How often do you really think about breathing? Unless you’re out of breath or you can’t catch your breath, probably not much. It’s just something your body does automatically without you focusing on it. Your plumbing system is the same way. It just works quietly in the background, doing its job. Just like sudden shortness of breath though, you don’t really pay much attention to your plumbing until there’s an issue. It’s only then you realize that you don’t really understand much about your plumbing system and have no idea how to fix whatever the issue may be.
It’s best not to wait until that point. You may be in a panic, so you’ll call the first plumber you can find and schedule them immediately. As a result, you may be inundated with extra charges, like emergency fees. Yes, your plumbing system is fixed (for now), but at what cost?
Why Many Homeowners Avoid Their Plumbing Systems
When most people think of their plumbing system, they think of their toilet, and who really wants to go into the toilet? No one. However, by ignoring the plumbing and pretending it’s working fine when it’s leaking, the pipes are straining, or there’s some other issue, a homeowner is doing themselves a huge disservice.
There are a multitude of issues that can crop up if a homeowner ignores their ailing plumbing system for too long:
- The high costs of emergency calls to a local plumber.
- The high costs of a monthly energy bill.
- Contacting a local plumber at the first sign of trouble because a homeowner can’t discern between minor and serious plumbing issues.
Even though it was likely an issue the homeowner could have fixed themselves had they familiarized themselves with their plumbing system, they didn’t know that, so they spent money unnecessarily anyway. These small fixes add up over time.
Remember that leak we mentioned before? Yes, it starts as a leak, but eventually the pipe will burst, flooding the home with stinky, backed-up water. That could be hugely expensive and catastrophic for a home. Whole rooms might have to be ripped out and redone completely, which is both time-intensive and very costly.
Parts of the Plumbing System: The Basics
Okay, so you’re definitely ready to learn more about your plumbing system now. Start with the various parts. Here are some to know:
- The water main valve – This controls water flow.
- The cut-off valve – This controls the sink, toilet, washer, etc.
- The water meter – This can give you a read on the overall system’s health.
- The water pressure regulator – Like the water meter above, this lets the homeowner know their water pressure levels.
- Valves for gas, electricity, and heated water – These control those resources and can be turned on and off as needed.
The sewer and water lines connect outside, often underground, and act as a means for water to travel to and from the house. Contact the local water company to ask about where your water comes from. Take some time to take off the toilet lid and get to know what’s inside. Do the same with your septic system if you have one.
The Benefits of Learning How a Plumbing System Works
Yes, this is a lot to remember and a lot of work, and it’s not very pretty work, either. However, by learning more about your plumbing system, you’re doing your family and your home a big favor. Here’s why.
- You can make an informed decision about whether your plumbing system is energy-efficient. If it’s not, you can get it replaced or upgraded so it is, which can save you in monthly utility and energy bills.
- You won’t have to worry about pipes bursting and creating massive leaks in the house. At the first sign of a small leak, you’ll know what to do. That means you can rely on your local plumber less, which also keeps money in your pocket.
- You’ll feel safer, and you’ll be happy that your family is safe, too. You can go to bed at night knowing your home’s secure. You can’t put a price on that kind of feeling.
You know what to do. Although it’s not a glamorous job, by taking some time to understand how your toilet, septic tank, and plumbing system works, you’re prolonging the life of this system, saving money, preventing leaks, and learning to be handier around the house to boot. Although often ignored, your plumbing system is a crucial part of your home’s structure, and it’s one that will pay back dividends once you familiarize yourself with it.