4 Unspoken signs of the best plumbing work for houses
Identifying bad plumbing is often simple. You see problems like poor water pressure or strange noises erupting from pipes and you can call the plumber out on his poor work. But, how do you tell if plumbing is actually good? Identifying solid plumbing work in a property can be a little challenging, but you do not have to be an expert plumber to tell whether or not a property's system is well-made. Over the years, we have noticed that good plumbing jobs tend to have a few things in common. Here are some ways you can tell that a house's plumbing is efficient, durable, and reliable.
Vents and Traps Near Fixtures
Check near all fixtures in the house to make sure they have a P trap with an arm. This is a pipe with a curve that dips downwards, trapping a little water to keep sewage gas from back drafting into sinks, tubs, and toilets. Lazy plumbers may use an S trap instead, but this has the potential to siphon water up out of the drain and end up causing problems. It is also important to have air vents that keep vacuums from building up and pulling wastewater into your freshwater pipes. Check to make sure your system has these vents, and ensure the drain to vent angle is properly situated to keep sediment from getting trapped and causing clogs.
Correct Insulation on Pipes
You can tell a lot about a home's plumbing by looking at the insulation or lack of insulation on pipes. Generally, any pipes in unheated areas or exterior walls need to be insulated to prevent freezing. Hot and cold water pipes can also benefit from insulation since it reduces water heating costs and prevents condensation buildup. Pay close attention to the type of pipe insulation. Generally, tubular rubber insulation is the most effective option because it is energy efficient and safe to use in a variety of locations, so it is a good sign if a plumber took the time to cut and apply this type of insulation.
Properly Sloping Drainage
If you get the incorrect drainage slope, you can end up with all sorts of plumbing issues. Just being up to code is not enough to guarantee good plumbing, since many areas like plumbers pick a range of slopes for drain pipes. However, the best plumbers tend to take the time to ensure they have roughly ¼ inch of slope for each foot of pipe. This is enough to move waste through pipes while ensuring that liquid waste does not drain too fast for solid waste to follow.
Regular Access Points
In addition to running smoothly, a good plumbing system should also be easy to clean and maintain. Ask about the location of access points for the plumbing system. A good system will have been carefully designed to make it easy for plumbers to get into the system to find clogs or make small adjustments without requiring you to rip out walls or dismantle your plumbing. This sign of good plumbing shows that the person who created the system was taking the time to ensure every aspect of the plumbing is convenient for the homeowner.
If you see even one of these signs in a house, you can be reassured that whoever installed the plumbing knew what they were doing. So, have you noticed any of these plumbing features in your house yet?