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Plumbing, The Basic Facts

May 21, 2008
The term plumbing is taken from the Latin word 'plumbum,' which stands for lead. Plumbing is the skilled trade of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures for drinking water systems and the drainage of waste. The plumbing industry is a basic and substantial part of every developed economy in order to supply clean water and to transport waste.

Plumbing originated during the ancient civilizations such as the Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese civilisations. This is because the need for plumbing was soon realised as public baths were developed to provide portable water and drainage; however the development and improvement of plumbing systems was very slow with virtually no progress made until the 19th century. Eventually however the development of separate, underground water and sewage systems eliminated open sewage ditches and cesspools.

Since the development of the plumbing system in the 19th century the materials used in present day plumbing systems involve a network of high-pressure pumps and pipes, which as now made of copper, brass, plastic, steel and cast-iron, lead is no longer used in the installation of modern plumbing systems due to its toxicity.

If you are having problems with your plumbing system it is important that you know where your Stop Cock is. Your stop cock is a valve used to turn off the water supply to your house. It is important that you know where it is so you can turn the water off and prevent damage in the event of a leak within your house. You will also save you money if a plumber needs to work in your house because he will not have to spend time searching for the stop cock.

There are a few things that you can do to help your plumbing systems work better and last longer. Aspects such as using drain cleaners can help to keep your plumbing system flowing. Drain cleaners are a good solution to fix blocked drains, which is why it is a good idea to always have a bottle on hand. You should also insulate your pipes in the winter to prevent them freezing in the winter months. If you pipes however do freeze you can use a heat lamp to help them slowly unthaw.

Some common plumbing problems that you may come across are things such as the following:

* Rattling pipes - the reason behind this may be caused by several factors such as your pipes not being sufficiently strapped to the wall, you may need to re-secure your pipes

* Slow drainage - the most common reason for this is due to clogged pipes and as previously mentioned this can easily be taken care of by using a drain solution

* Loss of hot water when another faucet is turned on - this is especially common in older houses where the hot and cold water pressures are not balanced. You may need to re-balance the valves

* Toilet tank leaks - the plumbing parts inside the tank will most likely need replacing

If you experience any problems with your plumbing system it is important that you enlist the help of a professional to fix the problem.
About the Author
Helen is the web master of ARCH Building Solutions, specialists in all aspects of Plumbing Services.
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