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Have you ever thought about how water reaches your faucet? Or where it goes when you pour it down the drain? Perhaps not, or maybe you don’t really care — not until the pipe and sewer lines begin to demand attention. One day, the pipes are leaking and there are pools if water everywhere. The next day, the drain in your sink is clogged and the water just won’t flow. Still, on another day, your sink becomes worn out and your faucet is beyond fixing. What could be worse?

It could be worse if you’re clueless about the plumbing system in your house. What you thought might fix the problem could just be inflicting more damage. While plumbers are the real experts, one Clifton NJ plumbing company believes that it is very vital to learn about the basic aspects of plumbing yourself, particularly in your own dwelling.

First, you should know the plumbing system in general. Plumbing in buildings typically consists of two types of pipe systems.

  1. The Water Supply System. This is the system of pipes within the walls of your house that brings water to the faucet. This includes the following:

Water mains are large metal pipes usually buried beneath city and suburban streets.

Water pipes are the smaller metal or plastic pipes in each building along the main.

Valves control the flow of water in water mains. Every member of your household should know how to turn off the valve for all the water in your house for emergency situations.

  1. The Drain Waste Vent (DWV) System. This is the system of pipes that carries waste and water away from the house. The main parts are:

Drain pipes are smaller pipes that connect fixtures to the sewer, which is a large pipe located under the building.

Sewer main is a larger pipe buried beneath the street where the sewer line goes to. The sewer main carries wastes to a sewer treatment plant.

Traps are S-shaped pipes connected to drain pipes that stay filled with water, even when water is not running from the faucet. These traps keep unpleasant sewer fumes from entering your house.

Second, not all plumbers are plumbing experts. While they all do two main kinds of work — installation and repair — they also have different levels of training, expertise andskills. A plumber who works on houses will have different skills and techniques from those of a plumber who works in construction. And he will be even more different from a plumber who works on special plumbing systems in ships, hospitals, refineries, and power plants.

On a different note, plumbers also need to be insured and must have a license to service some areas.

Finally, your plumbing system needs attention even before it starts acting out. Pay attention to signs like gurgling sounds coming from the toilets and drains, unpleasant smells coming from your drains, a slow flow of water, and water leaks.

Don’t wait for all the worst plumbing problems to happen. Basic understanding of the plumbing system in your house and investing in routine maintenance and cleaning with the help of a plumbing expert will keep your plumbing system in top performance for a long time.