Author: Melvin Armstrong

What Is Plumbing?

Plumbing is a series of pipes and fixtures that bring clean water in and take waste out. This system is essential for ensuring that people have access to clean drinking water and can live comfortably in their homes.


Though they may seem similar, plumbing and process piping are two different systems that play very distinct roles in an industrial facility. While both control the movement of fluids to perform a specific task, plumbing systems handle familiar tasks such as water supply and waste disposal in a building, while process piping supports operations within a plant. Its duties are more complex, and it must comply with a much stricter set of national standards than plumbing systems. Contact Plumbing Express, Inc. for professional help.

Process piping systems contain all the pipes and components that regulate the movement of liquids, gases, chemicals, and fuels in a plant. They include manual and automated valves, flow control instruments, pressure control equipment, flanges, tubing, and pipe supports. These systems are commonly found in chemical and petrochemical factories, food manufacturing facilities, pharmaceutical plants, pulp & paper mills, and refineries.

To design a piping system, you must know the intended use of the piping and understand the physical limitations of your space. You also need to consider the length of each run and whether it will have any curves. Taking the time to plan your route will save you money and effort in the long run, especially if you’re working with a limited budget.

A piping system must be designed by a professional engineer with experience in designing a pressure piping system. You can find a qualified engineer by contacting a local professional engineering organization or the state-level licensing board for engineers in your area. Generally, these organizations require a four-year engineering degree with five years of experience or a two-year engineering associates degree and ten years of experience. They will also need to be certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). If you aren’t sure which type of engineer to hire, ask your local licensing board for recommendations.

Plumbing systems

Plumbing is the network of pipes and fixtures that supply water, remove waste, and ensure that a building’s occupants are safe and comfortable. It is a critical component of modern living, but like any system it can become susceptible to wear and tear, breakdowns, or failures. This can cause significant damage and disruptions to businesses, and it is important to ensure that all plumbing systems are properly maintained.

The primary components of a plumbing system are the distribution and drainage pipes. These pipes carry potable water from the main water line to faucets, toilets, and appliances. They also collect wastewater and sewage from sinks, baths, showers, and washing machines and transport them to the sewage system or septic tank. In addition, they provide water for cooking, cleaning, and irrigation.

Another major component of a plumbing system is the drain-waste-vent (DWV) pipe system. This system carries wastewater and sewage from sinks, bathtubs, and toilets to the septic tank or public sewer. It also vents odors from the drains to the outside.

A plumbing system also includes a series of valves and fittings. Valves control the flow of water and allow it to turn on or off as needed. Fittings connect the piping to other devices, such as faucets and shower heads. They are available in many different materials, sizes, and shapes. They are typically made of cast iron or steel, but they can also be made of plastic, brass, or PVC.

A plumbing system requires regular maintenance to prevent failures and reduce costs. Consistent maintenance can also help extend the lifespan of plumbing equipment, reducing the need for early replacements. It can also improve customer satisfaction by preventing leaks and other disruptions.

Plumbing fixtures

A plumbing fixture is any receptacle or device that is connected to a plumbing system for the purpose of water supply and wastewater disposal. They are usually grouped into categories such as toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers. Choosing the right fixtures is important for ensuring proper water and waste management in homes and buildings. These fixtures also help maintain hygiene and ensure a comfortable living environment. However, the wrong ones can cause problems like leaking pipes or clogged drains.

In addition to their practical use, plumbing fixtures can also play an important role in the design of a home or building. Many are available in a variety of styles and designs, and can be used to complement the overall décor. Some are even designed to help conserve energy and water. While these benefits are great, it is also important to note that all plumbing fixtures have a fixed lifespan. Due to their constant use, they wear down over time and can eventually deteriorate, leading to costly repair bills.

The most common plumbing fixtures include faucets, sinks, showerheads, and toilets. These can be installed in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other room in a house. Other types of plumbing fixtures include water closets, urinals, and bidets. Water closets allow you to squat down and do your business, while urinals are used for men. There are also a variety of other types of plumbing fixtures, such as spigots and water heaters.

When selecting plumbing fixtures, look for ones that are durable and easy to maintain. Also, be sure to check for features like leak detection mechanisms. These can alert you of potential issues before they become expensive repairs or replacements. Additionally, choose eco-friendly plumbing fixtures, which can reduce your water consumption and utility costs by up to 30%. They can also improve your brand reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers.

Plumbing materials

The pipes used in plumbing systems are made from a variety of materials. Choosing the right one is important, as it will protect your home from leaks and other costly damage. These pipes also need to be durable enough to withstand the pressure of water. Depending on the plumbing system in your house, you may need to choose from different types of pipes, such as copper, PVC, CPVC, or PEX.

Copper pipes have been a popular choice for plumbing since the 1960s, and they are still one of the most durable plumbing materials available. They can be found in homes and commercial buildings, and they are typically labeled with an “NSF-PW” or “NSF-61” rating. These ratings ensure that the copper piping meets standards for drinking water. Copper is expensive, and it requires a skilled plumber to install, as it must be soldered to join the pipes.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipes are another type of plumbing pipe that is often used in drains and sewer systems. They are durable, budget-friendly, and corrosion-resistant. However, they are not as flexible as PVC and can break if subjected to sudden pressure. ABS pipes are also prone to degradation by sunlight, so they should not be exposed to the sun.

Polybutylene (PB) pipes were used in many homes from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. These gray plastic pipes were a popular alternative to copper because they were inexpensive and easy to work with. Unfortunately, they are prone to leaks at the joints, and they must be replaced frequently. Fortunately, there are several ways to repair these pipes. Plastic pipe fittings are available to replace the leaking joints.

Plumbing regulations

Whether you’re renovating your bathroom or installing a new kitchen, you’ll need to follow the rules and regulations that govern plumbing installations. These regulations are designed to protect the health and safety of people using the system. They are also meant to ensure that the plumbing system is functioning properly and that it does not weaken the structure of a building. These regulations are established by state and local authorities.

The code includes a series of guidelines that govern the installation, repair and maintenance of plumbing systems in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. It also covers fire protection and emergency systems. The code was developed by a committee of experts and is updated on a three-year cycle. It was recently revised to promote sustainable plumbing practices. The 2024 edition is printed in a popular illustrated format and provides supplementary information that will help you understand the code.

In addition to the standards governing plumbing installation, the code contains provisions that address construction, testing and inspection of piping systems. These requirements include a requirement that all plumbing fixtures, drains and traps be connected to the sanitary sewer. Additionally, pipes must be securely fastened to prevent lateral movement and leaking.

The code defines a plumbing fixture as any device or appurtenance used to receive, carry, store or discharge liquid waste, sewage or other substances. It also includes a toilet tank, commodes, water closets, bathtubs, showers, sinks, water heaters and dishwashers. A person engaged in the business of plumbing is defined as an individual, partnership or corporation that has been licensed by the city and is engaged in the installation, repair or replacement of any plumbing fixture, pipe, sanitary sewer or drainage system.

Drain Cleaning – How to Get Rid of Clogged Drains

Drain Cleaning Philadelphia isn’t often at the top of homeowners’ to-do lists, but when slow-draining sinks, it’s time to call in the professionals. Read on to learn about the best products and methods for clog removal.

Drain Cleaning

Many clogged drains are caused by fat, oil and grease (FOG) that builds up inside pipes. Pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain can dislodge this build-up and move it down the pipes. Just be sure to follow it up with hot water to avoid damaging your plumbing pipes.

Hair, coffee grounds and food scraps can also cause clogged pipes. It’s important to put these items in the garbage instead of the drain. Likewise, children’s toys and other objects often end up in toilets or showers. If these items aren’t properly disposed of, they can cause large blockages that require professional help to resolve.

Chemical drain cleaners are available at most hardware and grocery stores. These products are easy to use- just pour, wait and flush. However, some are corrosive to plastic pipes and may not be safe for all drains.

Another option is to try one of the newer “air burst” drain cleaning devices. These are designed to release a blast of air into the pipe, which can break up small clogs. However, these items don’t always work and are not recommended for regular use. If these solutions don’t work, call a plumber for professional help. A professional plumber will use a high-pressure drain blaster to clean out your clogged pipes without damaging them. They can also suggest ways to prevent future clogs.

Clogged Sinks

Sink drains often clog with hair, food scraps, soap scum, or oily residues that stick to pipe walls over time. Clogged drains can cause foul odors that spread through your home, so it’s important to address them as soon as you notice slow-moving or standing water.

One of the best ways to clean a clogged sink is by using an inexpensive plastic drain cleaning tool. These 24-inch to 36-inch strips have barbs cut into them that grab ahold of clogs and pull them straight out of the drain. Just insert the device into the drain, scour over any hair or other debris, and then pull it back out. It’s important to pull it out straight up and not to twist or turn it sideways, which can break the tool or even worsen the clog.

Another simple way to unclog a sink is by using a combination of baking soda and vinegar. This natural kitchen staple reacts to eat away at organic material that clings to the pipes in your sink. Simply pour one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of vinegar into your clogged drain, plug it, and let the mixture sit for about an hour. Then, flush it with boiling water.

For serious clogs, a plumbing snake may be needed to remove the clog from your pipe system. This heavy-duty tool is powered by a motor that rotates a blade fastened to the end of a cable. Feed the snake into the affected drain and then advance it until you feel it hook a clog.

Clogged Toilets

A clogged toilet can be a big inconvenience. Not only is it inconvenient for the household, but the overflowing waste can create health hazards and property damage. If a plunger does not clear the clog, it may be time to call for professional drain cleaning services.

Non-flushable items are a major reason behind constant toilet clogs in many households. Products that claim to be flushable, such as “flushable wipes,” actually cause problems for home plumbing systems and sewage systems. Cotton balls, q-tips, and paper towels are other common culprits that should not be flushed, either. Instead, place a trashcan in every bathroom so that these items can be properly disposed of.

Another common reason for a clogged toilet is an overflowing or sewage-backed-up bowl. This is usually a sign of an issue in the toilet’s trap or a larger blockage in the branch drain line or main sewer line.

If plunging does not resolve the clog, try using a long metal stick called a drain snake (or auger). This is an effective tool for breaking up and dislodging stubborn debris. If you don’t have a drain snake, you can try using an empty plastic bottle — preferably one that has a narrow opening, such as a two-liter soda bottle — filled with water. The bottle will add weight to the stick and help it break up a clog.

Clogged Showers

Showers are another place where hair and soap scum can build up, leading to a clogged drain. If your shower has a lot of gunky, smelly buildup and you have a hard time getting water to flow down the drain, try pouring boiling water down it. Make sure you do this carefully so you don’t damage the pipes or your skin.

If the hot water doesn’t work, try a DIY cleaning solution made of baking soda and vinegar. Pour a cup of the solution into your shower drain and leave it to sit for an hour. After the hour is up, pour more hot water down the drain to rinse away the cleaning solution and any lingering debris that might be in your shower drain.

Using chemical drain cleaners is a last resort. These caustic chemicals can be damaging to your pipes and shower fixtures, as well as a health risk for you and your family. If you must use them, make sure you follow the instructions very closely and don’t let the solution sit for longer than recommended.

Other ways to prevent clogged shower drains are to clean your bathroom with safe household cleaners, comb or brush your hair before showering and transfer any loose hair to a wastebasket. In addition, try a plunger on your clogged shower drain, but be sure to line the plunger with petroleum jelly for a better seal and more suction power.

Clogged Bathtubs

The bathtub drain sees the most use in our homes, and it is often the site of hair-related clogs. Hair clumps and soap scum build up over time to stop water flow and create foul odors.

If you are lucky, a simple mix of baking soda and vinegar will clear your tub drain. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by about a cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture fizz for about 15 minutes before running water into the drain to see if it worked. Repeat this process if necessary.

Alternatively, try a chemical drain cleaner. However, we advise against using acidic drain cleaners that contain nitrates or peroxides, as they can be harmful to pipes and your skin. If you do choose to use a chemical drain cleaner, make sure that it is safe for your pipes and follow the instructions carefully.

If you are unable to unclog your drain by using the tips above, or if you notice that your clogged tub drain is emitting foul odors, call in a professional plumber. They will have more tools and experience to get your drain flowing again. They will also be able to recommend ways to prevent future clogs. In addition, they will be able to inspect your home’s plumbing and make any necessary repairs.

Clogged Drains in the Basement

Floor drains in the basement are more prone to clogging than other drains because they’re located in the floor of the house where dirt and debris often collect. Debris in the form of dust bunnies, hair, and other organic matter can find its way into a basement floor drain and cause it to clog.

The good news is that a basement floor drain doesn’t necessarily have to be as difficult to clean as other drains in the home. You can use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to break up the clog in most cases. First, remove the drain cover and clean it off with hot water. Remove any dirt or debris that you can reach with your hands and place it in a garbage pail.

Pour a mix of 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar down the drain. Wait about 30 minutes to allow the mixture to foam and cling to the clog. Next, remove the stopper and plunger vigorously. You may have to repeat this several times before you can get the clog loose.

If the above cleaning methods don’t work, you may need to use a snake to unclog your basement drain. You should always consult with a professional before using a snake because some products like Drano can damage the glue holding your pipes together, creating more problems in the future.