Everything About Plumbing System.

Plumbing is the practice, materials, and fixtures used in installing, maintaining, and altering piping, fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances associated with sanitary or storm drainage facilities, venting systems, and public or private water supply systems. Drilling water wells, installing water softening equipment, or manufacturing or selling plumbing fixtures, appliances, equipment, or hardware do not fall under the purview of plumbing. A plumbing system is made up of three parts: a sufficient potable water supply system, a safe and adequate drainage system, and sufficient fixtures and equipment.

When inspecting plumbing, the housing inspector’s primary concern is to ensure the provision of a safe water supply system, an adequate drainage system, and adequate and proper fixtures and equipment that do not contaminate water. The inspector must ensure that the system safely removes waste from the home and protects the occupants from waste backup and dangerous gases. This chapter discusses the major components of a residential plumbing system, as well as the basic plumbing terms and principles that the inspector must know and understand in order to identify plumbing-related housing code violations. It will also help the inspector identify more complex defects that should be reported to the appropriate agencies.

Plumbing System Components

A plumbing system’s primary functions are as follows:

To provide an adequate and safe supply of hot and cold water to the residents of a house, as well as to drain all wastewater and sewage discharge from fixtures into a public sewer or a private disposal system.

As a result, it is critical that the housing inspector be completely familiar with all elements of these systems in order to identify deficiencies in the structure’s plumbing and other code violations.

Water Service

A house service line’s piping should be as short as possible. Elbows and bends should be kept to a minimum because they reduce water pressure and, as a result, the supply of water to house fixtures. The house service line should also be kept from freezing. To prevent freezing, four feet of soil is a commonly accepted depth to bury the line. This depth, however, varies across the country from north to south. For recommended depths, consult the local or state plumbing code. The minimum size of the service line should be 34 inches.

Main Lines for Hot and Cold Water

The hot and cold water main lines are typically hung from the basement ceiling or crawl space of the home and connect to the water meter and hot water tank on one side and the fixture supply risers on the other. Pipe hangers or straps of sufficient strength and number should be used to support these pipes and keep them from sagging. Older homes with copper pipes and soldered joints can pose a risk of lead poisoning, especially to children. In 1986, Congress prohibited the use of lead solder containing more than 0.2 percent lead and limited the lead content of faucets, pipes, and other plumbing materials to no more than 8%.

System of Drainage

Water is brought into a home, used, and then discharged via the drainage system. This is a sanitary drainage system that only transports interior wastewater.

System of Sanitary Drainage

The number of fixtures served by the sanitary drain or house drain determines its proper sizing. The standard minimum diameter is 4 inches. Cast iron, vitrified clay, plastic, and, in rare cases, lead are the most common materials used. PVC and ABS are the two most popular pipe materials for drain, waste, and vent (DWV) systems. To ensure proper drain flow, the pipe should be sized and angled so that it is approximately half full. This ensures proper scouring action and prevents waste solids from being deposited.

Corrosion Prevention

Understanding the process used to determine the chemical aggressiveness of water is required to understand the proper maintenance procedures for the prevention and elimination of water quality problems in plumbing systems. The procedure is used to determine whether or not additional treatment is required. Water that is out of balance can have a variety of negative consequences, ranging from toxic water to damaged and ruined equipment.

When water is not saturated, it dissolves and transports materials. The ability of water to create scale or dissolve material is controlled by an equilibrium between pH, temperature, alkalinity, and hardness. The threat of damage can be reduced if water is saturated with harmless or beneficial substances, such as calcium.

The Langelier method, developed in the early 1930s, is a process used to achieve this balance in boiler management, municipal water treatment, and swimming pools. In the Langelier index, saturation greater than 0.3 is scale forming, while saturation less than 0.3 is corrosive.

Magnesium, zinc, aluminum, cadmium, mild steel, cast iron, stainless steel (active), lead-tin solder, lead, tin, brass, gunmetal, aluminum bronze, copper, copper-nickel alloy, Monel, titanium, stainless steel (passive), silver, gold, and platinum are the metals most susceptible to corrosion.

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