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Plumbing 101

Updated on December 15, 2012


Plumbing, back in its original day, was state of the art, complete with cast-iron drains and brass supply lines. Nowadays, PVC, copper, and polyethylene flew pipe is all the rage, and is the materials of choice for Destin plumbers. Regardless what material the plumbing is made of, the plumber’s skill is really what determines how well your system will work, and how well repairs and maintenance are performed. And with as much at stake as there is with plumbing, considering that one leak can cause thousands of dollars of damage, as well as waste hundreds of gallons of water, can wreak havoc on a house. Take that, and add on that if the proper pipe size isn't used or is properly installed and you will end up with a plumbing system just plagued with problems that won’t go away with time. Knowing how to do simple plumbing things in the short run can help save you money in the long run, by fixing small problems before they become major issues. Always call a reputable plumber when things get too much to handle.

The Art of Plumbing

Plumbing is an art, although most people don’t realize this. Plumbing systems are a lot more than codes and rules, and planning and installing one that not only works properly, but does so efficiently, quietly, and without leaks, is something that could make those without any plumbing knowledge run for the hills. Placement of valves, placement of drains, proper slope in pipes, where the pipes are anchored, and more all go into consideration when designing and implementing an effective plumbing system.

Pipe Networks

Clean water enters a home at roughly 50-60 PSI through supply lines, while dirty water exits the home via gravity, and down pipes, while air pressure keeps everything working properly. It’s as simple as can be, but yet can be a challenge when setting up if you don’t know what you’re doing. Properly installed pipes should, in theory, last as long as the house itself.


With the advent of modern plumbing comes one of the easiest ways to get, and waste, water, the Tap. Taps, or faucets, are used to bring water to where you want it, and to select if you want hot or cold water, or a combination of the two. Taps took a change back in 1994, with the implementing of new laws restricting the amount of water used when in operation, as well as how much water toilets use when flushed, as water conservation efforts. Faucets, the shower, and toilets are listed as some of the most wasteful water systems in a home, so careful use will help keep the amount of water you use each month to a minimum.

Shut Off Valves

Although usually not required by building code, putting shut off valves onto every fixture and appliance will make fixing problems, should they arise, much easier, since you wont have to find a shutoff valve, or even shut the water off to the entire house. Every homeowner, and those that rent, should know where the main shutoff valves are for their plumbing systems, as well as where other shut off valves can be located.


Although codes will tell you how far a vent should be for drains, and this should be followed. Vents that are too far away wont allow the vacuum to break, and drainage is slowed. For example, when you pull the plug on a standard bathtub, you end up with roughly 40 gallons of water wanting to go down the pipes. If there is a vacuum, it can pull the water out of the other traps, because the vent wasn’t working properly.


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