Introduction To Plumbing System

Published: 09th May 2011
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Plumbing is the skilled trade of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures for drinking water systems and the drainage of waste. A plumber is someone who installs or repairs piping systems, plumbing fixtures and equipment such as water heaters. The plumbing industry is a basic and substantial part of every developed economy due to the need for clean water, and proper collection and transport of wastes.

Plumbing also refers to a system of pipes and fixtures installed in a building for the distribution of potable water and the removal of waterborne wastes. Plumbing is usually distinguished from water and sewage systems, in that a plumbing system serves one building, while water and sewage systems serve a group of buildings or a city.

Plumbing was extremely rare until the growth of modern cities in the 19th century. Today, most large cities pipe solid wastes to treatment plants in order to separate and partly purify the water before emptying into streams or other bodies of water. In history, galvanized iron and lead were commonly used for making pipe and tube. After 1960, copper took over and was introduced as a better and safer alternative to lead pipes.

Another material used for plumbing pipes, particularly water main, was hollowed wooden logs wrapped in steel banding. Logs used for water distribution were used in England close to 500 years ago. The US cities began using hollowed logs in the late 18th through the 19th centuries.

A pipe is typically formed via casting or welding, where a tube is made through extrusion. Pipe normally has thicker walls and may be threaded or welded, where tubing is thinner-walled and requires special joining techniques.

In addition to the straight pipe or tubing, many fittings are required in plumbing systems, such as valves and elbows. Plumbing fixtures are designed for the end-users. Some examples of fixtures include toilets, urinals, bidets, showers, bathtubs, and kitchen sinks, etc.

Plumbing equipment includes water meters, pumps, filters, water softeners, water heaters, wrenches, heat exchangers, etc.

Now there is more equipment that is technologically advanced and helps plumbers fix problems without the usual hassles. For example, plumbers use video cameras for inspections of hidden leaks or problems, they use hydro jets, and high pressure hydraulic pumps connected to steel cables for trench-less sewer line replacement.

For the environmental benefit and sizable energy savings hot water heat recycling units are growing in use throughout the residential building sectors. Further ecological concern has seen increasing interest in grey-water recovery and treatment systems. The New York City steam system is an example of a large district heating system.

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