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Plumbing for Beginners

Updated: May 11

Plumbing for Beginners

Doing something good for your house feels right. There's a sense of pride in knowing that you solved that problem with your kitchen or that you are behind the shiny decorations on the wall. 

Plumbing however requires a lot more knowledge, the last thing you want is to break the wrong pipe and leave your house running because there's water everywhere. 

To help you prevent that scenario we've put together this guide with all the basics of plumbing.

And yes, I promise you, you'll understand it even if you are a complete beginner.

How plumbing works? 

When you think about the water you use at home you probably think first about the bathroom and the kitchen. The toilets working, and no faucets leaking, that's all plumbing is about, right? Well, not exactly. 

Yes, most of the time your plumbing emergencies will happen either in the bathroom or in the kitchen but that's not all. 

A plumbing system works across your whole house.  Do you remember those old cartoons where the clumsy main character hit the wall with something and suddenly water started bursting?  There you've a visual of how important is to get things right about plumbing 

To better understand it, let's begin with the two main plumbing systems.

Water bringing system:

You can also call it the reason why you have clean and ready-to-use water in your house. In most cases, this water comes from the municipality or council of the area where you live, but in some exceptions and this is accurate for rural locations, the water can come from a well. 

Drain-waste-vent system: 

Okay, so we know where water comes from but what about the not-so-clean other stuff? You've to thank your drain-waste-vent system for that.  By working across a network of pipes this system takes all the wastewater away from your house with such precision that's never mixed with the clean water. There are two main types of pipes involved. Ones are called drainpipes, these buddies are in charge of carrying wastewater away, while the others are known as vent pipes. These are useful to keep your main pipes working. 

Great, so that's all? 

Not so fast, as part of this introductory plumbing class, there are some terms you'll need to know.


They are the most important piece. With pipes, water can come in and quickly flow to all the spaces where you need it. Previously, houses used to have copper pipes, but once it was discovered that this metal gets rusty, PVC became the alternative as it has higher durability. 


Your kitchen sink, that gorgeous bathtub, the toilet, the shower, your dishwasher, the washing machine, or all the spots where you'll find the most common plumbing problems. 


We mentioned them above, but if you want to see what they are, you can go out and see the small pipes almost hidden under your house’s roof. They provide just the right amount of venting drains needed.


Ever wondered what the heck are those curved things under your sink? It's called traps and as the name hints, has the function of trapping water so no sewer gas is leaked outside.

Now, some basic wisdom to prevent plumbing issues.

  • Listen to your pipes: No, your pipes won't speak to you, well, unless you live in a haunted house which is another problem altogether, but for us, normal folks, it's always a good idea to pay attention to the appearance of your pipes. If they are visible, check if there are some leaks, humidity on the walls is also a telltale sign that something might be wrong.

  • Maintain your drains free of objects: Nobody likes to deal with a clogged drain, fortunately, simple actions like using screens in your kitchen sink so no food scraps get in or removing the hair from the bathtub can help you to prevent dirty and obstructed drains. 

Alright, that's it for now, hopefully after reading this, you have a clearer idea of what plumbing involves. 

Stay on the lookout for our next blog if you want to know what the most common plumbing emergencies are

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