5 Features You Should Know Before Plumbing Maintenance

It’s useful to know how your home’s plumbing works before you undergo maintenance. Being able to tell the difference between a valve and a vent will help you become both less reliant on outside help and better able to talk with professionals when you do bring them in to fix things.

5 Features You Should Know Before Plumbing Maintenance

Everybody knows about features like the toilet and shower, but learning the following five critical features of your home’s plumbing system is what will give you a much better idea about how the building is actually connected.

The Important Plumbing Fixtures

  1. Water main valves: Located either inside or outside at a point of low elevation, this is usually in a crawlspace or box near the property line. The main is a critical valve to know about whenever a large leak is flooding your house. Shutting off the water main will stop all new water being drawn into the home’s pipes.
  2. Cut-off / Shutoff valves: These are smaller valves found on the water pipes of fixtures, most prominent for toilets. If there’s a leak from a specific appliance, look for its shutoff valve to staunch the flow.
  3. Toilet vents: Most toilets depend on pipes that reach down from the roof and attach to the pipe that feeds into the sewer line or septic tank. This vent pipe is important to keep unclogged by leaves or other rooftop debris, since this is how air from downstream stays trapped by the water from flushes. If your toilet gurgles or smells like a sewer, then it may be a clogged vent pipe.
  4. Water meters: Often located next to the water main in its own box, the water meter measures the water coming in from your supply as it enters the home. If you suspect there’s a leak in your home, one trick is to turn off all appliances and see if the meter is still ticking up.
  5. Water pressure regulators: Sometimes called a PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve), these brass-looking valves are often located near your water heater with an attached meter. This is what makes sure you don’t lose your skin when you shower or wash dishes.

Even when you know what to look for, sometimes it’s best to call a professional. If you live on Oahu and want plumbers who can handle these situations, call (808) 691-9309 to get in touch with EPS Hawaii, or, if you live on the Big Island, call (808) 400-8811.


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