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Types of Plumbing Systems

Major Plumbing System Types

By Daniel Burke, 9:00 am on February 27, 2021

To properly maintain any kind of plumbing system, San Diego homeowners and business owners should have some basic knowledge about the three main types of plumbing systems. These serve to bring water to a building and remove it as well as waste, although each system has its own primary function. Potable systems serve to bring water in, sanitary systems remove waste, and stormwater systems remove rainwater.

Potable Water System

This system brings water from the community water main into a building. There’s a valve on the water main to shut off the water if needed. Additionally, a water meter tracks how much water is used in the building.

A potable system transfers water used for cooking, cleaning, and drinking, meaning it’s safe for people to use. Various pipes and fixtures divert the water to each appliance inside the building. They include:

  • Straight pipes – can be short or long and direct water where it’s required
  • Elbows – used to change the direction of flow of water
  • Brass and gate valves – control the flow of water

Sanitary Plumbing Systems

These systems eliminate waste from a building, which can include human waste and wastewater from washing and cooking. The waste is then moved to the local community sewage network. Sanitary plumbing systems are usually connected to ceilings for ventilation and to allow them to work under atmospheric pressure.
There are three main types of sanitary plumbing systems. They include:

  • Gravity – These are the most common type and use the natural slope of the ground. They can easily collect wastewater and transfer it to the sewage network. These systems are ideal in places where the water table is relatively low and flooding isn’t common.
  • Low-pressure – These are low-head pressure systems that offer alternatives to gravity systems. They have interceptor tanks that house compact electrical pumps. Small pressure lines installed underground transport waste to the main sewage plant.
  • Vacuum – These use electricity and are another alternative to gravity systems. These systems are installed in specific areas, such as those with charged ground, seasonal areas, reclaimed ground, and flat areas. Vacuum valves connect sewage fittings in a central vacuum station. The station has a collection chamber, discharge pump, vacuum pump, and associated controls.

Stormwater Plumbing Systems

These systems remove rainwater from buildings. They have special features that ensure water is transferred away successfully. Water is collected and transferred through:

  • Roof – The system is designed to make sure water moves down into the pipes. The amount of rainfall received influences the size and design of the downpipes and the roof.
  • Surface – The angle of the surface removes water in paved and unpaved areas. Adjacent drains also transfer water.
  • Subsoil – Subsoil drains transfer water trapped below ground. They collect stormwater before it runs off.

No matter what type of system you have, if you find yourself dealing with a plumbing problem at your home or business, don’t hesitate to call on Burke Contractors. We only contract with licensed and experienced plumbers to ensure our clients receive nothing less than high-quality service delivered with outstanding professionalism. When they want to work with exceptional residential and commercial plumbing companies, San Diego residents can rely on us to connect them with the finest professionals available. If you need plumbing services of any kind, call us right away at 858-208-7765.