Plumbing is the system of pipes, valves, fixtures, and tanks that convey fluids for a variety of uses. It can be found in factories, businesses and homes.
Plumbers install, repair and maintain the various systems that convey water and waste throughout a building. They may also work in a design capacity, drafting blueprints and helping make installation more efficient.
Pipes are used to transport water and other liquids or gases from one place to another. They are available in a variety of materials and are often made from steel.
Stainless steel is an excellent choice for the main plumbing line in a home because it can handle high pressures without bending. It’s also easy to repair and has anti-microbial properties that prevent bacteria from growing on it.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a common type of plastic that’s durable and rarely gets damaged or rusty. It’s commonly used for drain and vent piping in homes and businesses and can be installed indoors or outdoors.
ABS: Short for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, this sturdy plastic was one of the first types of plastic pipes used in residential plumbing. It’s resistant to corrosive chemicals and is black in color.
CPVC and PEX are also popular materials for piping in residential buildings, especially when the temperature of the pipes must be kept low. These materials have markings that indicate their sizes and temperature ratings.
Fittings are used to join pipes of different sizes, to regulate flow or to measure the flow. They are made of a variety of materials, including copper, iron and brass.
They can be used for water, drain and waste lines, and they are available in various sizes. They are also available in different materials and colors.
For example, a tee is a fitting that connects two pipes of different sizes. It comes in a range of lengths, and it is shaped like the letter “T.”
A nipple is another type of pipe fitting. It connects two pipes by threading from the inside and outside.
These are available in a variety of materials, including ABS, brass, chrome-plated brass, copper, CPVC, malleable (galvanized and black) and PVC.
They are also available in push-to-connect and quick-connect fittings, which do not require soldering or gluing. They are easy to install and can save a lot of money in the long run.
Valves are mechanical devices used to control the flow of fluids in a pipe or other enclosure. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are used for a number of purposes.
A valve is typically sized based on the pipe size, connector diameter and overall flow rate of the fluid that it will be controlling. Choosing the right valve can make a big difference in both the safety of your equipment and the cost savings you’ll realize over time.
The most basic types of valves are plug (cock) and ball valves. Both use a conical plug that fits in a hole perpendicular to the valve body. Once turned, the plug either lines up with the pipe to permit flow or sets at right angles to block the passage.
Plumbing supplies are the tools, materials and equipment used to build or maintain a home’s water supply system. They can include bathroom fixtures, faucets, drains, pipes and fittings, as well as filtration equipment.
Plumbing is a complicated field and it can be difficult to identify the right tool for a specific job. However, plumber supply stores often have employees who are familiar with all the products that are available and can answer your question with a clear understanding of how they can be used to best benefit you.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to plumbing is the quality of the materials used. Cheap pipes and shoddy fittings are likely to deteriorate and fail sooner than high-quality alternatives, putting your home at risk. This can also lead to costly repairs in the long run. Good quality materials will also enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your home’s plumbing, not to mention add value should you ever decide to sell it.