It’s easy to be mystified by the complex inner workings of your home’s plumbing. There are pipes, joints, gauges, heaters, fixtures, and faucets to consider, after all. How can anyone who isn’t already a professional plumber keep it straight? If you want to be a proactive homeowner, you should learn how to take care of your home’s plumbing. Your first step should be to learn about the most important players.

Here’s a place to get started. Below you can find a guide to your home’s plumbing anatomy. These are all the interconnected pieces that keep it working:

The pipes

There are a lot of different pipes inside your home, and each one has its own purpose and value. Learning what each pipe is and where they connect will help you determine where leaks are as they happen. There are four main types of pipe in your home:

  • Supply pipes. Your supply piping, particularly your main water supply pipe, connects to either a water company’s main or your property’s well. The main supply pipe is how all the water you use enters your home uses your home initially. Make sure you know how to shut your water main off. Your main water shutoff valve is usually located in your basement or a utility area outside your home.
  • Hot and cold pipes. These usually run parallel to one another through walls. The cold supply pipe transports cold water directly. The hot supply pipe connects to the water heater to receive and transport hot water.
  • Drainage pipes. These pipes take wastewater after it’s used and move it out of the home to the sewer line.
  • Vent pipes. These pipes prevent sewer gases from escaping through the drains by channeling the gases to a vent.

Water heater

There are a number of different options when it comes to your home’s water heater. You have either a conventional or a tankless heater depending on how old your home is. Conventional water heaters store gallons of water in a tank and heat it in advance, so it’s ready when you need it. Tankless water heaters heat up water as you need it. Both conventional and tankless water heaters must be maintained regularly in order to keep working properly.

Faucets and fixtures

These are the parts of your plumbing system you’re most familiar with–you use them every day! Plumbing fixtures are anything that hooks up to pipes to use water. Toilets, faucets, showers, and your dishwasher are all plumbing fixtures. You need to maintain all of your plumbing fixtures regularly to keep them functioning properly.

Every part of your home’s plumbing works together to get you the water you need. If any part of it breaks down, therefore, the whole system stops working the way it should.

‌When that happens, call the pros at Ben Franklin Plumbing. We know the system top-to-bottom, and we’ll make sure it’s working right.