Tracing Water Flow, What is tracing water flow

Tracing Water Flow speaks to what is tracing water flow, types of tracing water flow and why use tracing water flow.

A typical water supply and distribution systems consists of:

Water meter.

Service line to hose bibs.

Main service line from well or water meter.

Main shut off valve.

Pressure reducing valve.

Dual check valve.

Gas or electric water heater,

Distribution lines to washing machine, laundry sink, fixtures, toilets.

Full port intermediate valves which isolate different sections of the house.

Stop valves at all fixtures.

To allow for tracing water flow the first element that water entering your home encounters is the water meter. It may be located inside the house or outside in what is called a “buffalo box”. It should have valves on both sides to allow for shut off for service. It also may have electrical connections for a self reporting system, which tells your water company how much water you have used each month.

Once inside the house, the line branches off to the water heater and from there, both hot and coldwater travels in pairs to the various fixtures in the house. Along the way, you may find the cold water line branches off to outdoor water faucets and both hot and cold going to the upper stories through vertical pipes called risers.

Along the lines and at the fixtures, you may also notice different valves, such as stop valves, ball valves, and saddle Ts, which control the flow of the water. Some fixtures, however, may not feature stop valves, which shut off water to individual faucets or fixtures and installing these valves should be one of yiur first priorities in doing any plumbing renovation or repair.


Most water meters are at or close to the entry point of the water system into the house. Look under a metal, concrete or plastic cover.

Water heater lines must be full sized metallic lines, typically ¾ inch. Reducing these will lower your volume and pressure.


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