Plumbing Basics Whats and Whys


If you don’t have much experience doing DIY work around the house, things like plumbing can seem quite complex and the tasks can be daunting. However, many of the puzzling things about plumbing can be explained relatively easily—and sometimes you just need to look up simple solutions to seemingly complex plumbing problems.


Why are pipes curved?
The design of pipework underneath kitchen or bathroom sinks can be a mystery, but they are how they are for a reason. It’s all about physics. The curve in the pipes prevent fumes from the sewer from going up into your home.


As they come from the sewers and the mixture of substances and chemicals there, these fumes can be toxic and affect the health of people, so it’s necessary to have the U-shaped assembly so that there will be a water seal in the pipe. The water seal is created when water is trapped in the curve after the faucet has been turned off. This bit of the construction is also referred to as a ‘trap’.


An interesting byproduct of curved drain pipes is when you accidentally drop something important down the drain—like, say, a wedding or engagement ring—the design will give you a chance to still fish out the valuable object because it’s trapped in the curve instead of going straight down into the depths of who-knows-where.


What are plumbing vents?
Speaking of noxious fumes that can cause harmful effects to a home’s inhabitants, there’s also another part of the plumbing system that helps offset this ever-present threat: plumbing vents.


Vents in a plumbing system are necessary to prevent air from getting into a home. Even water seals in the pipework may not be sufficient if there’s such a large volume of air being pushed by a massive amount of water flow.


There are rules in the plumbing code that account for these vents, and how much need to be present in the system to accommodate all variables. It is important to make sure that the plumbing system in your home conforms to these requirements to ensure complete integrity and the safety of the people living in your residence.


What’s a pitch?
Simply put, the putch is the angle at which water flows easily, helped by our good old friend, gravity. This pitch, also called a slope, has to be calculated properly to make sure that wastewater flows out of your home completely and efficiently. The common guideline is to have a quarter-inch frop per foot of pipe, but more or less, it depends on the diameter of the pipe that’s going to be installed. Make sure you check the plumbing code for the proper minimum slope guidance.


Did the plumbing tidbits discussed above provide you with useful information? Hopefully, some of those items have made the science behind plumbing less of a mystery for some of you. If you think you’re still in way over your head, don’t think twice and look up the best plumbing service you can find in your area.