Your residential plumbing isn’t as complicated as it seems, though you still should hire a professional to handle major repairs if you don’t know what you’re doing. When it comes to pipes and plumbing, a small mistake can lead to big problems. Learn a bit about how water works in your home to prevent that from happening.
Indoor plumbing became popular at the turn of the 20th century. By the 1930s, even rural properties were moving away from outhouses to running water inside the home. This provided Americans with a much higher standard for hygiene, it cut down on the spread of diseases and it was also incredibly convenient. Today, we’re so used to having access to fresh-flowing water that many people don’t even think about the plumbing until there’s a problem — and then, they may not recognize it until it’s grown out of control.
Today’s homeowners face three big risks when it comes to indoor plumbing issues. Heat loss from hot water heating and delivery systems leads to water and energy waste, which in turns drives up your monthly bills. Leaks waste water, which also wastes money, but more importantly, undetected leaks can cause serious property damage. Finally, if you have a septic waste management system, leaks and worn-out components can lead to serious health problems.
Indoor Plumbing Basics
If your home is connected to a municipal water supply, you get water from a city water system managed by a utility company. If your home is located out in the country, you may have a well that supplies your water and a septic system that processes all the water you use.
The pipes leading water into your home and from the main line to appliances and various faucets throughout your property can be made from several different materials, from PVC to copper, galvanized steel and other metals. Before 1950, many homes and municipal systems even used lead pipes! These may still be in use today and can be a source of potential health problems.
Most modern homes have a water heater responsible for warming fresh water before use, as well as a water softener and water filter. A water softener changes the acidity of your water supply, making it perform better while cleaning. A water filter removes contaminants to keep your family safe, as well as improve the smell, taste and appearance of your water. Municipalities treat water before it’s released to the public, but if you use well water, you’ll want to have it tested yearly so you can treat any potential issues before using it for consumption, bathing or food preparation.
When to Call a Plumber
There are simple plumbing tips — like insulating your pipes and plumbing features — that homeowners can follow to lower their monthly bills. For other jobs, you’ll want to hire a professional. Plumbers test and treat rural water supplies, inspect septic systems and perform needed maintenance. For properties in the city, they can maintain and repair hot water heaters, install water filters and other appliances and swap out lead pipes for safer alternatives. Plumbers can also help you find the source of mysterious leaks, replace worn-out faucets or simply update your plumbing hardware to give your kitchen and bathroom a new look.
Most importantly, a licensed plumber can often detect issues before they get out of control. Get in touch with a professional whenever your plumbing is acting strangely. A persistent new noise or change in water pressure may be the sign of a serious problem.
Not sure who to call? Mr. Rooter of Oneida employs licensed plumbers certified by Onondaga County for all types of plumbing work. Whether you need help with regular maintenance or you’re worried about leaks or cracks, get in touch. No job is too big or too small for our staff.