A good understanding of your plumbing system can help you prevent or deal with plumbing issues before they turn into full-blown disasters. Below are some of the specific parts or aspects of your plumbing system you should know.
Knowing where and how to shut off things in case of a disaster is precious. You should know the following:
- How to shut off individual appliances, such as the water heater
- How to shut off the water supply to the house
- How to shut off the gas supply to the house
Consider the example of frozen water pipes. You need to turn off the water supply so that a burst pipe doesn't flood your house with too much water. Another example is that of a leak — turning off the gas supply can avert an explosion in the house.
You should also know if your water pressure is normal, low, or high. Many people easily notice low water pressure (appliances won't have adequate water flow), but not high water pressure. Unfortunately, harder-to-detect high water pressure is even more dangerous. Here are some of the dangers associated with high water pressure:
- Plumbing leaks
- Pipe damage
- Appliance damage
- Plumbing noises
According to familyhandyman.com, the municipal water pressure should range from 45 to 55 psi. Water pressure above 80 psi is especially dangerous. You can use a water pressure gauge to take a reading of your water pressure and adjust the pressure if necessary.
Relief Valves Soundness
Most plumbing appliances have pressure and temperature relief valves for safety purposes. For example, a water heater has a pressure relief valve that can ease pressure in the system if it gets too high. High temperature or pressure can:
- Damage appliances
- Cause an explosion resulting in injuries and damages
- Corrode plumbing pipes
- Cause scalding
- Cause water leaks
A malfunctioning valve won't do its job efficiently. Have your relief valves periodically checked to ensure they are always functional.
Plumbing cleanouts are points are access points that allow you to access and clear drain channels. You can clear most forms of drainage blockages by cleaning the cleanouts. Such a measure alone can avert drainage disasters, such as sewer backups. The location of the cleanout depends on various factors, such as the local building regulations, the design of the house, and the type of drainage (sewer or septic).
Despite your knowledge of your plumbing system, a serious malfunction can still overwhelm you. Consult a plumbing contractor for help if that ever happens.