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What Is a Plumbing System?

A plumbing system is the network of piping, fittings, fixtures, and equipment used for the transport of water within a building. This includes public or private water supply and wastewater systems, drainage systems, and venting systems. 

The main concern of a housing inspector during inspections is to ensure that the plumbing system provides a safe potable water supply, a safe waste drainage system, and adequate fixtures and equipment. If you have concerns about any part of a plumbing system, consider speaking with a plumber in Glenelg to help. 

Water Supply 

Water is the lifeblood of your plumbing system, delivering either hot or cold water to every fixture in your home. It travels under pressure throughout your house, around corners and up to the ceiling. 

A water supply line is a metal or plastic pipe that transfers water from your main line to your faucets, showers and toilets. It’s a vital part of your plumbing system and should always be in good working order. 

It’s essential to understand the basics of your supply lines so that you can detect problems and deal with emergencies in an effective manner. 

The water supply of your plumbing system is composed of two separate subsystems – one brings fresh water in, the other takes wastewater out. 

Your water supply pipes are designed to deliver water to your fixtures without compromising comfort and convenience. They’re networked in such a way that you can switch on and off the piping as needed, and they’re connected to the water supply meter so that you can monitor your usage. 


Plumbing isn’t just about bringing water into your home–it also needs to safely remove used water. That’s where drainage comes in. 

Drainage systems work with gravity, rather than pressure, to transport waste from your home. That’s because waste pipes are created to go downward and gravity acts on the wastewater, pulling it along until it reaches a sewer line or septic tank. 

Your drainage system will come with vents, traps and clean-outs to keep waste and sewage safe. They all help your pipes to move properly by adding air-pressure vacuums to the waste that helps it travel downward. 

Generally, drainage piping is made from plastics like PVC or ABS. These materials don’t rust easily and are light in weight so they are easy to install and maintain. 


A plumbing vent helps maintain the proper air pressure within your drain pipes, so the water can pass easily out of them. These vents also help prevent sewer gasses from entering your home.

A drain-waste-vent (DWV) system moves wastewater from your home through the drainage pipes to the city sewer or septic tank. It is important for a plumbing vent to work properly to avoid a vacuum problem that can lead to gurgling sounds or siphonage from nearby traps when you flush a toilet in a building with poor ventilation. 

The main vent in the DWV system is a vertical pipe attached to your drain line that runs through the roof. A recent or auxiliary vent is also used in the system which attaches to the drain line close to your plumbing fixture and then vertically over to a tee that attaches it to the main stack vent. 


Plumbing fixtures are the receptacles that connect to your plumbing system and provide you with access to hot and cold water. They can include everything from faucets and sinks to showers, toilets and drain stoppers. 

Fixtures are an important part of a plumbing system and can be easily replaced or repaired. They also allow you to customize your home and create a cohesive look that fits your style. 

For example, some people prefer a traditional look and others prefer something more modern. The key is to choose the right fixtures for your needs. 

A typical building requires a certain number of plumbing fixtures for its occupancy type and size. Generally, this quantity is determined by the project architect.

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