downside of PVC is that while it is significantly less expensive, it doesn’t last quite if copper pipes, and the joints are not as flexible. Many concerns have also been raised over the solvents that join PVC piping together, as it needs to be well-ventilated during installation to cure properly.
Some homeowners still opt for copper despite the expensive price tag. It is more durable and resistant to cracking or breaking and can fit into smaller spaces between the walls as the material is thinner.
The major downside to copper, beyond the price, is that it cannot be used with water that is acidic as that will corrode the material over time, it is prone to bursting if it freezes, and it is much noisier than PVC pipes, especially at higher pressures.
Find Residential Plumbing Services Near You
Your toilet is backing up, flooding the bathroom, and all you can think about is how you don’t know any good plumbers in the area to take care of the mess, so you’re going to have to take a risk on someone new.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution that provides you with a list of local plumbers, complete with information about each company so you can see it all at once.
Same Day Pros helps you find nearby residential plumbing services with less stress and frustration than asking your neighbors for help.
Simply type in the service that you’re looking for and match it with your location.
We’ll do the rest, finding a reliable company ready to work on your residential plumbing services and provide a quote, all within the local area.
- Forbes, How to Hire a Plumber for Your Next Project, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/home-improvement/how-to-hire-a-plumber/