How well do you know the functioning of your residential plumbing system? What kinds of valves is the system comprised of? Where is the master valve located? How can you prevent freezing pipes? Read on to understand the basic components and aspects of residential plumbing systems.
The water meter in your house tracks the total amount of water your family members and you use. Generally, this device is located on the front side of your home, fitted in a box made from concrete. The label on the box would clearly say water meter.
According to an expert plumber in Chattanooga, TN, a typical water meter measures the total usage in gallons or cubic feet.
1 cubic feet = 7.48 gallons
You should regularly ask a plumber in Chattanooga, TN to check your water meter for potential leaks. They would make sure that no water is being used by anyone in the family, and will then remove the water meter cap, noting the position of the dial. After 30 minutes, the dial should have stayed at the same position, and if this isn’t the case, then the plumber in Chattanooga, TN would probably inform you of the leak.
As the name implies, this valve controls the entire water supply that is being provided to your home. Generally, the valve is located to the water meter or at the point where the main water line enters the home. Try locating the position of the valve yourself, and if you can’t, then ask a plumber in Chattanooga, TN to do so. When the position is clear, label it clearly so as to highlight the exact area where the valve is. Now inform everyone in the family of the position. This is particularly important because if you ever detect a plumbing leak, the first and the foremost step would be to shut off this master valve so as to minimize the damage. Also ensure that the valve is located in an accessible place. You definitely don’t want to climb up a ladder or jump over some boxes in case of an emergency.
That being said, your family members and you should learn how to shut off the master valve. Slowly turn it in an anti clockwise direction. If you want to turn it back on, you can move the valve in a clockwise direction. When done, do cover the concrete box properly. As an additional tip, always oil the valve once or twice a year to prevent it from corroding or getting stuck in place.
A shutoff valve is also known as an angle stop, and is located under every sink, separately for both the hot and cold water lines. They are also located below toilet tanks, next to your water heater and even by the faucets in your bath tub. You should get the shutoff valves inspected regularly by a plumber in Chattanooga, TN to ensure that they aren’t corroded or stuck.
By the way, if no water is coming out from a single faucet only, whereas everything else is working fine, then it is probably because the shutoff valve was turned off accidentally.
Generally, water enters your home at a pressure between 45 psi and 60 psi; psi stands for pounds per square inch. This pressure can be checked with a pressure gauge, which any plumber in Chattanooga, TN would have. Get this done regularly, because if the pressure in your residential plumbing system is greater than 60 psi, it would strain your pipes and fixtures, leading to bursts and leakages.
In case the water pressure is too low, it may be due to a number of reasons. These include a clogged showerhead, clogged strainer, clogged water filter which is connected to a faucet, non-functional diverter valve or frozen pipes. Faucet aerators may clog if the pipes rust or a sediment builds up inside. Ask a plumber in Chattanooga to identify the reason for the clog, and clear it up accordingly.
A problem with your residential plumbing system can be identified if the water flow appears to be restricted or is completely blocked. If this happens during the winter season, you must act quickly and call a plumber in Chattanooga, TN to prevent damage.
In such a scenario, the first step is to find the exact location of the blockage. For this, a plumber in Chattanooga, TN, would trace the entire pipe through the plumbing network in your house. Then they would try and melt the frozen pipe using a heat gum, heating pad or by simply pouring hot water over the pipe.
During this time, the plumber in Chattanooga, TN would ask you to turn on some of the faucets so that excess water can easily be drained away. When the ice has melted and all pipes have been cooled down, ask your plumber in Chattanooga, TN to take preventative measures for refreezing. This involves covering the pipes that are located outside or in another cold place with foam insulation.
Before the winter turns too cold, you should also disconnect the garden hose from the plumbing system. If some pipes are located in your garage, make sure not to leave the door open on cold days. In new houses, when the plumbing system is being designed for the first time, the pipes are laid below the frost line so that freezing can be prevented.
Staying Away From Your Home for Prolonged Periods
If you’re planning to stay away from your home for a long period, take the following steps as advised by an expert plumber in Chattanooga, TN.
- Turn off the master valve.
- Turn on all faucets and keep them turned on, until water stops flowing out. Now turn on the main shutoff valve so that all remaining water in the system can drain.
- Close all faucets.
- Remove water puddles under the sink, in the toilet or bathtub and elsewhere.
Contact the experts at Metro Plumb, Heating & Air and keep following our blog for more great information.