Plumbing 101 Part 2

Last week we discussed steps you need to take if you want to install or upgrade the plumbing system in your home. Again, it is advised that you call A+ Plumbing and Heating to do the work for you to ensure your new system works at peak efficiency.  If you determined to try the work yourself, here are five tips you need to be aware of.

Tip #1 Vents are a necessity.
Installing vents near drainage pipes are a necessity. Do not skip this step in an effort to save money. Check your local building codes to find out how close the vent should be installed to a drain. The vent helps the water speed down the drain and keeps water in your traps, to prevent sewer gas from coming into the house.

Tip #2 Shutoff the valves.
It goes without saying, but make sure the water is shut off to anything you are working on. Turn the water off if you’re cutting waste pipes. If you make a mistake and cut a water pipe, or if someone runs water, you won’t have a mess to clean up. It’s a good idea to flush the toilets, and turn the water is off, just in case someone tries to flush on you.

Tip #3 Limit Water Usage
Limit your water usage to what you need. This can be done by installing the proper plumbing system. A+ Plumbing and Heating can advise you on what your options are. You can also install toilets and faucets that use the minimum amount of water. This will reduce water usage even if you use your plumbing system often. Use a quality fixture for the toilets. You won’t regret the added cost when you notice how much better a quality fixture works.

Tip #4 Type of Pipes
Over the years, many different types of pipes have been used. From cast-iron and brass to PVC, copper and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), all pipes perform the same function, bringing water into the home and flushing used and dirty water out of the home. We like ABS pipe for waste piping, and PEX or copper for water piping. PVC is also a good waste pipe, but don’t use it for water in the house. CPVC is approved in the house, but it is fragile, and I hate to see it inside a house. PEX is a little more forgiving for freezing than copper, but they both are great water pipes. Copper looks better, installed.

Tip #5 Plan and Understand
The key to installing an effective plumbing system is planning and understanding. It is important to plan the installation of a plumbing system that is quiet and efficient. It is equally important to plan on installing the pipes and valves in a way that allows for easy access for maintenance purposes. It is imperative to install the right sizes of waste and water pipes. The UPC tables give minimum sizing. If your pipes are too small, the drains won’t drain and will plug up more often. The water pipes will not deliver as much water as you need. There will be big temperature swings in water temperature when the toilet is flushed, or the other fixtures are used. This won’t be good news for the person taking a shower.