The plumbing system is an important section of every building. From the plumbing system, we get access to water for your shower and faucets. We have to be very cautious when dealing with plumbing products. Understanding what it entails will be a plus to avoid messing with the system.
Today, we decided to shine some light on the plumbing system, and we will cover a better part of it. At the end of this article, you will learn different types of plumbing systems and installation processes, types of plumbing pipes and buying guides. Let’s get started.
Types of Plumbing Systems
Plumbing systems are classified into three types: Potable, sanitary, and stormwater plumbing. Each of these categories is important, and each system fulfills a distinct function. The combined efforts of these systems eventually provide a structure with water and remove water and waste from the structure.
The potable system brings drinking water into the building, the sanitary system removes waste, and the stormwater system directs rainwater away from the building.
Potable Plumbing System
A potable plumbing system brings water from the source into a building for human use. There is a plumbing valve located on the main water supply so that, if necessary, you can turn off the water supply. Additionally, a water meter is set up to record the water consumed within the structure.
The potable system moves water that can be consumed, used for cleaning, and other similar purposes, indicating that the water is fit for human consumption. Various pipes and fittings manage water distribution to each appliance in the particular building. They include:
Straight pipes. These are some more typical pipes that transport potable water in the system. Straight pipes can be very long or short, yet they efficiently transport water to its destination.
T-section. These piping systems have a right-angle configuration to them.
Elbows. In the plumbing system, directional adjustments are accomplished with the help of these pipes.
Brass and Gate Valves. The regulation of water flow is the principal purpose served by these appliances.
Sanitary Plumbing System
A plumbing system in a building is responsible for removing all waste from the structure. This trash consists of human waste and wastewater produced by activities such as cooking and washing. In addition, the waste is disposed of in the sewage system of the neighborhood community.
They are attached to the ceiling to ventilate gases and make it possible for the system to function at atmospheric pressure. Three different kinds of systems can be put in place for sanitary plumbing systems. They include:
Gravity system. The gravity system is the type of sanitary system used the most frequently. These make easy work of collecting wastewater and transporting it to the sewage network by taking advantage of the natural slope of the land. In addition, these are typically used in regions that are not prone to floods and have a water table that is not particularly high.
Low-Pressure Systems. These are an alternative to the gravity system. The system consists of an interceptor tank with a chamber unit that houses a tiny electrical pump. This unit is located within the system.
Vacuum Systems. The vacuum system is yet another option for gravity-based systems. Instead of relying on gravity, this one uses electricity and is mostly put in certain locations. These can be seasonal places, flat areas, areas with reclaimed earth, or areas that have been charged with electricity.
The sewage fittings are connected through vacuum valves and a central vacuum station. Additionally, the central vacuum station is equipped with vacuum pumps, discharge pumps, a collection chamber, and controls related to these components.
Stormwater Plumbing System
The removal of precipitation from within the structure is the primary objective of the plumbing systems that deal with stormwater. To ensure that the water is successfully carried away, they are placed with characteristics that meet certain requirements. Water can be gathered and transported promptly with the assistance of these three systems:
Gravity-Fed Systems. Here pipes are slanted so that the water can flow unobstructed through the drainage systems. The amount of rainfall and the size of the area are the two primary factors that decide the diameter of the pipes.
Pump-Based Systems. Pumps may be required when the ground slope does not allow for gravity-fed systems to function properly. These typically collect rainwater in tanks and then pump the water to the required location.
Stormwater Discharge and Harvesting. This system is used to transport water to nearby rivers, lakes, and oceans. Larger pipes and channels can be constructed. However, this kind of system almost always results in pollution being introduced into the natural rivers, and it does so mostly in more populated regions.
After looking at the three plumbing systems, it is only right to ensure that installing this system goes well. Any mistake made when installing a plumbing system might result in a variety of plumbing issues in the future. Issues range from relatively minor leaks to burst pipes. The installation of plumbing follows these three steps:
Before installing the plumbing, the residential property in question must initially have a strong foundation set. After completing the basement’s sturdy foundation, the groundwork and the rough-in phase of the plumbing installation can move forward.
During the phase of underground rough-in construction, the plumber will determine the locations of the system’s connections, which are the points at which the lines can enter and exit the structure. After you have established the connections for the house’s supply and waste, connect them to the main supply.
After completing the rough-in phase of the project, it is time to move on to the subsequent phases of the system’s construction, which include installing the drains, vent pipes, and other water lines. These are the connections that have been put in every available toilet, shower, bathtub, and any other utility that requires drainage.
The rough-in process above ground is also the messiest. You should expect your expert plumber to drill holes in your walls and ceiling, install pipes into your fixtures and connect everything.
The aboveground rough-in phase is also the phase that takes the most time. It is important to keep in mind that all of your gas lines need to be installed during this phase for the plumber to be able to cover up the open drywall.
After the installation has been done to all plumbing fixtures, the expert will have the process done. The plumber will connect your sinks, water heaters, and other equipment. Plumbers are expected to perform a quality assurance check on the plumbing system’s performance before congratulating themselves on a job well done. It entails looking for leakages and calculating the water pressure.
Types of Plumbing Pipes
Now that you know all the plumbing systems and installation processes, it is best to introduce different types of plumbing pipes. These pipes differ in size, material and function. They include:
1. Stainless Steel Pipes
Stainless steel may appear quite sophisticated, but the price of this material is exceedingly high. In areas prone to corrosion, such as those found along the coast, the use of pipe made of stainless steel is commonplace. This type of pipe is available inflexible and rigid iterations, and special couplings will be required to link to other pipes. There is a wide range of sizes and lengths available for pipes made of stainless steel.
- Stainless steel pipes have a low rate of corrosion.
- They are appealing and have a modern, sleek appearance.
- Stainless steel pipes are durable and resistant to variables that can damage other pipes, such as tree roots, human mistakes, and extreme weather.
- Steel pipes, unlike plastic pipes, are completely recyclable.
- Stainless steel pipes are costly.
- Stainless steel pipes are heavy making them hectic to transport.
2. Copper Pipes
Copper pipes are the most widely used variety of pipes for plumbing because of their reliability and extended lifespan. They have exceptional corrosion resistance, are an excellent material for warm and cold water, and are easy to maintain.
Before using a copper pipe, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you have to solder the pipe together, and it may also require additional fittings. If you don’t know how to solder copper pipes, you should probably consult a plumber.
- Copper is a trustworthy material that can last for at least half a century, and its longevity is one of its many advantages.
- Copper is a strong material that does not easily corrode or leak, making it an excellent choice for use in construction.
- Copper pipes do not support the growth of bacteria, and copper does not contaminate water in any way, so you can use them to transport drinking water without risk.
- Copper pipes can be recycled when they finally need to be replaced because copper is a material that you can recycle.
- Thanks to its high-temperature tolerance, copper can withstand a wide range of temperatures, including those found in hot and cold water.
- The cost of copper pipes is extremely high.
3. PVC Pipes
PVC pipes can carry both hot and cold water without contamination. They are also utilized in the treatment of sewage. The different applications for PVC pipes have resulted in the manufacture of these pipes in a wide range of wall thicknesses and configurations.
Pipes used to transport pressurized water, for example, are not the same as pipes used for sewage systems, nor are they the same as pipes used in storm drainage systems. The NSF-PW or NSF-61 label, denoting that the product satisfies the health impact standards, is typically affixed to plumbing supplies made of plastic and destined for use in potable water applications.
- PVC pipes are not susceptible to corrosion and can withstand high temperatures.
- Since they are lightweight and movable, they are an excellent option for installing pipelines across extensive distances.
- They are manufactured in large quantities, making them available at a low cost.
- They are easily formed into various shapes, making them a versatile material that you can use for a wide variety of applications.
- They are strong, can last for a long time, and take a lot of strain without breaking.
- PVC possesses a valuable chemical property in that it is resistant to the chemical reactions that it would normally undergo with other substances.
- The featherweight nature of PVC pipes makes them more susceptible to cracking when they are dropped or trodden on.
- Pipes made of PVC may contain trace amounts of harmful chemicals to the environment.
4. Galvanized Pipes
Pipes made of galvanized steel were the first industry-standard used in home plumbing projects. Unfortunately, because rust may easily form inside pipes with a small diameter, their use in residential settings has decreased.
If the pipe is old enough, you can find evidence of rust in the water coming out of the faucet because scales can peel away from the inside of the pipe and become dislodged over time. Pipes made of galvanized steel can be used to convey both greywater and water that is not suitable for human consumption.
- They are coated with zinc which helps to prevent rusting.
- They are strong and reliable.
- Galvanized pipes are cost-effective compared to copper pipes.
- Blockages: Over time, mineral deposits can begin to build upon the inside of galvanized pipes, leading to the formation of clogs that prevent water flow.
5. Brass Pipes
Brass plumbing pipes are composed of between 67% and 85% copper, meaning they have good rust resistance. Red brass pipe is the finest quality of the brass pipe, and it is made when the alloy contains 85 percent copper. Brass pipe is a long-lasting material that does not rust on the inside and does not generate friction or drag.
Since brass plumbing pipes are easier to thread than steel plumbing pipes, they are ideally suited for use in systems that distribute hot water on a wide scale. One of the most long-lasting and reliable plumbing materials is a brass pipe, which is commonly used. In the plumbing section of TUBOMART, you can purchase linear lengths of brass pipe that are as long as 12 feet.
- They are durable compared to other plumbing materials.
- They don’t rust easily.
- They are simpler to thread than steel pipes.
- They are robust; hence they don’t crack easily.
- They are quite costly to purchase.
6. Cast Iron Pipes
The most frequent bell-and-spigot cast iron plumbing pipe is seen in older homes. There is another alternative known as threaded joints, which can be used instead of bell and spigot but come at a higher cost. Cast iron with a bell and spigot pattern is widely used to construct large structures and underground spaces.
No-hub cast iron plumbing pipe is another type of cast iron plumbing pipe used extensively. Couplings produced by various manufacturers join pipes and fittings of this type. These couplings provide varying band strengths to be used in various applications.
Cast iron pipes are often the major pipe in water distribution systems. They are also used as the primary pipe in drainage, or sewage systems put below ground since they are more cumbersome than other pipes. Due to the substantial weight of the cast iron pipe, it is necessary to provide support for it while it is being constructed.
- Cast iron pipes have a low rate of corrosion.
- Cast iron pipes are durable and resistant to variables that can damage other pipes, such as tree roots, human mistakes, and extreme weather.
- Cast iron pipes are completely recyclable, unlike plastic pipes.
- Cast iron pipes are costly.
7. PEX Pipes
PEX pipe is a form of flexible plastic piping that has become increasingly popular in various applications, including those found in homes and businesses. It is the greatest pipe for water distribution within a structure because it requires very little maintenance. PEX pipes can be installed in a short amount of time while having a capital cost that is slightly more than average.
PEX pipe is a material that does not leak and provides benefits superior to copper plumbing. Because ultraviolet light breaks down the plastic used as the exterior covering, it cannot be used outside, which is one of the major limitations of the product.
- PEX pipes are perfect for use in any water supply system because of their expansion, even those connected to water that can freeze.
- The supply lines for hot and cold water are easily distinguished from one another, thanks to the blue and red PEX pipes used in constructing the pipes.
- In contrast to copper and steel pipes, PEX pipes do not corrode, making them suitable for long-term plumbing solutions. Making PEX pipes superior to copper and steel pipes.
- The water flow through PEX pipes is completely silent, which means the water hammer typically associated with metal pipes is eliminated.
- PEX pipes are susceptible to rapid deterioration when exposed to the sun’s UV radiation, making them an unsuitable material for use in outdoor applications.
- PEX cannot be recycled; therefore, choosing this material is not the most environmentally responsible choice.
- The installation of PEX pipes requires unique equipment, which can’t skip through under any circumstances.
8. PPR Pipes
The primary component of this kind of pipe is polypropylene, which is also the name of the material. Pipes manufactured of random copolymer plastic that is straight and cylindrical are referred to as PPR pipes. The process of manufacturing them involves carrying out an extrusion action continuously.
PPR pipes can transport cold and hot water and purify drinking water systems. Heat welding technologies are utilized in the jointing process.
- PPR pipes are compatible with the surrounding natural environment.
- They can tolerate temperatures as high as 95 degrees Celsius, although the optimal operating temperature is 60 degrees Celsius.
- They have excellent resistance to corrosion, which contributes to their durability.
- Durable and long-lasting performance. The pipe system has fifty and one hundred years of operating under typical conditions.
- Because of their low weight, PPR pipes are extremely convenient for transporting from one location to another.
- They can withstand high temperatures; however, temperatures of more than 60 degrees Celsius for an extended period are too much for them to survive.
Plumbing Fixtures Buying Guide
Up to this point, we have known about the plumbing system, the installation process and different types of plumbing pipes. We need to know what to consider when shopping for plumbing fixtures. Below are factors to consider when shopping for plumbing fixtures for your next project.
Area of Installation
The fixtures you want to buy will depend on where the system is put. Use sturdy, long-lasting fixtures constructed of corrosion-resistant materials that can survive the elements when using them outdoors.
Stainless steel is popular because of its resistance to UV radiation, corrosion, and chemical stress. On the other hand, water heaters require specialized pipes capable of conveying hot water without being harmed, and copper is the material of choice here.
When choosing plumbing fixtures, always prioritize quality over cost since a failure caused by inferior components could cost much more in the long term than any initial savings. If you’re on a tight budget, look for discounted high-quality fixtures. Their guarantee and whether or not they are certified are good quality indicators.
Plumbing fixtures and fittings are sometimes hidden behind walls or buried. For that matter, they must be sturdy enough to last for many years. The quality of a plumbing system’s components, the installer’s skill, and the system’s fit for the application influence its durability, and durability is an instance where quality should always take precedence over cost.
Type of Water
The water in your pipes can shorten the life of your system. If it’s corrosive, it will corrode your pipes in a very short period. It can also dissolve copper and lead into your drinking water, posing health risks. So, if you feel your water is contaminated, have it checked by an expert.
Pressure of Water
Another important factor to consider is the water pressure the system will encounter. So many shoppers have overlooked this factor, but it can be a disaster. If the high water pressure is required, the pipe must be large and strong enough to sustain the significant force, and plastic pipes are frequently the best choice.
Characteristics of the Soil
The state of the soil will affect the pipe’s durability if it is buried in the ground. If there are many rocks and abrasive materials present and moisture, the pipe will eventually deteriorate after a short period.
When extra minerals in the soil come into contact with some pipes, they might cause a chemical reaction, so if you have any questions about the soil’s quality, have it tested before installing your plumbing.
UV rays cause plastic pipes to lose their integrity, lowering their lifespan. Because PVC does not tolerate high temperatures well, it should not be installed where it will be exposed to sunlight or should be wrapped in insulating material for protection.
Standards give manufacturers minimum accepted product parameters to ensure quality, safety, and performance consistency. They not only inform producers on what is expected of their products, but they also give buyers peace of mind. You can tell if you are utilizing the right product for your application by looking at the specifications of the plumbing fixture you’re buying.
Plumbing fittings should be approved to ensure that they are both safe and long-lasting. A trademark stamp is printed on all plumbing and drainage goods under the WaterMark Certification Scheme to show verification of quality.
When buying plumbing equipment, always search for the WaterMark because some on the market don’t have it, which is usually a sign of poor quality. Go for certified plumbing products to avoid future leakages that might be disastrous.
Having gone through this complete guide to the plumbing system, we believe you have ideas about plumbing. From the plumbing system to purchasing fixtures is an important aspect of having in mind. Understand how the installation is done and different types of plumbing pipes to help you shop appropriately.
At TUBOMART, we offer different plumbing products at an affordable price, considering the quality. If you are looking forward to purchasing your plumbing products for your next project, kindly contact us.