What Is Plumbing and Why Is It Important?

Cranford Plumbing is about more than just sinks, toilets, and faucets. The system is a complex network that brings fresh water into buildings and removes waste water and sewage.


It requires regular maintenance to avoid problems like leaky pipes and clogged drains. Learn more about this essential service and how to get the most out of your plumbing system.

The water supply is the infrastructure for the collection, transmission, treatment, storage, and distribution of potable (drinkable) water to homes, commercial establishments, industry, agriculture, thermoelectric power generation, and other public needs. It is the most basic and vital of all municipal services. Water supply systems have to satisfy both the quantity and quality requirements of end-users.

The most important sources of water for the public water system are groundwater and surface water, including rivers and lakes. All groundwater must go through some sort of treatment, and surface water must be disinfected through chlorination or other methods. Once the water is treated, it is sent to reservoirs, either on the ground or elevated, such as in water towers. From the reservoirs, water is distributed to individual customers through pipes. Typical data collected by the water supplier include rates of withdrawal from the source, water released into the distribution system, deliveries to groups of users such as residential, industrial, or commercial, and estimated unaccounted-for use.

Water travels from the city water line to your house through a pipe called a service lateral. These are typically 3/4 inches in diameter and buried deep enough so they don’t freeze. They run to your home from the street and connect to a water meter. Once the water reaches your home, it splits into two different paths: one to the hot water heater and the other to all the faucets in your house.

Larger water suppliers have larger-diameter transmission mains that run around the town or city. These follow a grid-like pattern to provide redundant connections, and they have to be constructed of robust materials because any failure results in a significant loss of water supply. Distribution lines that branch off from these are smaller in diameter, have a tree-like topology, and serve only small areas of the town or city.


Drainage is the network of pipes that carry waste water away from your home to the sewer system or septic tank. It is important to have proper drainage because excess water can cause flooding, foundation damage, and erosion. There are many different types of drainage systems, so it is important to work with a professional to ensure that you get the right system for your property.

Drain pipes are usually made of clay, concrete, or plastic. They may be straight or curved and come in a variety of sizes. There are also a variety of connections used, including threaded, brazed, or welded joints. For safety and efficiency, the drain pipes should be free from leaks and cracks and have smooth, uniform bores.

Like supply pipes, drainage pipes are usually installed in trenches. However, they do not have to be as deep as supply pipes and can be much shorter. This is because they are not under as much pressure as they are only used for wastewater and rainwater. Drainage pipes can be connected to the sewer system via a sewer or septic tank, or they can go directly to the ground surface.

As well as connecting to the sewer system, drainage pipes can also connect to catch basins and retention ponds. These are useful for storing rainwater or controlling floodwaters. They are also often found in urban areas to help prevent sewage and stormwater from overflowing into streets, homes, and businesses.

A plumbing system is made up of several elements, including drains, soil stacks, vent pipes, and fixtures. The drains are used to remove waste water and odors from the house, while the soil stacks allow air into the plumbing system to equalize pressure. The vent pipes ensure that the plumbing system can operate correctly, and the fixture traps help to keep odors in check.

The drainage pipe system in a house works by gravity. All waste matter leaves the house through the drains, which are connected to all sinks and toilets. These drains then connect to a sewer line that takes the waste to the septic tank or sewage treatment plant. The drain pipes in a house can be made from clay, concrete, or plastic and are available in a range of diameters. The pipe size must be adequate for the amount of water and waste that will flow through it. It is important that the drainage pipes are not overloaded, as this can lead to blockages and overflows.


When you think about your home’s plumbing system, the pipes and drains that move water and waste are probably what come to mind first. However, there are other critical parts of the system that help remove sewage and waste efficiently—plumbing vents. Understanding their function, how they work together with the drainage and sewer systems, and what signs indicate a problem with them can help you avoid costly plumbing issues in the future.

The most obvious sign that your plumbing vents are blocked is a noticeable sewage smell in the house, especially around sinks and toilets. This is because methane, hydrogen sulfide, and other noxious gases are released during the process of breaking down sewage and graywater in your pipes. Plumbing vents keep these gases from building up in your home by allowing them to escape during the draining process and by providing oxygen to the plumbing system, encouraging aerobic sewage digestion and discouraging noxious anaerobic decomposition.

Plumbing vents connect to the waste pipes of every plumbing fixture in your home—from bath tubs and showers to kitchen sinks, toilets, and washing machines. Each fixture has its own S-trap that seals access to the drain, but the S-trap’s effectiveness is dependent on the vent above it. The vent keeps pressure equalized in the pipe so that a vacuum cannot form and pull sewage back up into the trap. It also allows air to enter the trap from outside (via the vent stack) to maintain its neutral pressure and provide a path for the disposal of wastewater and sludge.

There are many different ways to vent a plumbing system, but the most common is a vent stack, which consists of a series of pipes that lead from the building’s roof to the waste pipe below each fixture. The pipes in the vent stack are usually sloped to ensure that air flows properly through them and prevent any blockages from forming.

Another type of plumbing vent is a studor valve, or air admittance valve. These are one-way valves that open when a drain opens to let air in but close to keep noxious gases from flowing back into the plumbing system. These types of valves should be installed on any fixture that does not have a built-in vent, like shower drains and laundry sinks, to prevent the buildup of odors and pressure in the plumbing system.


The plumbing fixtures that we use to wash ourselves, prepare food and drink, bathe, and clean the house are called “plumbing fixtures.” Examples of plumbing fixtures include sinks, faucets, showerheads, tubs, and toilets. It’s important to balance style with functionality when choosing plumbing fixtures. Many styles and finishes are available, from ornately traditional to sleekly modern. The right choice can set the tone for your kitchen and bathroom design.

While often overlooked, these fixtures are an essential part of any plumbing system. They are installed in most homes and businesses to supply water for washing, drinking, and cooking. Without them, our lives would be much harder and less pleasant.

In addition to the pipes and water supplies, these fixtures need to be properly installed, maintained, and replaced when needed. When choosing plumbing fixtures, it’s important to select high-quality items that are CSA-approved and designed for long-term usage. This ensures they will perform at a high standard and won’t leak or burst.

It’s also important to make sure that all of your plumbing fixtures have shut-off valves or stop valves on the water lines that lead to them. This allows you to turn off the water flow to a fixture if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Most plumbing fixtures have drains on the bottom for waste to be evacuated and a stopper that can be manipulated to prevent water from flowing when it shouldn’t. These fixtures are generally made from durable materials like porcelain, fiberglass, steel, or chrome that resist rusting and water staining.

Lastly, any fixture that discharges wastewater requires venting to function properly. These vents allow air into the drainage line to break up the waste and water so they can flow more easily through the pipes. Without these vents, the drain lines could clog and become difficult to use.

If you are unsure of what type of plumbing fixtures to install in your home, consult with an experienced plumber to ensure your house will have the proper water supply and drainage system. They will be able to advise you on the best options and can assist you with installation, repair, and maintenance as needed.