Simple answers to the most common plumbing questions

Plumbing is undoubtedly the greatest invention of the human kind (well, at least one of them) but we still don’t know much about it.

We’re so used to turning the tap on, flushing the toilet, or enjoying a hot shower but how does water get to our house? What is a stopcock? For most of us these questions remain a mystery until we need to sort out a plumbing emergency.

To avoid feeling like a fish out of water next time your plumber visits, we’ve prepared answers to some of the most common plumbing questions out there.

  1. Where does water come from?

Seems like a basic question, and you might even laugh at it, until you take a second to realise most of us don’t know the answer. If your household or business is in the city, the water most probably comes from a government entity responsible for the public supply in this area. The water is usually stored in big towers and delivered to homes through underground pipes.

 

If you live further out in the countryside, you’re more likely to have a private supply. These systems are quite easy to understand – a pump normally draws the supply from a well located nearby.

 

  1. What is a stopcock and where is it located?

You will need to know the location of your stopcock, in case you need to turn off the water supply to your house in the case of a plumbing emergency. Your stopcock is normally located in the kitchen cupboard under the sink but if you can’t find it there, it’s worth asking a neighbour – similar properties generally have it located at the same spot.

 

  1. Should I turn off the water supply if going away?

We often forget to do this, but yes you most definitely should. Leaks and burst pipes occur even when we’re not around, and it is especially important to have it turned off in the winter, when you’re risking frozen/burst pipes as well.

If you still don’t feel like it’s important enough to remember, keep in mind that in the case of emergency, while you were away your home insurance company might not cover the damages, if you forgot to turn off the water supply.

 

  1. What is normal water pressure at home?

Normally your water pressure should be 40- 60 pounds. High water pressure can damage your water heater, and potentially even plumbing fixture. If your suspect your water pressure might be too high, a Rightio engineer can help.

 

  1. Should I use chemicals to clean my drains?

The eternal question when you want to save money on drain cleaning and avoid blocked drains. Using chemicals is certainly fast and easy, but they’re normally strong substances that could cause harm to pets and kids. Strong chemicals can also harm your pipes from the inside, and eventually lead to bigger problems, such as burst pipes. We recommend using lighter enzyme-based products, or the good old baking soda and white vinegar combo.

 

What are the plumbing questions you’re most curious about?

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