Plumbing Problems: What Are the 3 Main Types of Plumbing Systems?

Did you know that the origins of modern plumbing date back thousands of years? Ancient people laid the groundwork for the advents of indoor plumbing that came about with the Industrial Revolution.

Even though the world is very different now than it was back then, our modern house plumbing doesn’t work that differently from the plumbing systems of the mid-1800s.

There are three main types of plumbing that work together to create the entire plumbing system of most modern homes and buildings. Any reputable plumber will know how to work with all three types of plumbing.

As a homeowner or building owner, it’s wise to know at least a little bit about plumbing. That way, you can tell whether your plumber has the expertise to be able to do the job you’re asking them to do.

If the thought of having to decipher a house plumbing system diagram fills you with dread, don’t worry. Keep reading to learn what the three main types of plumbing systems are and how they work together to provide water to your building.

Stormwater Drainage System

As the name suggests, the stormwater drainage system helps rain and other precipitation to drain away from the building. In older structures, this wastewater was fed directly into the sanitary drainage system (explained below). However, new buildings have a separate drainage system that sends the water into your city or town’s storm sewers.

Sanitary Drainage System

Think about how many times a day you use water indoors: to take a shower, to use the bathroom, to wash dishes and laundry, to send food down the kitchen sink, and more!

All of this wastewater has to go somewhere. That’s where the sanitary drainage system comes in. This network of pipes carries all of the wastewater away from your building and into the public sewer system.

This part of your plumbing system is also connected to vents that run vertically through your building. These vents are open above the roof, allowing gases to vent away from the pipes and out through the top of your building. This keeps your sanitary drainage system running optimally for as long as possible.

When you call a plumber to fix the plumbing in your home, the issues are often related to the sanitary drainage system. Read more here about the most common maintenance issues and how to get an expert to help you solve your problem.

Potable Water System

The potable water system is the only one of the three systems that bring water toward your building instead of away from it. Water from the main community line is brought into your home or business through a single pipe and then distributed throughout the building through your internal network of pipes. This is where you get the water for cooking, drinking, cleaning, and any other tasks that you need clean water for on a daily basis.

Keep Your Plumbing Systems Running

Now that you know how the plumbing systems in your building work, make sure to maintain them regularly to keep your water running well for years to come.

Looking for more tips on how to maintain the health of your home? Take a look at the other articles in our Tools & Home Improvement section.

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