Most homeowners have a general understanding of their water and sewer system enough to understand that potable water comes in and waste goes out. The complexities of the system often go unknown, which in itself can lead to costly concerns or situations where professional plumbers are notified of an issue that could have been avoided.
How Does Your Drainage System Work?
Understanding how your drainage system operates is important to identifying problems as they happen. Gravity is a critical element to a successful operation, but so are the cleanouts, traps, and vents increasing the pressure of the system to remove solid waste along with water in the sewage components. When you have slow flow issues or poor drainage, one of these listed elements is likely compromised and requires your attention or the work of experienced and trained plumbing professionals.
Are Traps Important?
Traps serve a very direct purpose for your household. Water that stays in designed traps within your plumbing system serves as backflow prevention and stops noxious sewer gas from entering the home through these connected portals. Some common implements include:
- P/S Traps – Floor drains, sinks, and other connected fixtures require manually installed trap components. These particular additions get their name from their distinct shape.
- Drum Traps – You typically find drum traps connected to higher flow areas that encounter debris, like hair and other matter washed down the drain of bathtubs and showers.
- Pre-Installed – Components of your sewer system like the toilet already have traps built into their outflow design. This helps prevent a need for an additional preventative device or portion of plumbing to protect the household.
Saving Money with These General Plumbing Tips
- Fix Leaks
Small leaks can often be managed by shutting off the water supply to the fixture and replacing gaskets, portions of pipes, connectors, or the fixture itself. When you cannot cutoff the water supply, it might be worth considering employing the help of professional plumbers.
- Unclog Drains
Clogged drains do not always stop the flow completely but can greatly hinder the performance of your plumbing system. It is a good practice to take equal parts vinegar and baking soda and run it through main drain points like bathtubs and kitchen sinks.
- Only Dispose of Appropriate Waste
Homeowners do not all have the same education or real-world experience regarding what should go down a drain and what shouldn’t. Everything is not flushable or good for your gravity-fed system. Elements like cooking grease congeal quickly as they cool, eventually hardening into a blockage for either your service line or the municipality’s main.
- Choosing Low-Flow Fixtures
If you want to save money on your water utility bill, a good example is low-flow fixtures and appliances. Reducing the consumption of water during showers, for example, can take a 40-gallon, 10-minute shower and drop usage considerably. Appliances can also be changed for lower-flow alternatives, particularly washing machines and dishwashers.
With some preventative measures and a better understanding of the water and sewage systems in your home, you can reduce the likelihood of costly damages to your property. When blockages or leaks do occur, these are often situations that plumbing professionals should deal with to ensure work is a lasting fix.