Types of Plumbing

Plumbing is the system that conveys water for a wide range of applications. Its components include pipes, valves, fixtures and tanks.

Cleveland Plumbing systems work by gravity, allowing wastewater and sewage to flow down from fixtures into larger sewer pipes. Vent pipes are also integral to the drainage system, preventing vacuum scenarios that can stop the flow of water.

Pipes transport water throughout a home and carry waste to the sewage system. The pipes also connect to fixtures like kitchen sinks, toilets, washing machines, and lawn sprinklers. Plumbing pipes must be able to handle a high volume of pressurized water at different temperatures. As such, residential plumbing pipes are available in a wide variety of materials and sizes.

Some of the most common types of pipes in a plumbing system are PVC, PEX, ABS, and copper. All of these pipes are designed to withstand water pressure, although PVC and PEX are the most popular choices for residential plumbing systems because they offer a combination of affordability and durability. Copper pipes are also a good choice for water supply lines, but they can be more expensive than other options.

When choosing a pipe size, it’s important to consider the type of threading that’s on the end and whether the pipe has a plain or special end. Threading is made up of small ridges around the outer edge of a pipe that fit into male or female adapters. This can be easily spotted by looking at the ends of a pipe or using a tape measure. Non-threaded ends are flat and glued, soldered, or welded to the pipe.

Another important consideration is the amount of pressure that will be placed on the pipe. Larger pipes can hold more pressure, but they are less flexible than smaller ones. This means they may be more likely to kink or crack under stress. For this reason, it’s important to only use pipes that are rated for the pressure you’re planning on using them for.

Other types of pipes include tee-type fittings and unions. A tee-type fitting is a piece of pipe in the shape of a T with one inlet and two outlets. It’s often used to join two pipes together, allowing the flow of water to be divided between them. A tee-type fitting can be purchased in a variety of lengths and materials, and the number of outlets it has will depend on the diameter of the inlet.


Pipe fittings are the parts that connect the pipes together. They can be made from a wide range of materials. There are three basic types of pipe fittings: couplings, tees and elbows. Couplings join two small sections of pipe together by threading one end of the pipe into the other. They are available in different sizes to match the diameter of the pipe. They can also be rated to handle a certain amount of pressure. The size of a coupling is determined by measuring the inner diameter (ID). Using this information, the correct coupling can be ordered. A coupling is sealed with a rubber washer or a metal gasket.

A tee connects the end of a pipe to a branch pipe that goes in another direction. A tee can have an inlet at either side of the intersection or a single port in the middle. The tee is usually spot-welded, but high-pressure systems may require a double combination wye to minimize wastewater flow through the inlet.

An elbow bends a pipe at 90 or 45 degrees. It can be used to route a pipe through a wall, to reduce turbulence or to reduce the deposition of entrained solids in long pipes. Elbows can be made from a wide variety of materials including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyvinyl chloride, or copper and are available in a large range of sizes.

Some plumbing fixtures and fittings are made from brass, which is durable and corrosion resistant. Other fittings are made from plastic, which is lightweight and easy to work with. Some plastic fittings are made from a softer material that can be melted and reshaped to fit into a tight space.

The flange fitting, which is often used in hydraulic systems (such as those found on bulldozers and backhoes), has a flat surface that seals against the inside of a hole. This type of fitting is designed and rated for much higher fluid pressure than is encountered in general plumbing, so it must be carefully installed to ensure leakproof connections. It is commonly welded to the pipes it connects, although in some cases a special gasket or packing may be used instead.


While you probably don’t like to think about the putrid sludge moving through pipes under your house, sewers play an important role in ensuring that wastewater and waste are collected and safely transported away. These underground networks of pipes hold sewage (which is mixed with human waste), water run-off from drains and stormwater, and then convey this waste to wastewater treatment plants or disposal points.

There are three main types of sewer systems: sanitary, combined and storm. Sanitary sewers are designed to capture sewage and other wastes, while storm drains are intended for water run-off. The sanitary sewer system typically includes pipes, manholes, pumping stations, and screening chambers.

The layout and design of a sanitary sewer system is often determined by the topography of the service area. A well-designed sewerage system takes into account the natural slope of the terrain and makes every effort to minimize pipe grades. It also accounts for the necessary range of flow velocities to ensure adequate scouring of solids and to prevent abrasion of the pipe walls.

In many cases, it’s not practical or cost-effective to reduce the slope of a sewer line. To overcome this, engineers can use a technique called inverted siphoning. This involves lowering a section of the pipe beneath a depressed topographic feature, such as a river or stream. It then rises back up to the hydraulic grade line.

Despite their vital functions, buried sewer pipes are rarely seen by homeowners. Getting a close look at them is usually only required when one of your toilets won’t flush or you notice wastewater backing up from a drain.

While most sewer pipes are buried, they aren’t immune to damage and wear over time. Sewer pipe maintenance is an essential part of extending the life of your plumbing system and minimizing downtime caused by damage or blockages.

At Lowe’s, we have everything you need to keep your sanitary and storm sewer lines in good condition. In addition to plastic sewer pipe in a variety of lengths, we carry fittings, including elbows, tees, adapters and couplings. We also have sewer covers, which are used to cover and protect openings in a sewer system. These covers can help deter vandalism and intruders, and they’re available with a variety of lockable options to protect your privacy.


Drains are used in the treatment of infection or abscesses. They are typically percutaneous, meaning they are placed through the skin and then connected to a collection bag that creates negative pressure that draws fluid out of the body. They may be Jackson-Pratt or hemovac drains and are usually left in place for one day to three weeks depending on the surgery (1). These drains require close monitoring for signs of infection at the insertion site and emptying when directed. They should be monitored for drainage, color, odor and other symptoms such as fever, pain, swelling or redness (2).

Infection at the drain insertion site is a significant risk. Nursing responsibilities are to observe the site daily, change the dressing and empty the drain when directed by the surgeon (3). Nursing also is responsible for maintaining proper aseptic technique while changing the drain and keeping a record of the time the drainage tubing is removed from the patient (4).

There are several different types of drain fittings including long-sweep elbows, straight tees, and sanitary tees. Long-sweep elbows make a 90-degree bend in a longer arc than traditional elbows for smoother water flow. Straight tees perform the same function as regular tees for water lines but are commonly used in vents and for connecting vertical drains to horizontal ones (5). Sanitary tees, known as a santee, have a “sweeping” port that promotes water flow in the direction of the sweep and are traditionally used to connect horizontal waste to vertical stacks (6).

The ends of all drains shall be sealed. This is done by using a sealant that complies with ASTM D 2657 or the manufacturer’s instructions. Mechanical joints in drain piping shall be made with tools specifically designed for the operation. All joints in the drainage system shall be heated to a melting point, melted and allowed to cool before being clamped together (e).

The ends of all drains and the bottom of building sewers must be terminated with an approved plug or cap to prevent backflow. Dead ends in drain piping are prohibited unless they are approved by the architect and constructed to comply with ASTM D 3034 and CSA B602. The exception is for cleanout extensions and approved future fixture drainage piping which are not permitted as a dead end.

What Is a Septic Tank?

Septic tanks are secure systems for storing and disposing of household wastewater. They are commonly used in rural areas that do not have access to a sewage system.

A septic tank is an underground, watertight container made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. Compartments and a T-shaped outlet prevent solids (fecal sludge) and oil/greases from leaving the tank and traveling into the drain field area. Visit Website to learn more.

septic tank

A septic tank is a buried, watertight container that receives all wastewater from household toilets and appliances. As wastewater exits your home through a toilet or other drains, it travels through a main drainage pipe that leads to the septic tank. From there, it separates into three layers: sludge, scum, and effluent. The sludge and scum collect at the bottom of the septic tank while the liquid wastewater (known as effluent) flows through an outlet into a septic system’s drainfield.

The septic tank is an important part of a home’s waste management system because it helps protect drinking water wells and local waterways from contamination by bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that could cause illness in humans and animals. Wastewater also carries excessive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which can pollute soil, waterways, and lakes by encouraging the growth of algae that uses up oxygen in the water, harming fish and other organisms.

Septic tanks are popular solutions for homeowners who live in rural areas that do not connect to a municipal sewer network. They are often made of concrete or fiberglass and can be prefabricated in some cases. While septic systems are not perfect, they provide effective wastewater treatment and disposal. They reduce the risk of contaminating soil, freshwater sources, and bodies of water through bacterial decomposition, while reducing the amount of solid waste that must be hauled away and burned.

Once the wastewater reaches the septic tank, it goes through a decantation and sedimentation process that eliminates most of the organic material. This water then enters a second chamber where it’s treated by microorganisms on and near the soil in a natural filtration process. The resulting purified effluent is then pumped into a drainfield or another special type of soil absorption field for further treatment and re-use in the environment.

If you have a septic tank, it’s important to schedule regular septic tank pumping to keep it working properly. A septic tank that is not pumped out regularly can overflow, leading to sewage backups and other problems. You can hire a professional to empty your septic tank, which they do by attaching a large truck to the septic tank with a giant suction hose. The septic tank contents are then transported to a local sewage treatment plant for further treatment.

Wastewater from toilets, showers, bathtubs, sinks, laundry machines and dishwashers flows into your septic tank. The septic tank holds the wastewater for long enough for solid waste particles to separate through settling and flotation. Heavy solid materials sink to the bottom of the tank forming sludge, while fats, oils and grease float to the top of the wastewater forming a scum layer. Anaerobic bacteria inside the septic tank feed on organic wastewater pollutants and break them down into liquid water. This liquid water, also called effluent, exits the septic tank through an outlet pipe and enters your septic system drain field.

The drain field, also known as the absorption field or leach field, is a series of underground trenches and distribution pipes that biologically treat wastewater. The effluent from the septic tank seeps into the soil, where microorganisms digest the organic materials. This process removes harmful substances from the sewage, and the dissolved oxygen is released back into the environment.

Because the drain field can become waterlogged during rainfall, it is important to limit your household water usage. This helps reduce the amount of water entering your septic tank and helps prevent your septic system from needing frequent pumping. Some easy ways to lower your water usage include installing efficient showerheads and faucets, running only one load of laundry per day and limiting how often you wash dishes or take baths.

Another way to help with septic tank efficiency is to use septic system additives. There are many products on the market that claim to break down organic compounds and prevent sludge and scum layers from building up in your tank. However, most of these products are not proven, and they may cause septic systems to function improperly.

To keep septic tanks from needing to be pumped out as frequently, it is recommended that you have your septic tank regularly inspected and pumped by a professional. These professionals have special equipment that measures the septic tank layers, inspects the plumbing and provides regular maintenance. They will advise you on what types of products and how much to use to keep your septic tank functioning properly.

The bacteria that digest waste in your septic tank are anaerobic, meaning they don’t require oxygen from the air to function. As these bacteria work, they produce a gas known as hydrogen sulfide. It has a strong, unpleasant odor, similar to that of rotten eggs. Because of this, it’s important that the septic tank and absorption field have adequate ventilation.

Wastewater from your toilets (known as blackwater) and showers, bathtubs, sinks, dishwasher and washing machines (called greywater) run through a main drainage pipe that goes to your septic tank. Solid waste particles sink to the bottom of the septic tank to form sludge, while fats, oils and greases float to the top of the wastewater, creating a layer known as scum. Anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank eat the sludge and scum, breaking them down into liquids that flow to your septic drain field.

Because a septic tank is a large container that holds a significant amount of water and waste, there is a lot of pressure built up inside. That’s why it needs to be vented, or the pressurized gas would build up and clog your plumbing system or cause the septic tank to overflow.

The septic tank is typically vented through a plumbing vent stack that’s connected to all the home’s drainpipes. This vent stack is often located on the roof of the home and looks like a small, capped chimney vent. A septic tank also can be vented through an effluent filter that’s installed in the tank’s outlet baffle. This cylindrical device protects your septic tank’s drain field by trapping suspended solids that might clog the drain field.

Homes and buildings in wooded areas may find that the trees around their septic tanks prevent effective dispersal of venting gases. This can be resolved by pruning nearby trees to open up “ventilation paths” for the septic tank and drain field. It’s also a good idea to add 8 to 12 inches of mulch, such as straw or pine bark, over and around the septic tank, pipes and drain field. This helps prevent the soil from becoming compacted and can extend the life of your septic tank and absorption field.

The septic tank is a watertight, buried container where household sewage is treated and stored. It connects to a drain field (also known as an absorption or leach field) via a pipe, where the pre-treated wastewater seeps into the ground. A septic system is an ideal choice for homes located outside of city limits that can’t rely on municipal sewage services. However, living with a septic system comes with extra responsibilities and self-reliance. Septic tanks require maintenance and regular inspections to keep functioning properly.

A septic tank needs to be pumped out every three to five years, depending on how many people live in the house. It’s important to keep track of when your tank was pumped last, as an overfilled tank can cause waste to back up into the house and possibly contaminate surrounding groundwater. A full septic tank also causes foul odors in the backyard. Signs that the tank is getting full include gurgling toilets, slow-to-open drains, and standing water or a wet spot in the yard.

All the household wastewater that goes down your toilets, sinks and showers ends up in your septic system. This includes flushing items that don’t belong in your drains like bones, paper towels, diapers, tampons, chemical cleaners or paints, or oily cooking grease. This can clog your drains, harm beneficial bacteria, and stress the septic system.

Keeping up with regular septic tank maintenance and ensuring your drain field stays clear can help extend the lifespan of your septic system. You can minimize the amount of wastewater that enters your septic system by avoiding using chemical drain openers, only running one shower at a time and washing clothes over a few days rather than back-to-back, and installing low-flow toilets and efficient shower heads.

Another way to reduce the amount of wastewater that enters your sewage system is to keep trees and shrubs away from the drainfield area, as roots can invade the pipes and damage your septic system. In addition, it’s best to not drive or park on the drainfield as this can compact the soil around the pipes and limit their ability to absorb wastewater.