What Is a Residential Plumber?

A residential plumber is a person who performs plumbing tasks in a home, such as installing and maintaining the plumbing system. They often work on new constructions and additions to homes. In contrast, commercial plumbers are more skilled and knowledgeable about the large plumbing systems found in businesses. They are also more knowledgeable about the health and safety regulations that must be adhered to in this field. 

PlumbingA residential plumbing system is a complex network of pipes that bring fresh water into a house, collect waste and dispose it safely. It may link to city-managed water and sewer lines or use local groundwater sources such as wells. A plumber installs the piping in a residential building by using hand and power tools, and applying seals, glue and cement. They can also operate a water-supply meter.

They perform measurements to chart a path through walls, floors and ceilings and factor in removal of drywall, floor tiles and other materials. They also determine where the new piping connects to existing pipes, and what valves or seals are needed. They then set the basic supply and waste lines, including the stack (the vertical drain pipe that feeds into other drains). These connections are the most important part of a residential plumbing system because they ensure that wastewater travels downhill and out of the home without mixing with potable water.

Residential plumbers have a specific set of skills that allow them to repair homes. These include a good understanding of the plumbing system and how to identify problems. For example, if a sink or tub is clogged, a residential plumber can often figure out the problem and fix it. On the other hand, if a pipe leaks or breaks, it’s typically a much bigger job and requires a commercial plumber to work on it.

The lifespan of your plumbing system depends on the type of pipes used, the age of the home and whether it’s in an area with hard water (which can cause rust). Knowing these factors can help you know when to replace your plumbing system. Many cities keep maps of where underground utilities and sewer lines are located. They may also have contact information for the last homeowner. This can be helpful in locating a clean-out point, or the location of the sewer line’s main drain exiting your house foundation.

Maintenance of a residential plumbing system is important to the health and safety of the occupants, as well as to prevent costly emergency repairs. One of the most important things a homeowner can do to avoid major plumbing problems is to do routine maintenance. This includes a checkup of water heaters, drain pipes, and other systems. Regular inspections by a local plumber can identify any issues with your plumbing before they become serious.

Most homes have a main plumbing shut-off valve. In addition, most plumbing fixtures have their own shut-off valves that cut off the water supply to a fixture when turned off. These valves are essential to minimizing damage in the event of a leak. When you perform yearly maintenance on your home’s plumbing system, you should test all of the shut-off valves to make sure they turn easily and work properly.

Plumbing pipes and fixtures are essential to a home’s comfort, function and maintenance. Depending on the materials, age, environment and regular maintenance upkeep, they may need to be replaced. Licensed residential plumbers install, repair and maintain the plumbing systems and piping for homes. Often, this involves replacing existing water supply or drainage lines and fixtures, such as toilets, showers and sinks.

They can also inspect and maintain the water meter and septic tanks. Commercial plumbers are more familiar with the expansive plumbing systems that serve large buildings, such as multi-level offices, schools and hospitals. Replacing inside-wall piping requires more demolition and labor than replacing exposed or buried piping. But your plumber can limit the amount of wall demolition by using cross-linked polyethylene tubing, or PEX.

This flexible plastic piping meets building code nearly everywhere, comes with a 25-year warranty and puts a smaller hit on your budget than copper. If you’re in the market for a new plumbing system, ask your plumber whether PEX is an affordable alternative to copper.