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Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Plumbing, 6th

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Plumbing, 6th.


The Home Plumbing System Because most of a plumbing system is hidden inside walls and floors, it may seem to be a complex maze of pipes and fittings. But spend a few minutes with us and you’ll gain a basic understanding of your system. Understanding how home plumbing works is an important first step toward doing routine maintenance and money‑saving repairs. A typical home plumbing system includes three basic parts: a water supply system, a fixture and appliance set, and a drain system. These three parts can be seen clearly in the photograph of the cut‑away house on the opposite page. Fresh water enters a home through a main supply line (1). This fresh water source is provided by either a municipal water company or a private underground well. If the source is a municipal sup plier, the water passes through a meter (2) that registers the amount of water used. A family of four uses about 400 gallons of water each day. 

Immediately after the main supply enters the house, a branch line splits off (3) and is joined to a water heater (4). From the water heater, a hot water line runs parallel to the cold water line to bring the water supply to fixtures and appliances throughout the house. Fixtures include sinks, bathtubs, showers, and laundry tubs. Appliances include water heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers, and water softeners. Toilets and exterior sillcocks are examples of fixtures that require only a cold water line. 

The water supply to fixtures and appliances is controlled with faucets and valves. Faucets and valves have moving parts and seals that eventually may wear out or break, but they are easily repaired or replaced. Waste water then enters the drain system. It first must flow past a drain trap (5), a U‑shaped piece of pipe that holds standing water and prevents sewer gases from entering the home. 

Every fixture must have a drain trap. The drain system works entirely by gravity, allowing waste water to flow downhill through a series of large‑diameter pipes. These drain pipes are attached to a system of vent pipes. Vent pipes (6) bring air into the drain system to prevent suction or pressure that might allow the trap to lose its water seal. Vent pipes usually exit the house at a roof vent (7). All waste water eventually reaches a drainage stack or a building drain (8).

Water Supply System Water

 supply pipes carry hot and cold water throughout a house. In homes built before 1960, the original supply pipes were usually made of galvanized steel. Newer homes have supply pipes made of copper. Beginning in the 1980s, supply pipes made of rigid CPVC plastic became more commonplace, and the more recent plumbing innovations find PEX pipe widely used and accepted. Water supply pipes are made to withstand the high pressures of the water supply system. They have small diameters, usually ½" to 1", and are joined with strong, watertight fittings. The hot and cold lines run in tandem to all parts of the house. 

Usually, the supply pipes run inside wall cavities or are strapped to the undersides of floor joists. Hot and cold water supply pipes are connected to fixtures or appliances. Fixtures include sinks, tubs, and showers. Some fixtures, such as toilets or hose bibs, are supplied only by cold water. Appliances include dishwashers and clothes washers. A refrigerator icemaker uses only cold water. Tradition says that hot water supply pipes and faucet handles are found on the left‑hand side of a fixture, with cold water on the right. Because it is pressurized, the water supply system is occasionally prone to leaks. This is especially true of galvanized iron pipe, which has limited resistance to corrosion. 

For some houses in older neighborhoods, the main supply line running from the street to the house is made of lead; this once posed a health hazard. Today, however, municipalities with lead pipes often add a trace amount of phosphate to the water, which coats the inside of the pipes and virtually eliminates leaching of lead into the water. If you are concerned about lead in your water, check with your local water supplier.

Contents : 

  1. Introduction
  2. The Home Plumbing System
  3. Shutting Off the Water
  5. Toilets
  6. Kitchen Faucets
  7. Kitchen Drains & Traps
  8. Dishwashers
  9. Food Disposers
  10. Water Heaters
  11. Bathroom Faucets
  12. Shower Kits
  13. Custom Shower Bases
  14. Wet Rooms & Curbless Showers
  15. Alcove Bathtubs
  16. Sliding Tub Doors
  17. Jetted Tub
  18. Bidets
  19. Urinals
  20. Water Softeners
  21. Hot Water Dispenser
  22. Icemakers
  23. Pot Filler
  24. Reverse-Osmosis Water Filters
  25. Frost-proof Sillcocks
  26. Pedestal Sinks
  27. Wall-Hung Vanities
  28. Vessel Sinks
  29. Kitchen Sinks
  30. Standpipe Drains
  32. Installation Basics
  33. Planning Plumbing Routes
  35. Common Toilet Problems
  36. Clogged Toilets
  37. Toilet Flanges
  38. Toilet Drain Lines
  39. Sink Faucets
  40. Kitchen Sprayers
  41. Fixing Leaky Tubs & Shower Faucets
  42. Single-Handle Tub & Shower Faucet with Scald Control
  43. Tubs & Showers
  44. Sink Drains
  45. Branch & Main Drains
  46. Supply Pipes
  47. Noisy Pipes


  1. Plumbing Tools
  2. Plumbing Materials
  3. Copper
  4. Rigid Plastic Pipe
  5. Working with Outdoor Flexible Plastic Pipe
  6. Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX)
  7. Cast Iron
  8. Pipe Fittings
  9. Shutoff Valves
  10. Valves & Hose Bibs
  11. Compression Fittings
  12. Glossary
  13. Measurement Conversions
  14. Resources


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