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“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold Jasa Plumbing di Medan water.”
John W. Gardner, Secretary,Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1965
Plumbing may be defined as the practice, materials, and fixtures used in installing, maintaining, and Jasa Plumbing altering piping, fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances in connection with sanitary or storm drainage facilities, a venting system, and public or private water supply systems. Plumbing does not include drilling water wells; installing water softening equipment; or manufacturing or selling plumbing fixtures, appliances, equipment, or hardware. A plumbing system consists of three parts: an adequate potable water supply system; a safe, adequate drainage system; and ample fixtures and equipment.
The housing inspector’s prime concern while inspecting plumbing is to ensure the provision of a safe water supply system, an adequate drainage system, and ample and proper fixtures and equipment that do not contaminate water. The inspector must make sure that the system moves waste safely from the home and protects the occupants from backup of waste and dangerous gases. This chapter covers the major features of a residential plumbing system and the basic plumbing terms and principles the inspector must know and understand to identify housing code violations that involve plumbing. It will also assist in identifying the more complicated defects that the inspector should refer to the appropriate agencies. This chapter is not a plumbing code, but should provide a base of knowledge sufficient to evaluate household systems.
Top of Page Elements of a Plumbing SystemThe primary purposes of a plumbing system areTo bring an adequate and potable supply of hot and cold water to the inhabitants of a house, andTo drain all wastewater and sewage discharge from fixtures into the public sewer or a private disposal system.
It is, therefore, very important that the housing inspector be completely familiar with all elements of these systems so that inadequacies of the structure’s plumbing and other code violations will be recognized. To aid the inspector in understanding the plumbing system, a schematic of a home plumbing system is shown in Figure 9.1.
Water ServiceThe piping of a house service line should be as short as possible. Elbows and bends should be kept to a minimum because they reduce water pressure and, therefore, the supply of water to fixtures in the house. The house service line also should be protected from freezing. Four feet of soil is a commonly accepted depth to bury the line to prevent freezing. This depth varies, however, across the country from north to south. The local or state plumbing code should be consulted for recommended depths. The minimum service line size should be ¾ inch. The minimum water supply pressure should be 40 pounds per square inch (psi), no cement or concrete joints should be allowed, no glue joints between different types of plastic should be allowed, and no female threaded PVC fittings should be used.
The materials used for a house service may be approved plastic, copper, cast iron, steel, or wrought iron. The connections used should be compatible with the type of pipe used. A typical house service installation is pictured in Figure 9.2. The elements of the service installation are described below.
Corporation stop—The corporation stop is connected to the water main. This connection is usually made of brass and can be connected to the main with a special tool without shutting off the municipal supply. The valve incorporated in the corporation stop permits the pressure to be maintained in the main while the service to the building is completed.
Curb stop—The curb stop is a similar valve used to isolate the building from the main for repairs, nonpayment, of water bills or flooded basements. Because the corporation stop is usually under the street and it is necessary to break the pavement to reach the valve, the curb stop is used as the isolation valve.
Curb stop box—The curb stop box is an access box to the curb stop for opening and closing the valve. A long-handled wrench is used to reach the valve.
Meter stop—The meter stop is a valve placed on the street side of the water meter to isolate it for installation or maintenance. Many codes require a gate valve on the house side of the meter to shut off water for plumbing repairs. The curb and meter stops can be ruined in a short time if used very frequently.The water meter is a device used to measure the amount of water used in the house. It is usually the property of the water provider and is a very delicate instrument that should not be abused. In cold climates, the water meter is often inside the home to keep it from freezing. When the meter is located inside the home, the company providing the water must make appointments to read the meter, which often results in higher water costs unless the meter is equipped with a signal that can be observed from the outside. The water meter is not shown in Figure 9.2 because of regional differences in location of the unit.
Because the electric system is sometimes grounded to an older home’s water line, a grounding loop device should be installed around the meter. Many meters come with a yoke that maintains electrical continuity even though the meter is removed.
Click here for definitions of terms related to home water systems.
Hot and Cold Water Main LinesThe hot and cold water main lines are usually hung from the basement ceiling or in the crawl space of the home and are attached to the water meter and hot water tank on one side and the fixture supply risers on the other. These pipes should be installed neatly and should be supported by pipe hangers or straps of sufficient strength and number to prevent sagging. Older homes that have copper pipe with soldered pipes can pose a lead poisoning risk, particularly to children. In 1986, Congress banned lead solder containing greater than 0.dua% lead and restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes, and other plumbing materials to no more than 8%. The water should be tested to determine the presence or level of lead in the water. Until such tests can be conducted, the water should be run for about 2 minutes in the morning to flush any such material from the line. Hot and cold water lines should be approximately 6 inches apart unless the hot water line is insulated. This is to ensure that the cold water line does not pick up heat from the hot water line [dua]. The supply mains should have a drain valve stop and waste valve to remove water from the system for repairs. These valves should be on the low end of the line or on the end of each fixture riser.
The fixture risers start at the basement main and rise vertically to the fixtures on the upper floors. In a one-family dwelling, riser branches will usually proceed from the main riser to each fixture grouping. In any event, the fixture risers should not depend on the branch risers for support, but should be supported with a pipe bracket.
The size of basement mains and risers depends on the number of fixtures supplied. However, a ¾-inch pipe is usually the minimum size used. This allows for deposits on the pipe due to hardness in the water and will usually give satisfactory volume and pressure.
In homes without basements, the water lines are preferably located in the crawl space or under the slab. The water lines are sometimes placed in the attic; however, because of freezing, condensation, or leaks, this placement can result in major water damage to the home. In two-story or multistory homes, the water line placement for the second floor is typically between the studs and, then, for the shortest distance to the fixture, between the joists of the upper floors.
Hot and Cold Water Piping MaterialsCare must be taken when choosing the piping materials. Some state and local plumbing codes prohibit using some of the materials listed below in water distribution systems.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). PVC is used to make plastic pipe. PVC piping has several applications in and around homes such as in underground sprinkler systems, piping for swimming pool pumping systems, and low-pressure drain systems PVC piping is also used for water service between the meter and building . PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is one of the most commonly used materials in the marketplace. It is in packaging, construction and automotive material, toys, and medical equipment.