Basic plumbing knowledge for new homeowners is invaluable, but not just to new homeowners. Sometimes people become the responsible party for questions like, “where is your water main?” and “what temperature do you keep your water heater?” Most of us would break a sweat being asked these questions, so check out our short primer on the most essential and basic knowledge for homeowners.
What A Homeowner Needs To Know
If you are reading this you probably don’t want to become a DIY plumber. You are more likely to be like the rest of us, wanting some basic knowledge so that when you accidentally create a magnificent fountain while gardening in your backyard (yes, this is a true story), you know exactly where to go to shut off the unwanted fountain (hint, it’s called the water main).
What about an overflowing toilet? A sudden increase in water pressure? Would you know what to do? After reading this you will know more about how your home’s plumbing works and what parts you need to be familiar with.
You don’t need to know very much about your home’s plumbing, but knowing a few basic things will make your life as a homeowner much easier.
There are three types of plumbing in your home:
- Water Supply. The water supply is the system that transports water from the underground public pipes into your home. The public supply comes down your street, branches off at each residence and is piped to your home’s water meter and main.
- Home Plumbing. Your home’s plumbing is all those pipes and fixtures, like toilets, showers, piping, and faucets, that move water throughout your house safely
- Drain System (also known as the drain-waste-vent) system. The drain system is how the used water and waste get moved out of your house.
Plumbing Features: The Basics
These elements are slightly more complicated because they are how we interact with the basic plumbing types in the house. They are what make your home so functional, as it relates to water use, anyway.
- Water Main. We already mentioned this is where the water enters your home. Most mains in Arizona are found outside and have a simple straight handle that you turn to shut off the water. Older homes may have a round shaped valve you turn clockwise to close. The public water meter that monitors your water use is also located here.
- Pressure Reducing Valve. Not all homes have this, but is vital in areas where the public water comes in too “fast”. It is also found at the water main. Controlling the pressure can save you major headaches.
- Water Heater. They are the tall tanks typically found in garages in Arizona. The water slated to be heated runs through the unit, is warmed, and then distributed through your household “hot” taps. They can be gas or electric.
- Shut Off Valves. These extremely helpful valves shut off the water at each source and can be found connected to a flexible supply pipe (usually silver) and can be found under each fixture. The toilet shut off valve is found at the wall behind the toilet close to the ground. Turn it clockwise to shut off the water.
You will probably also want to know how to unclog sinks and toilets, how to treat your garbage disposal right, and how to shut off that main. You can find those details in the linked blogs, and we will address the most common issues not covered in those blogs in future blogs so keep an eye out.
Homeowners in the Gilbert-Mesa area of Phoenix use Phend Plumbing as a trusted resource for all their plumbing needs. Reach out to us for any help with your plumbing and don’t forget to bookmark this page for easy reference if it has been helpful for you.