Methods for do it yourself plumbing continued
Most do it yourself plumbing isn’t nearly as complicated as it looks. The water line and septic system plumbing codes might also be confusing and even discouraging, but if you take a little time to figure it out, you’ll see that it’s fairly easy and quite fun.
Also, in the interest of saving money, you will want to use plastic piping instead of metal wherever possible. I will give thorough procedures on both plastic and metal pipes, but if your local codes allow the use of plastic pipes, (and most do) then you can save a lot of money, time, and sweat.
The components of plumbing consist basically of three things: a fresh water system, fixtures and appliances, and a drain system.
Fresh water systems- These are the pipes that come from either city water supplies or wells. They enter the house through a mainline and usually make the first branch or tee at the water heater.
These lines are always under pressure and connect to the inlet on all plumbing fixtures and appliances (sink faucets, baths, toilets, washers, spigots, etc.). They can be plastic, copper, or galvanized iron. They are small in diameter, usually ½ inch to 1 inch. Water lines are joined together with watertight fittings.
Fixtures and appliances- These are self-explanatory, but they each have a specified amount of codes and regulations that will need to be followed before they are installed. Waterlines going to each will have to be a minimum diameter, and waste lines from each will have to be a certain size as well. These pipe sizes need to be planned out well before the appliances are ready to be installed.
A drain system- This is everything going from the fixtures and appliances to the septic system or city sewer. The common acronym for this system is the DWV (Drain-Waste-Vent).
The drains will carry away wastewater, but there are bigger pipes that are part of the waste system that carry solids called soil pipes. Also part of drain waste lines is P-traps, which create a water barrier so that sewer gases can’t get into the house.
All fixtures and appliances will need to have P-traps in the waste lines with the exception of toilets. Toilets, by design, already have the U-shape water barrier that is essentially a P-trap. Vent pipes that run from waste lines to the roof allow sewer gases to escape. Sewer gases can build up and break through traps if venting is inadequate. Venting also helps maintain atmospheric pressure, without even atmospheric pressure, water can be siphoned out of P-traps and the water seal is lost.
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