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What You Need To Know About Your Grand Rapids Home Plumbing System

Plumbing, What You Need To Know Grand Rapids Michigan


A home is an integrated system. There are many systems that power a home. Without a single system functioning properly, things are likely to go wrong. The house will automatically become inhabitable. The plumbing system is among the vital systems in every house. Homeowners need to understand more about plumbing systems just to be ready in case of failures. When one understands the basics, it will be easy to correct the system using DIY projects. Even if it is a matter that one cannot handle, the explanation given to professional Grand Rapids plumbers will make more sense. The plumbers will then know how to equip themselves when coming to your premises. Now how to equip themselves when coming to your premises.

In most homes, people don’t appreciate their plumbing systems. This is evident when you look at how people go around with the maintenance of the plumbing system. The role of the plumbing system is however vital. Wait until you go for a camp in the jungle. You wake up and find no hot water in the face and no hot shower. When all plumbing systems are fully functional, one forgets to appreciate that. In a scenario that the shower does not give any more hot water, it’s frustrating. You feel you have been denied your rights.

To the homeowners, there is much to understand about the plumbing system. The pipes, the valves, and associated components run in hidden places. Resolving simple issues and communicating to the plumbers may not be effective if one does understand several layers deeper into the world of plumbing.

Types of plumbing systems in Grand Rapids People may own different designs of houses. In all those houses though you can only expect two systems making up the plumbing system. The plumbing systems are mechanical systems that are associated with either water or gas supply. They are not complicated as they might seem to be. It is all just a matter of what is coming in and the waste to be taken out. One of the systems brings in clean water for home use. The other is about the drains that take away the unclean water. The two are designed in such a way that there is no intersection. If there was contact, there could be a hygiene crisis.

Here are the two types of plumbing systems found in Grand Rapids area.

a) Potable water system Potable basically means anything drinkable. In layman’s language, we are talking about the universal drink which is water. We all require fresh water for consumption and run certain home chores. The control of water inflow is controlled under the potable plumbing system. There are many appliances and fixtures that require the water supply. It could be the sinks either in the bathrooms or the kitchen, dishwashers, bathtubs, washing machines, showers, toilets, faucets and many other areas where running water is required. It doesn’t matter the source of water is, the setting of the clean water system is almost the same in all homes. Some people in the rural areas get their water from the wells. Those in the urban areas depend on the water treatment centers for water supply. But the common ground is that this type of plumbing system usually have these components;

The pipes – there is the main pipe that directs water from the source and into your home. The pipe then has to go through a shutoff valve. A system of many other pipes also do exist in the entire house where fresh water is required. You can see some of the pipes running in your house especially in the basement. The greatest proportion of the pipes is not placed in place so you can see. They are plumbed in floors, ceiling and behind walls. Any time water is running, the water has to go through this complicated system of pipes to eventually show up at the faucet or any other fixture.

Shutoff valves – this is the main valve. When it is shut, no water is supplied to the entire potable plumbing system. It helps keep things under control. Other valves will not have any role to play when the main valve is off. When this valve is on, then it is for the other individual valves to do the controlling. Shutoff valves come to lay when there is the need for maintenance, repairs or even installation of the plumbing system. It holds the water from the supply back giving room for plumbers or homeowners carry out major repair projects. Working when the water is running poses a risk of soaking yourself or the area you are working on.

Water heater – in the potable water system, there are two sub-branches. Water can come directly from the appliances and fixtures. This uninterrupted water is cold water and is used in the kitchen, toilet and the sinks. In some homes though, there is a need for hot water. This calls for a heating system. The heater has to be attached to the plumbing system. Some sinks, washing machines and the showers are connected to the heated water line.

Plumbing fittings – at the end of the pipes are plumbing fittings. It could be the faucets, the shower heads, knobs, bathtubs or any other that controls the outflow of water. It is through these fittings that water comes out.

b) Drainage system We should understand that water is not something that gets depleted. It only changes from one form to another. When it comes to the plumbing system, water is basically meant for consumption or cleaning. Water in the kitchen is used for consumption and washing the dishes. In the bathroom, water is for showering. In the laundry, it is about cleaning. Inside the water closet, water is there to carry away the fecal waste. In all these circumstances, only new materials are introduced into the water making it unsuitable for further human use. Such water has to be taken out of the house for more clean water to flow in. the drainage system then comes in here.

The basic objective of the plumbing system keeps homes hygienic. The drainage system contributes a great deal to that. The system of pipes collects all used water together with the solid waste in it and carries it into the septic systems and sewer lines. What follows is a treatment of the unclean material which can be toxic. Sewer systems can be owned by individuals or city management. All these are there to help in sanitation. Wastewater can be used for different purposes. This water is rich in fertilizer. Some of the recycled water can also be re-introduced into the freshwater system and the cycle continues.

What makes the drainage system? Here are the answers. Drain pipes – it would not make sense to have pipes supplying water into a house and not have others that take the residue out of the house. Take note that drain pipes are not the same as the potable water pipes. They adopt a different design to enable them to serve their purpose accordingly. They are usually wider to accommodate the solid waste materials that may go down with the dirty water. They also don’t rely on pressure. On the contrary, they are dependent on gravity. This starts at the moment wastewater leaves the plumbing fixtures all the way to the underground systems. Gravity flow goes all the way to the city collection where treatment takes place.

Drain traps – the objective of the drainage system is not only to take away the waste water but also to get rid of the bad odor of the sewers. You can easily understand what goes down the drainage. If there was no barrier to the drain pipes, the bad odor from the sewer treatment point will flow back to every home outlet causing chaos. Drain traps are compulsory for drainage systems. Otherwise, the world could be a mess. It’s a simple system where water stands in the way of bad odors holding them to the sewer lines and never into the house.

Vents – there is no taking risks. The drainage pipes should also be served by vents that release the unwanted gases to the air. Drain vents are usually long pipes that go to the roof keeping the entire plumbing system well ventilated. Regular maintenance should be done to ensure that drain vent remain fully function to prevent backflow and slow drains. Debris inside the vent pipes can lead to these.


Common Issues Found With Plumbing in Grand Rapids Michigan

Plumbing problems often come as emergencies. You cannot tolerate clean water go into waste. The bill is still counting. At the same time, the great mess that can come with drainage system failures cannot be tolerated. Repairing the plumbing system, plumbers in Grand Rapids find it is a matter of urgency. Plumbing systems just like all other systems are vulnerable to failures. When they do fail, there is a lot of inconveniences that come with that.

The most unfortunate thing is that homeowners often neglect their plumbing systems. They only give them attention when there is an alarming situation. It is this neglect that often leads to more plumbing problems. It is easier to do regular checkups in the plumbing system, detect developing problems and easily fix them in advance. On the contrary, fixing emergencies is hectic and for that, more expensive. However, it’s just how people are. These emergencies, therefore, have to continue affecting people now and in the coming days.

Frozen pipes – the science I have learned enables me to understand that water does expand once it freezes. In areas where the winter gets extreme, pipes are forced to undergo harsh environments. When it’s super cold on the outside, water in the pipes freezes causing it to expand. The flow of water into the houses stops. In addition, the pressure on the pipes can get enormous to the level that the pipes split. If you are one of the people living in such areas, you need to take preventative precautions in advance. Pipe insulation should not be debatable. It should be a must. If it is too late for you to do this, then you can apply thawing tactics. Be careful not to introduce direct heat on pipes as it can be even worse. If you are not sure of what to do, contact the emergency plumber as soon as possible.

Burst pipes – pipes supplying fresh water are usually narrow. This is to allow pressure do what it does best; force water through the pipes to whatever areas it is required. When pipes burst, it can be messy causing a lot of damage to the items inside the house. There can also be a loss of water meaning no value for money. At the end of the day, you will have to pay for that water. To control this situation, you need to make use of the shutoff valve. Turn off the water supply to prevent further damages. Take the next step of contacting the plumber. The expert will restore things to normality and diagnose the system to detect where there could be the risk of further bursts.

Blocked drains – drains do a critical role in carrying away the unwanted materials. When there is resistance to this, all the unwanted materials force their way to stick around. That means a risk of the unhygienic and smelly environment. In mild cases, homeowners don’t have a problem. There are plungers that can help unblock the toilets and other blocked drains. If these tools don’t work, you need to go a step further to call a plumber as fast as possible.

Gas leaks – gas systems fall under plumbing systems. Gases can be super dangerous. They can trigger fires that consume anything standing in their way. This is not a thing to joke with. If you detect a gas leak, take immediate steps. Life is more important than anything else. You need to ensure that all residents are out of the house before you go to the next step. Switch off the main gas valves as well. You can then contact the emergency plumber soonest possible.

Water heater defects – water heaters are a different system that requires either power or fuels. In most cases, water still flows throw the pipes but the electrical bit of it usually develops problems. The water temperature may not be as desired. Sometimes, there is no hot water at all. Other times, hot water comes out initially and then go away. Such frustrations need to be addressed by a diagnosis of the plumbing system. Plumbers can also handle such defects. Don’t risk opening up the risk of DIY cures. It could hurt you.

Leaking fixtures – inefficiencies in any part of the plumbing system cannot be tolerated. They lead to inconveniences or loss of water. A faucet that is not functioning need to be checked. These are just a few of the defects commonly experienced by homeowners. The list is long. It is only wise to mend these defects as fast as possible.

Plumbing system care, what can you do

Plumbing systems are not expected to last forever. There are ways that homeowners can use to increase the lifetime of the plumbing systems. What does it take? It’s all about maintenance to ensure the free flow of either freshwater or unclean water. Here are some ways to use to take care of your plumbing system.

Drain cleaning – if you notice the sluggish flow of the drains, then you should know that clogging is just about to happen. It is not wise to give it time to mature up. Drain cleaning can easily help deal with that in advance. Regular drain cleaning will keep resistance inside the drains at bay. It doesn’t have to be an expensive or hectic endeavor. In fact, it can be as simple as using hot water to melt the grease down the system or using simple vinegar. Vinegar is efficient for cleaning drains. Don’t be tempted to use the exaggerated chemicals that may end up harming your system.

Cleaning the heater system – when there is less care for the heater system, inefficiencies start crawling in. ensure that the tanks are drained at least once annually. Watch out for rusk, flukes, and discolorations that may suggest rusting. The gas system also needs to be checked. If you don’t get a blue color as expected, and instead you get a yellow one, some cleaning needs to be done on the jets.

Vigilance on leaks – plumbing systems passes in hidden places. These are places that even if defects to the system were existing, it might take years before they come to your attention. Don’t risk damages to your house or other properties in the name of plumbing defects. Water leaks, for example, can result in the growth of molds and development of stains. If you take note of such signs, take further action. Shut all faucets and see if the meter is still counting pennies.

Serious damages can result from neglect of the plumbing system. Take action at the early stages when you have time before things escalate to uncontrollable levels. Taking prompt action is the way to go. For information on plumbing visit

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