Things that every homeowner should know

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Drains(general)


Drains are responsible for taking the waste water from a home. From your toilet to you kitchen sink, they collect it all and send it away. It could either be sent to a septic system, where all sewage is collected on your property or a public sewage system. They normally run just off of gravity. The pipes are pitched to force the water to run downhill and out of the home.

Having your own septic system can at times be quite bothersome, but they are generally quite reliable. Aside from occasionally having to get the tank pumped, they are relatively maintenance free. There are quite a few different types of systems out there, so some require different procedures. When a septic tank gets full, it can cause a backup into the house. Public sewage systems are generally very reliable, but they do cost a fee.

The drain lines in your home can vary depending on when they were installed and where you are located. The earliest popular form of main lines were cast-iron. Cast-iron was generally only used for the main 4" or 3" lines. 2" cast lines had been used, but more often than not you will find the smaller lines are galvanized. The galvanized lines will generally go all the way up to the fixtures.

Another style of pipe that became popular(after the original cast-iron boom) was copper. Copper drain lines look just like the copper water lines, only bigger. Generally, when a home was piped with copper drain lines, the entire house was done in copper up the the actual main line, which would be cast-iron.

PVC was the real fix to all our drain problems. The inside of the pipe stays smooth, which picks up less debris over time. It comes in all sizes used in homes. The PVC then gets connected to other forms of older pipe by a fernco(or rubber coupling). It is common to see many different forms of pipe in the same home, which has been repaired over time.

Slip-joints finish off our drain run at the fixtures themselves. Slip-joints also come in pvc these days, but before then they came in chrome. They still do, but are mostly used only when they will be visible. Pvc versions hold up better over time.

Free Online Plumber does not warrant any of the information on this page, in regards to the accuracy or effectiveness of these procedures or this information. Always check and follow all applicable local plumbing codes.
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