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Houston Home Plumbing 101

Plumbing in your Houston TX home follows the basic laws of nature: gravity, pressure, water seeking its own level. Understanding these laws will help you unlock the “mysteries” of plumbing and guide you to making your own fixes to your home’s plumbing system. Even if these repairs are minimal or temporary, you could wind up saving yourself time, money, and frustration!

There are two separate subsystems throughout your Houston TX home’s plumbing system. One brings freshwater in, one takes wastewater out. The water that comes into your home is under pressure. As it comes in, it passes through a water meter that registers the amount you use. If you don’t know where your main water shutoff valve is, it is usually located near the meter. This is important in an emergency! There are also individual shutoff valves near each tap so you don’t have to always turn off the main water supply.

If you need cold water, it is instantly available through the tap. Should you need hot water though, it must pass through a water heater (either tank or tankless) first. From the heater, it is then taken to hot water taps and ready for use.

Drainage systems do not depend on pressure because they rely on pitch, or angle downward. Gravity pulls the waste along. The sewer line continues this downward flow to a sewage treatment facility or a septic tank. Although the system sounds simple, there is more to it, including vents, traps, and clean outs. The vents sticking up from the roof of your home allow air to enter the drainpipes. Traps are also vital components of a drainage system. You can see a trap under every sink shaped like a curve or S. Water flows from the basin with enough force to go through the trap, but enough water stays in the trap afterward to form a seal that prevents sewer gas from leaking up through the pipe into your home.