What Is Plumbing?

Chatsworth Plumbing involves a series of pipes and fixtures that deliver water, remove waste, and manage stormwater. It also entails repairing leaky pipes, fixing toilets and bathtubs, and maintaining drains.

Plumbing is a trade that requires detailed knowledge and specialized training, typically acquired through trade school or on-the-job apprenticing. The pipes used in plumbing systems are made of a variety of materials.


Water supply lines carry fresh and cold water to fixtures like sinks, toilets, showers, and appliances. They are made of copper, brass, plastics, or galvanized iron and consist of lengths of pipe fitted with valves and fittings. Pipes can be either round or oval and are usually a few inches in diameter.

The water supply system can be divided into two subsystems: freshwater and wastewater. The freshwater system pushes water under pressure through pipes to your home or business, while the wastewater system transports used water to a treatment plant or septic tank.

In urban and suburban areas, municipal water companies treat and purify water collected from lakes, rivers, and ponds, then distribute it to homes and businesses via large pipes, called water mains, that run underground. Water is generally supplied directly to homes and farms from private water wells in rural areas.

Once inside your building, the water supply line splits into separate paths for cold and hot water. The hard water line supplies all faucets in your house, while the hot water line leads to your water heater, which then provides your tubs, showers, and washing machines. The water supply line is also connected to outdoor taps for garden and lawn irrigation.

While most plumbing problems affect the drainage system, a few common issues can also affect your water supply. For example, a leak in the water supply line can cause damage to your property. Having these lines inspected regularly and having the proper valves in place to shut off your water in an emergency is important.

Water supply lines are usually buried at least a few feet below ground, and most are routed underground to prevent freezing in cold weather. If exposed to the elements, they can develop cracks or corrode over time. This can reduce the flow of water or lead to a complete break. If you’re experiencing one of these issues, call a plumber to investigate and fix the problem. In most cases, a plumber can repair these problems without digging up the entire line.

The drainage system is responsible for transporting wastewater from fixtures such as sinks, tubs, and showers to the sewer line or septic tank. It also includes the venting system that allows air into the drain traps so that water doesn’t become completely trapped in the pipes, which could create a dangerous situation.

Whether the system is passive or active, it is vital to every home. While a passive drain uses gravity, body movement, or pressure differentials to move fluid or gas, functional drains are commercially available and use continuous suction through radiopaque fenestrated tubing (FIGURE 2).

Drains can be classified as fixture, waste, and venting, with the latter two forming what is commonly known as the Drain-Waste-Vent or DWV pipe network. This consists of all of the pipes in the house that carry waste to the sewer or septic tank, as well as the venting system that keeps water from backing up into fixtures. The DWV is typically the most visible component of plumbing systems since it is the set of pipes running through the house’s walls and floors. However, most problems with drains are located downstream of the DWV, such as clogged fixtures or backups.

While a plumber can handle most problems with a single drain, they will usually need to consult with a sewer engineer or municipal utility company to address the issue of a clogged sewer line. This is because a clogged sewer line often occurs at the municipal drain-line cleanout, which can be located in your backyard or the street.

A clogged drain is the most common plumbing problem, and it can be caused by many different things, such as hair or food that gets caught in a pop-up stopper. In most cases, a plumber can unclog the drain quickly, and they may recommend regular maintenance to prevent future issues. A basic understanding of your house’s drainage system can help you identify problems that require immediate attention.

Ventilation is moving outdoor air into and around space, replacing indoor air with fresh air, and removing stale air. It may be accomplished naturally through openings or mechanically with fans. Ventilation is essential for human breathing as it produces oxygen for metabolism and removes carbon dioxide and odor. Ventilation can also help to dilute other pollutants, such as smoke and odor, from combustion appliances and to control temperature, humidity, and indoor moisture levels.

The ventilation system in a home must be designed to ensure that the correct air balance is provided for both occupants and to keep the plumbing systems working properly. Qualified and experienced designers must create the ventilation. Ventilation systems should comply with building regulations to achieve acceptable indoor air quality.

Plumbers often work with sewage, which contains dangerous microbes that can cause human illness, including diseases such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, and polio, and parasites such as cryptosporidiosis, ascariasis, and schistosomiasis. When working on sewage pipes, plants can catch these in their hair, skin, and clothes. This is why wearing protective clothing and using proper disinfectants and chemicals when working with sewage is very important.

When it comes to plumbing, few people think about the septic system – a mechanism that treats wastewater in and around their homes. However, this is an essential component of any home’s sewage system, which keeps waste from toilets and other drains flowing properly and safely away from living spaces. The septic system differs from a sewer system in that the latter routes wastewater to a central treatment plant, which is operated by and funded by local governments. A septic system treats sewage on-site, with homeowners responsible for the cost and maintenance of the system.

All plumbing in a septic-system-equipped home converges at a septic tank buried underground. It’s designed to hold 1,000 gallons of water. When water enters the tank, it splits into three layers. All liquid waste rises to the top, while solid waste sinks to the bottom in sludge. Natural bacteria break down the sludge to create clean water that exits the tank through a pipe into a drain field.

The septic system’s distribution box sits lower than the septic tank. It utilizes gravity to receive wastewater from the septic tank and distribute it to a drain field. The distribution box contains multiple outlets that connect to different regions of a drain field, ensuring that each area gets equal amounts of wastewater from the septic tank.

Those living in rural areas often choose to install septic systems rather than sewer ones, which are more common in urban and suburban settings. Although they require more frequent maintenance, septic systems are environmentally friendly and give homeowners full control over their drainage.

If you live near a septic system, be aware that wastewater from the system may eventually enter the groundwater supply. This can risk your health, especially if you use a well for drinking water. You can reduce the risk of this by regularly inspecting your septic system, cleaning out the drain field, and having tree roots trimmed. It’s also wise to test your well water regularly for contamination, which may indicate a septic system problem.

Victoria Grant