Plumbing 101: Getting Back to the Basics

Plumbing Basics

It is easy to forget how complex a plumbing system can be. It’s easy for a homeowner to turn the tap on and off without thinking about how the water gets to the home and tap. This article will present the essentials of modern home plumbing and how it works. It will also cover the basics of plumbing maintenance to help homeowners extend the life of their plumbing.

The Main Supply and Drain Lines

water meterThe basic delivery method is essentially the same whether a home’s water comes from a municipal or rural water source. The clean water is pumped through a water meter and into the house through the main supply pipe. The water meter measures the amount of water that flows through it, which is how a house’s water bill is calculated.

From the main supply line, pipes branch to the house's various fixtures and water-using appliances. Wastewater goes down the various drain pipes and into the main drain pipe that leads either to a septic tank or a municipal sewer system.

Plumbing Fixtures: Everything and the Kitchen Sink

showerheadIt's amazing how many things in modern homes are connected through plumbing. Once a person starts listing the things in the house that are part of the plumbing, the list gets quite long quite quickly:

  • Kitchen Faucet, Drain, and Sink
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator (if it has an ice maker and water dispenser)
  • Garbage disposal (connected to the drain side)
  • Bathroom Faucets, Drains, and Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Showerheads, Bathtub Faucets, and Drains
  • Washing Machine
  • Water Heater

Obviously, water is an extensively used resource in the home, not just for drinking. If homeowners want to reduce their water bills and conserve water, they should consider replacing old appliances and fixtures with newer water-saving models that use less water. This is a win-win for the environment and the pocketbook.

Maintenance and Problem Prevention

Everybody wants their home plumbing to run smoothly. The best way to prevent problems is to keep up with regular system maintenance. If a homeowner keeps up with professional maintenance visits, the pipes and appliances are less likely to develop serious problems, and it can extend the plumbing’s lifespan.

Here are a few of the maintenance tasks that a plumbing professional performs during a maintenance visit:

  • Drain cleaning
  • Drain and flush the water heater tank
  • Check anode rod and replace if necessary
  • Check the pressure release valve and replace it if necessary
  • Inspect plumbing for damage, leaks, and corrosion
  • Check the water pressure

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving the community of Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, rapid service, and the latest technology. Call them today for plumbing services in Somerset, MA.

Why Plumbing Maintenance Is Essential

Benefits of Maintenance Visits

  • Home safety 
  • Prolong life of plumbing fixtures and piping 
  • Keep the system running efficiently 
  • Lower utility bills 
  • Save money on repairs 

One of the best things homeowners can do for their plumbing systems is to maintain their plumbing with annual maintenance checks by professionals. Home plumbing systems are a complicated network of fixtures, drains, and pipes connecting to the main water line and sewer. Any problem with the plumbing could affect the overall performance of the system.  

It is best to leave maintenance up to a professional for safety reasons, as the homeowner could injure themselves or the plumbing in the process if they do not know what they are doing. However, homeowners can do a few things to help maintain their plumbing. Examples of maintenance that homeowners can do themselves include keeping the plumbing fixtures clean, paying attention to warning signs of a leak, and inspecting the plumbing fixtures for signs of damage. 

Professional plumbers go through years of on-the-job training to obtain a certificate for working on plumbing systems. This gives them the expertise needed to complete maintenance safely, quickly diagnose problems with the plumbing system, and provide the homeowner with solutions. 

Improve Plumbing Safety

homeSome safety hazards can result from skipping out on plumbing maintenance. Plumbing leaks can lead to the growth of mold due to moisture. Mold has negative effects on human health, including respiratory problems and headaches. When the water from a leak reaches the home’s electrical wiring, it can be a huge safety hazard because of the risk of electrocution or fire. 

Another common plumbing hazard is a burst pipe. There are a few reasons why burst pipes occur, including clogged drains, an imbalance of water pressure, or frozen pipes. When a pipe bursts, it can send debris and water flying. Hidden plumbing leaks underground can wreak havoc on the home’s foundation. When the water from a burst pipe underground soaks into the soil around the foundation for a long time, it can soften to the point that the structural integrity of the building is compromised. Regular maintenance checks can prevent burst pipes and other hazards by catching the issues early and allowing the plumbing to run safely and smoothly. 

Improve the Longevity of the Plumbing System

One of the reasons it’s important to maintain the plumbing system is to protect the homeowner’s investment. No plumbing fixture lasts forever, but with regular maintenance checks, homeowners can be sure they are getting the most out of their plumbing system. 

Homeowners can extend the lifespan of plumbing fixtures by keeping up with a regular maintenance schedule. Plumbing maintenance can help catch issues early on before they worsen, allowing them to be fixed before a replacement or additional repairs are necessary.  

Save Money

money During regular maintenance checks, a plumber will inspect the plumbing for signs of damage and broken parts. Repairing small problems early on prevents them from developing into more significant issues that need more extensive repairs. 

Keeping the plumbing system running efficiently also helps to save the homeowner money on utility bills. A leaky pipe or faucet can be like money going down the drain. Some leaks can be difficult to find because the pipes are hidden under floorboards or in the walls, but plumbers can easily find any hidden leaks and repair them with leak detectors. 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving its neighbors in Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day service, and the latest technology. They also guarantee customer satisfaction, so call them today for plumbing services in Somerset, MA!

Spring Plant Growth Can Wreak Havoc On Home Plumbing Systems

April Showers Bring May Flowers and New Plumbing Problems

The spring is when new plant growth can threaten underground plumbing systems. Tree roots are notorious for growing into a home’s underground pipes and causing blockages. 

Tree roots are very efficient at working their way into any crack or crevice in underground pipes that they can find. Once inside the pipes, the roots will continue to expand as they seek more hydration and nutrients from the plumbing. The intrusion of tree roots can cause pipes to crack or burst.

Homeowners should try their best to plan their landscaping with the layout of their underground plumbing in mind. But when tree roots make their way into the plumbing system, professional solutions such as hydro-jetting can help. 

How Tree Roots Affect Underground Plumbing

tree rootsWhy do tree roots invade the plumbing system? The reason is simple: trees need water and nutrients to fuel new growth, and water and nutrients can be found inside pipes. Tree roots expand in the direction of water underground, just like how tree branches extend toward the direction of sunlight above ground. 

During the winter months, most tree growth halts. As the weather heats up in the spring, trees and other plants begin to stretch out their roots in search of nutrients to fuel new growth. The sudden spurt of root growth underground can wreak havoc on home plumbing systems by causing hidden water leaks. 

Signs of Tree Root Obstruction


  • Burst pipe underground 
  • Slow draining in the shower or sink 
  • Decrease in water pressure 
  • Spike in water bills 

One of the costly hazards of tree root intrusion is that it can eventually lead to a burst pipe underground. Burst pipes and leaking pipes in the underground plumbing can be challenging to locate and repair. Underground water leak repair can be very disruptive for the home if it requires tearing up the yard or the foundation. 

Other adverse effects of tree root growth on the plumbing system include decreasing water pressure because the tree roots can get in the way of water reaching the shower or sink faucets. If an underground leak is wasting a significant amount of water, water bills may increase. These signs can point to an underground plumbing leak, so homeowners should not ignore them.

Root Barriers and Other Solutions

Homeowners can ensure that they do not end up with a burst pipe underground by installing root barriers. Root barriers are preventative measures that create a wall between the tree roots and the home’s underground plumbing. 

Hydro jetting is a tool plumbers use to clear tree roots from the pipes. During hydro jetting services, the plumber shoots pressurized water through the pipes to blast away tree roots and other types of tough clogs. 

When the tree roots have caused too much damage to the pipes for hydro jetting to be an option, the plumber may need to repipe the waterline. Repiping is often the best way for plumbers to repair an underground plumbing issue without disrupting the entire yard. 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has provided the community of Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas with trustworthy plumbing solutions for over 15 years. They offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services in Somerset, MA