Residential Plumbing Systems: All You Need to Know

While the rainfall level in Australia per year is well below the global average, Australians consume the greatest amount of water per capita. It is estimated that a regular Australian uses 100,000 litres of fresh water per year, an amount that does not yet include water in food and consumable products.  

Thanks to standardised residential plumbing systems, people have access to fresh drinking water. At the same time, they don’t have to think twice about disposing of used or unsafe water down the sink or drain. A good residential plumbing system makes a home a more comfortable and liveable place for the family. Ideally, it should:

  • Consistently supply safe drinking water
  • Efficiently collect and dispose of wastewater 
  • Have no leaks that can waste water and increase bills
  • Prevent foul odours from escaping the system
  • Prevent clean water and wastewater from mixing together
  • Be connected to appliances and fixtures that meet quality standards

One way of making sure that your plumbing system is in great condition is by familiarising yourself with its parts and functions. Below, let’s take a look at the 3 basic parts of a residential plumbing system. 

Water supply system. True to its name, the water supply system provides the home with fresh water. The water that flows through the supply system is sourced from the municipality or a private water company. It enters the residential water supply system through the main supply line, then it splits into 2 lines: one directed to the heater and another to circulate the home as cold water. The water in both hot and cold lines are distributed throughout the home and used in different fixtures and appliances.  

Fixtures and appliances – Fixtures, which are typically equipped with taps, are needed so that the water supply can be used properly. Examples of these are showers, bathtubs, toilets, and sinks. Electric appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters use water and must be connected to the water line. The water in the pipes needs to exert a bit of pressure so that it can be used in fixtures and appliances. 

Wastewater disposal – The wastewater system collects and disposes of wastewater through the use of gravity. The used water goes down drain traps, which have a U-shape that prevents foul gases from being released inside the home. The wastewater exits the home through the wastewater main line, then it is collected in the septic tank or the municipal sewer line. 

residential plumbing

Different Plumbing Supply Systems

The water in a residential supply system is separated into 2 lines for the hot water and cold water. Let’s take a closer look at them below:

Hot water system – The hot water heater is the main component of the hot water system. It can be powered by wood, gas, or electricity. The cold water from the main line goes through the water heater, and then it is sent through the hot water line so it can be used readily. To minimise heat loss, the pipes used in hot water lines are insulated. These days, however, there are tankless water heaters and showerheads and hot water taps that can heat water on demand. 

Cold water system – The cold water system is made up of copper or plastic pipes that are connected to the main water line. It is monitored by a water meter and equipped with emergency stop valves located in different parts of the house. These emergency valves are used to stop the flow of water if, for example, there’s a busted pipe or a tap is leaking and must be repaired. 

Top 5 Common Plumbing Problems at Home

Now that you’re familiar with your residential plumbing system, it would be a good idea to look at the common plumbing problems that you may encounter. 

  1. Blocked drains – A slow-draining or clogged drain is one of the most common plumbing problems you can encounter in your own home. It often takes a lot of time before homeowners start to notice that their sinks are draining water at a much slower pace. This is because hair, grease, food, and other blockages slowly build up in the drain. Common home remedies for clogged drains are chemical drain cleaners or pouring boiling water down the sink.
  2. Clogged toilets – Clogged toilets can be a major cause of stress for any homeowner, as it massively impacts the functionality of one’s home. Clogged toilets are commonly addressed using a plunger.
  3. Leaky taps – In addition to producing annoying sounds, leaky taps also waste water. Taps often leak because of faulty washers, which can be the result of overtightening the cap in a recent repair or while assembling the tap. 
  4. Low water pressure – Low water pressure in the shower is often the result of a build-up of calcium inside the showerhead. If you’re experiencing low water pressure throughout your home, then the problem can be more complicated. Get a plumber to check your home for leaks and other plumbing issues.  
  5. Water heater problems – Common water heater problems include running out of hot water, getting rust-coloured hot water, or pooling water outside the tank. To avoid this, make sure that you do preventative maintenance annually. 

There are DIY methods of dealing with these common plumbing issues, but don’t hesitate to call a plumber to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Make sure to conduct annual checks on your plumbing and gas systems to see if everything is in proper working order. At the same time, keep the contact details of a professional plumber close at hand. This way, in case a toilet or drain gets clogged or a pipe suddenly leaks, you know you have someone to rely on to quickly fix things.

Residents in Perth Trust Property Plumbing & Gas

You can count on Property Plumbing & Gas to fix all plumbing and gas system problems in your Perth home. Our company provides quick response to residential plumbing issues in Perth and the nearby areas, and we’ve resolved more than 25,000 plumbing and gas issues while retaining a 99% satisfaction rate from our clients. 

We offer our clients top-notch preventative maintenance and repairs, even in emergency cases, and you can trust that we only work with fully qualified plumbing specialists. Get in touch with Property Plumbing & Gas today through our Contact Us page or by calling 0401 939 332. 


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