Plumbing and Sanitary

Plumbing is any system that conveys fluids for a wide range of applications. Heating and cooling, waste removal, and potable water delivery are among the most common uses for plumbing; however, plumbing is not limited to these applications. Plumbing utilizes pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other apparatuses to convey fluids

The plumbing system has three principal divisions. The first contains the Water service pipe, which conveys water from the source into the building, and the supply pipes which distribute it to the second part, the fixtures. These are the receptacles and outlets which enable us to use and dispose of the water supply. The third part of the system is composed of the drainage and vent pipes which enable water and sewage to move unimpeded from the fixtures to the point of disposal. If rain water connections are linked to the building drainage pipes, they too are considered part of the building plumbing system.

Operation of the system depends on the proper design and integration of each of the components. Since each part of the system is designed for a specific purpose, its use is, logically, limited. Grease and refuse should not be thrown into water closet bowls and sinks; faucets not in use should be tightly closed; and waste pipes should be flushed frequently with hot water to keep them in good working order.

Water supply

Water for household use comes from many different sources. Your first concern as a user is an abundant supply of wholesome water. In the interests of comfort and convenience, as well as health, you should learn what kind of water you have. Occasionally water that is perfectly safe to drink adds an undesirable flavor to beverages and food and stains articles or corrodes piping.

Once assured that your water supply is hygienic and palatable, you should determine whether it is hard or soft, corrosive or non-corrosive. No general statement can be made about corrosiveness – it varies greatly with the composition of the water and with the material used for piping. Check local experience. The following discussion is based on general experience but may be contradicted by the facts in your area.

Water in certain areas contains enough mineral to cause scale accumulation in piping systems, boilers, etc. At best, such water will leave a scum on bathtubs and other fixtures. Such waters are “hard.” They require excessive quantities of soap for cleaning. Water-softening equipment is recommended where your water supply is of this type.

Ordinarily “soft” water does not deposit scale and lathers freely. However, certain types of soft water are “aggressive.” They may be harmless to drink and will make plenty of suds but may cause objectionable tastes in food and beverages and will corrode all types of metallic pipe, tubing, or containers.

Where soft water is so aggressive as to cause an objectionable staining, or discoloring, the suggested solution is to obtain anti-corrosion equipment. It is well to note that the water rather than the piping causes the trouble. If your water comes from, a public utility, you can be assured that the water is healthy; it may be non-corrosive in character. If your supply is private, consult the manufacturers of water treatment devices, should you encounter any of the aforementioned difficulties.

Design of the system

The water available at a fixture depends on the pressure in the main, the diameter of the supply pipe, its length, and the number of changes in its course, and the number of fixtures that may be operated simultaneously.

Selection of the kind of pipe to be used in supplying your fixtures with water demands great care. It may be convention piping made of galvanized steel, wrought iron, brass or copper, or copper tubing. The type of piping selected should offer maximum resistance to the corrosive qualities of the water it is to carry, as small-sized pipes that have corroded will considerably reduce the water volume available at faucets. Owners frequently blame low pressures in the mains for faults that actually are within their own water-service system.

Where water-supply pressures are excessive, water waste results, and unnecessary wear of valve seats is apt to cause continuous leakage. This condition can be remedied by installing pressure-reducing valves.


Fixtures are the receptacles and outlets which enable us to use and dispose of the water supply. They include such things as sinks, tubs, showers, water closets, and outside faucets, such as are used for watering the lawn and washing the car.

From a sanitary viewpoint, plumbing fixtures should be made of smooth non-absorbent materials, free of concealed fouling surfaces or enclosures. They should be functional in design and easy to clean. This mill deter dirt accumulations, dampness, odors, and the presence of insects and fungi.

When selecting fixtures, bear the above in mind. Remember that even the costliest and most modern fixtures won’t function properly if the supply and drainage systems are inadequate. The drainage and venting system

The drainage or waste system is the most complex member of a well-designed plumbing installation. It is composed of two parts: the pipes which convey solid and liquid wastes to the building sewer, and the venting system, which facilitates the rapid removal of odors and gases from, and allows air to circulate within, the drainage system.

That portion of the drainage system which convoys liquid and solid wastes to the building sewer begins with the fixture trap, which is usually located directly behind and below the fixture. Traps are constructed to prevent the back passage of air or gas through a pipe or fixture without materially reducing the flow of sewage and waste water. As the fixture discharges, a portion of the fluid is retained in the trap where it remains to form a liquid seal that prevents the gases that circulates within the drainage system from entering the room. Water closets have built-in traps.

Piping that carries the discharges of water closets is called soil pipe. Pipes receiving the discharge of other fixtures are called waste pipes. Indirect wastes are those not directly connected to the building drain, soil, or waste stack, such as that which draws off refrigerator drippings. The term stack is used to describe any vertical line of soil, waste, or vent piping.

The main of any drainage system of horizontal, vertical, or continuous piping is that part which receives the wastes, vents, or back vents from outlets or traps, either directly or through branch pipes which extend from the main to the fixture outlet.

The building drain is normally the lowest piping of the, drainage system. It receives the discharge from soil, waste, and other drainage pipes, and extends to the outside of the building foundation wall, where the building sewer begins.

As stated above, the drainage system allows air to enter and circulate within, and gases to escape from, the drainage system. This portion of piping is known as the venting system. To obtain some idea of its importance, perform the following, experiment. Fill an empty cardboard milk container with water, invert it, and allow the water to drain. Notice the time required for the container to empty. Refill the container and repeat the procedure. Once the water begins to flow, punch several holes in the container bottom. Notice how rapidly and easily the water flows out.

Similarly, the venting system allows the air ahead of a discharge in the drainage pipes to escape. Moreover, the air that reenters the system behind the discharge helps to speed it to the building sewer. Furthermore, the circulation of air within the drainage system helps to reduce corrosion.

The primary importance of the vent system is to prevent siphonage of the fixture vent traps by supplying air near the trap so there will be an equal supply of air on both sides of it. The water in the trap prevents sewer gas from going through the trap and out the fixture. The next most important function of the venting system is to allow air to be pushed ahead of a discharge without building up back pressure in the drainage system.


The difference between pipes and tubes is simply in the way it is sized. PVC pipe for plumbing applications and galvanized steel pipe for instance, are measured in IPS (iron pipe size). Copper tube, CPVC, PeX and other tubing is measured nominally, which is basically an average diameter. These sizing schemes allow for universal adaptation of transitional fittings. For instance, 1/2″ PeX tubing is the same size as 1/2″ copper tubing. 1/2″ PVC on the other hand is not the same size as 1/2″ tubing, and therefore requires either a threaded male or female adapter to connect them. When used in agricultural irrigation, the singular form “pipe” is often used as a plural.

Copper Pipe

  • Use for carrying water.
  • Use compression or sweat connections to join this type of pipe.
  • Common sizes of pipe diameter are 3/8”, 1/2” and 3/4”.
  • Larger sizes may be used for DWV (drain-waste-vent) applications.
  • Some copper pipe can be used as refrigeration tubing. In this case, moisture is removed and ends sealed for better performance of refrigerants.
  • Rigid copper pipe is good for new installation. Soft or flexible copper pipe is good for repair work since it can bend around obstacles without multiple cuts and joints.
  • Type K is heaviest, used in municipal, commercial, residential and underground installation; Type L is medium weight and is the most commonly used in residential water lines; Type M is hard and thin.

PVC Pipe

  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is used for carrying cold water, irrigation, use as conduit and for DWV (drain-waste-vent) projects.
  • Use compression or solvent weld connections to join this type of pipe.
  • Available in diameter sizes ranging from 1/2” to 2”.
  • Rated by thickness and strength. Schedule 40 is the most common and suited for uses such as carrying water and for irrigation.
  • Schedule 40 with a foam core is suitable for drain and waste applications.


  • CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride), is used for both hot and cold water supply or chemical distribution systems.
  • Use compression or solvent weld connections to join this type of pipe.
  • Requires special solvent cement that is different from cement used for other types of plastic pipes. Most solvents will indicate this on the can.

Galvanized Pipe

  • Used primarily for carrying water or waste. Do not use for gas or steam applications.
  • Use threaded connections to join this type of pipe.
  • Use only with similar galvanized pipe fittings, not with black pipe fittings.
  • Measured using the I.D. (inside diameter).
  • Common water sizes are 3/8”, 1/2”, 3/4” and 1”. Common waste sizes are 1-1/2”, 2” and 3”.
  • Has zinc coating that will prevent rust if it’s not scratched.
  • Often sold in pre-threaded standard lengths, or can be custom threaded.

Black Iron Pipe

  • Used for carrying steam or gas.
  • Used only with black iron pipe fittings, not galvanized fittings.
  • Not treated for rust resistance.
  • Use threaded connections for joining this pipe.
  • Measured using the I.D. (inside diameter).

PEX Pipe

  • PEX, which stands for crosslinked polyethylene, is used for carrying hot and cold water.
  • Do not weld with solvents. Join with heat fusion, flare, crimp ring or compression fittings.
  • Chief advantage is its flexibility and strength. It can make turns around corners
  • without couplings.
  • Excellent chemical resistance to acids and alkalis, but do not use for fuel oil, gasoline or
  • kerosene systems.
  • In a PEX plumbing system, a separate line is run from the main water supply to each
  • fixture in a setup much like a circuit breaker box.


  • Commonly used for DWV (drain-waste-vent) applications or for underground
  • electrical conduits.
  • Use compression or solvent weld connections to join this type of pipe.
  • Made from a thermoplastic resin. Lightweight and easier to use than metal pipe.
  • Available as either solid wall or cellular core construction.
  • ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.

Types of Connections

Soldered Fitting

  • Used to join copper pipe.
  • Joined by soldering (also called sweating) using flux, solder and a torch.

Threaded Fitting

  • Most commonly used in steel fittings, but some plastic and copper fittings are threaded.
  • Uses pipe dope or thread seal tape on the threads when joining to prevent leaks
  • and corrosion.
  • Female fittings have threads on the interior. Male fittings have threads on the exterior.
  • IPS means Iron Pipe Size, and also refers to threaded pipe.
  • MIP means Male Iron Pipe size. It refers to a male threading that will fit an IPS pipe.
  • FIP means Female Iron Pipe size. It refers to a female threading that will fit an IPS pipe.

Solvent Weld Fitting

  • Used for unthreaded plastic pipe.
  • Bonded with cement that is compatible to the type of plastic being connected.

Push Fittings

  • Used to connect a copper, CPVC and PEX pipe in any combination.
  • Connect without soldering, clamps or solvent; simply push the pipe onto the fitting.
  • Fittings can also be removed from the pipe using a special tool.
  • Available in a variety of shapes, including valves.

Insert Fitting

  • Used with flexible plastic pipe, rubber hose or rubber tubing.
  • Inserted onto the pipe and compressed and sealed with an adjustable clamp.
  • Sometimes called a hose barb.
  • Usually made of either brass or plastic.


Plumbing System

  • One Pipe System – The pipe of waste water from sinks, baths and wash basins and branches of soil pipes is connected to one main pipe. This main pipe is directly connected to sewerage system. Gulley (gutter) traps and waste pipes are completely distributed but all traps of water closets, basins, etc. are completely ventilated to preserve water seal.
  • One-Pipe System Partially Ventilated – It is also called single stack, ventilated partially. There is one soil pipe which discharges waste of water closets, baths, sinks and basins. There is a relief vent which ventilates only foul smell of water closet.
  • Two-Pipe System – In this system soil and waste pipes are distinct and separate. The soil pipes are connected to sewer directly whereas waste pipes are connected through a trapped gulley (gutter). All traps of all appliances are completely ventilated.
  • Single Stack System – In this system entire soil and waste discharge into a single pipe called soil cum waste pipe. This system is the same as one pipe system, but without trap, ventilation pipe work.
  • Single stack partially ventilated system – In this system there is one soil pipe in which all soil and waste appliances discharge and only the trap of all soil appliances are ventilated through single ventilation pipe. Thus the system has a soil cum waste pipe and one ventilation pipe for soil appliances only.

Plumbing Maintenance

Many institutional and commercial facilities are installing a new generation of water-efficient plumbing fixtures — including flush valves, urinals, and faucets — at an ever-increasing rate. Their goals most often are to curtail water use by plumbing systems, reduce utility costs and improve the organization’s overall sustainability.

Common Problems – As maintenance and water costs rise, managers are increasingly installing pressure gages and flow meters at strategic locations in their buildings’ plumbing systems to monitor the flow of water. Once managers are certain all of these readings are at normal levels, the next step is to look at individual fixtures and assess their condition.

A manual toilet flush valve contains about 25 parts. The maintenance problems that technicians encounter in working with the valves can include:

  • The valve does not operate.
  • It delivers too little or too much water.
  • The flush time is too long or too short.
  • The handle or inlet connection leaks.
  • The valve makes chattering noises.
  • The battery is low, or the valve inadvertently cycles on and off.

ne process that can be a valuable part of the daily maintenance routines for plumbing systems and components involves measuring, monitoring, reporting and recording. The first steps in effective troubleshooting involve knowing baseline flow readings, and monitoring, recording, and comparing the current readings.

I any of these readings are outside normal range, flush valves and faucets might not perform well, even though they are in perfectly good operating condition. Checking these readings first can save technicians a great deal of wasted time disassembling fixtures to look for non-existent problems, whether the problem is high or low pressure or flow volume.

Daily cleaning of the toilet seat, bowl, fixtures, and urinals is important to maintain an antiseptic, odor-free restroom. Housekeeping crews should use only soap and water — not harsh chemicals — on chrome fixtures, since harsh cleaners can quickly dull and damage the chrome.

In terms of specification, selecting standard fixtures reduces the inventory of replacement fixtures and parts kits, and it means less technician training, quicker repairs, fewer callbacks due to faulty repairs, and lower costs.

In facilities without flow meters, a flow-rate test as part of regular inspection and repair routes can save many thousands of dollars and conserve water. The test involves a container with the 1-litre level marked on it. Using sink faucets — pre-1992 flow rate of 3 gpm or greater — as an example, the technician measures the time it takes to fill the container to the 1-litre mark. If it takes 15 seconds, the flow rate is 4 litres per minute.

Managers also can lower water use by replacing the aerator on the tap with a new one at a cost of a few dollars. The installation yields a new flow rate of one-half gpm. The flow is reduced by 3-1/2 litres per minute.

Even if the valve operates just three minutes a day for 250 days per year, the annual savings from that level of operation would be more than 2,600 litres. Ten faucets operating at that level would multiply the savings to 26,000 litres.

In addition to resulting in lower water costs, this tactic saves on the electricity required to heat and pump the water, as well as on sewer rates. Reducing water use also reduces the load on the local water- and sewage-treatment plants. This approach can at least partly offset rate increases that are certain to come.

Wy is that important? Take Chicago as an example. Like all cities, Chicago water and sewer rates have been increasing annually almost every year since the 1990s. The combined rate has increased to $4.74 per thousand litres in January 2012, and it will continue to increase every year to pay for a multi-billion dollar infrastructure upgrade of the 100-year-old system.

In January 2015, the rate will be $7.64 — a 61 percent increase in three years. Many cities, especially those in the more arid parts of the country, already have much higher rates, due to water shortages. Water savings are even more valuable in these locations.

By keeping in communication with plumbing-hardware vendors online, through their onsite visits, and trade show attendance, managers will be better able to stay up to date with the ever-changing technology behind plumbing products, regulatory developments, and maintenance procedures.

Checklist for Plumbing

There are two ways for water supply process one is from own source such as from submersible pump and other is from public water supply system. The supply comes to building or house than distributed to the various parts of the house through pipes. For smooth functioning some guide lines to be followed which are as under:-

  • Ensure that the material used in water supply should ISI and best quality material available in the market.
  • Use the proper size of plumbing fixtures and devices for supply of water in sufficient volume and at pressure adequate to enable them to function satisfactorily under all normal conditions of use.
  • All pipe work should be planned so that the piping is accessible for inspection, replacement and repair.
  • Make provision of direct municipal supply should be kept in the kitchen for drinking water, cooking etc.
  • Ensure the use of air relief valve to prevent airlock.
  • Ensure the use other valves such as pressure relief valve, gate valve, sluice valve; ball valve etc should be used where they are required for smooth running and continue supply.
  • Ensure the joints of pipes and their accessories or fixtures are tight properly by using the white lead i.e. SAFEDA and tread i.e. SUTA to avoid leakage.
  • Make the chase in the wall so deep that there is enough space on the pipe for mortar filling to avoid cracks.
  • Lying of water supply pipes in the floor should be avoided.
  • Ensure the fixing of hooks on the pipes to kept pipes in position.
  • Before filling the chase of pipe in wall, test the pipe line for leakage and smooth flow of water.
  • Ensure that water supply pipe line does not cross the sewer line to avoid contamination of water.
  • Ensure that the water supply line and waste water pipe line should not be laid very close to each other.
  • Ensure that there should be no back flow from any cistern or appliance towards the source of supply.
  • No service pipe should be connected to any water closet or urinal. All such supplies shall be from flushing cistern which shall be supplied from storage tank.
  • Ensure the fixing of ball cock in water storage tank to avoid over flow of water.
  • Ensure to fix over flow pipe in water storage tank so that in case of overflow, water drain through rain water pipe without causing dampness in the structure.
  • Ensure to provide stop cock valve in main line, with water storage tank and in supply pipe from tank to inside the house.
  • See that friction losses are minimize, in case of change of direction or change of diameter of the pipe. If required should be gradual and not abrupt.

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