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Have you ever wondered what happens when you flush a toilet or wash your hands in the bathroom? Sadly, most people just know that they entered the bathroom to do X, Y, Z and what happens next is not something they have even thought about! If you are a homeowner or even renting, knowing how things work in your house is part of the responsibility of being conscious about things that surround you and your family. When a plumber walks into your house, for example, he knows what he is doing, but do you have any idea how he will fix a leak in your bathroom or better yet how your bathroom plumbing system functions?
Proper functioning of your bathroom in Toronto
Proper functioning of your bathroom revolves around water and gravity. Water reaches your bathroom either directly or indirectly. When it is distributed directly, it comes from the main source and is delivered through the different outlets in the house.
The indirect system, however, is when water from the main source is stored and then pumped to different areas of your house. Knowing if the water source is direct or indirect is important for calculating pressure and making allowances for the water to reach certain areas. The type of pressure that you get in your bathroom or kitchen, for example, will tell a plumber if your water supply is direct or indirect.
How does a plumbing system work
The water that leaves your bathtub, shower, and sink are all carried through a special line until it meets waste that comes from your toilet. This line does not have any waste material, and once an ideal slope has been applied to it, no waste from the toilet will be allowed to back up in it. You will notice from the figure below (fig.1) that the diameter of the pipe that takes the water from the sink, bathtub, and shower is considerably smaller that the one that takes the overall waste from both lines. This is primarily due to what is known as “flow.” The tube that will receive all the waste material has to have a diameter that allows everything to pass. This calculation can be made from the worst possible case or based on the guides that are outlined for diameters based on the flow that runs across them. The worst case occurs when all fixtures are being used at one time, but this is very unlikely to occur, as most Toronto plumbers usually project the diameters to be used in a bathroom based on the overall flow that will pass each tube.
Fig1: Outline of a bathroom plumbing system.
The vent stock that is seen in fig 1 is installed to allow gases that build up in the lines to release into the open air. These gases are a buildup of bacteria action in the lines, and as such to avoid unpleasant smells, vent lines are installed to remove foul odor.
General layout of a plumbing system used in a home