Water Supply System, What is a water supply system

Water Supply System speaks to what is a water supply system, types of water supply systems and why a water supply system.

Installing or repairing the pipes that carry water throughout a house requires skills that are well within the capability of the average homeowner. With today’s modern labour saving material, a person can plumb the water supply system in a house in a single day. You don’t have to solder if you want copper pipe and you don’t have to glue or crimp if you want plastic pipe.

Today’s push on fittings have made all that out dated. Before you start on even a moderate repair job, it is wise to look at the path your water pipes take from their entry into your house to the various fixtures. That will give you a mental map of your water supply system and will put to job your doing in perspective.

Water enters your house from a municipal or public water system or as in many rural systems from a well. Whatever its source water flows through lines which gets tge water to the house through a distribution pipe, which takes the water from the entry point to the various fixtures such as sinks, dishwashers, toilets, water heaters, etc.

Pipe Sizes

The larger the pipe, the more water it can carry, so in most cases the service pipe is 1” or 1 ¼’ in diameter. This diameter ensures that all parts of the house will have adequate supply to ensure that when you are using the dishwasher in the kitchen and someone is showering in the upstairs bath.

Distribution pipes are typically 1”, ¾” or 1/2” in diameter. The larger diameters of pipe are usually used to carry water from room to room. The smaller diameters are generally used to bring water to various fixtures, like sinks.

Pipe Material

In the old days, service pipe was either galvanized or copper. Neither are used much today due to their cost and tendency to corrode. Most of today’s service pipe is either polyethylene or PVC. Typically, for average size residential installations, polyethylene service pipe is used in up to 1 inch diameters.

PVC in larger diameters is used for large residential and commercial jobs. The advantage is that it comes in long rolls so you can install the entire run from a well or municipal meter base to the house without splices. There is nothing wrong with using PVC as a service pipe, however it just takes longer to install and requires a splice every 10 to 12 ft and cracks easily if laid on a rock.

Modern distribution pipe, like service pipe, has also evolved. Galvanized is out and copper is slipping fast, giving way to its non-metal counterparts, CPVC and PEX. When you are looking for distribution pipe in a house that has undergone previous repairs, you may see a mix of different materials, depending on when the work is done.


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