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Understanding the Different Types of Plumbing Lines in Your Home


Your home has three types of plumbing lines: potable water, drainage, and sewage. Each plays a crucial role in your comfort and safety, with the potable water lines delivering safe, clean drinking water and the drain and sewer lines working together to remove wastewater and sewage from your home. When you have issues with these plumbing systems, it’s essential to have them repaired as soon as possible to avoid damage to your home and protect your health.

Potable Water Lines

Clean water is necessary to protect your family from illness and disease. Potable water lines provide fresh water to your home for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, and more. The water lines are pressurized to ensure water reaches each fixture and can provide enough flow for all your needs. Problems like leaks, frozen pipes, or reduced pressure can happen in any home, regardless of age. Here are a few ways you can determine that your water lines need repair:

  • Reduced water pressure or flow
  • Pooling water or visible leaks
  • Stains on walls or ceilings near water lines
  • Discolored water or stained fixtures
  • Banging or noisy pipes
  • Corroded or discolored pipes
  • Bulging pipes
  • Abnormally high water bills

Older homes with galvanized steel pipes, thin-wall copper, or polybutylene water lines may be more vulnerable to leaks or pressure problems.

Drainage Lines

Drainage lines collect wastewater and sewage from each fixture in your home and deliver them to the main sewer line for disposal. Drain lines rely on gravity to carry the waste away, with pipes that slope down and away from the fixtures. Whether the wastewater comes from the kitchen sink, the shower, or the toilet, it can contain bacteria, viruses, and other substances that can pose a risk to your health. That’s why it is crucial to resolve any issues you may have with your drainage system as quickly as possible, from leaks and clogs to backups. Here are a few ways you can tell when you have a drain problem and need repairs:

  • The drain is slow or completely clogged
  • Foul odors are coming from the drain
  • You hear bubbling or gurgling noises from the drain
  • One drain makes a noise as another is used
  • Wastewater is backing up and spilling out from the drain
  • There are stains below the drain or fittings

Drain clogs can be caused by collections of grease, hair, food particles, and soap residue, as well as physical damage to the pipe or fittings. Drain cleaning services using a power auger or pipe snake can clear many clogs, but drain repairs or replacements are occasionally required.

Sewage Lines

Sewage lines collect wastewater and sewage from the drain lines and deliver them to the municipal sewer line or the septic tank in rural areas. Like drainage lines, sewage lines rely on gravity to carry waste away unless the sewer line is lower than the municipal sewer line. In such cases, a lift station is installed to pump the sewage into the municipal sewer line. Clogs in your sewage line can allow wastewater to collect until it backs up into the lowest drains in your home. Damaged sewer lines can spill sewage in your basement or your yard. Both pose a significant health and safety risk. To determine if your need sewer repairs, watch for the following symptoms:

  • Clogs in more than one fixture simultaneously
  • Unusual noises or smells from the drains
  • Stains in the basement near the sewer line or visible leaks
  • Damp soil, standing water, or erosion in the yard

Sewer clogs and backups can be caused by accumulations of waste, grease, hair, and toilet paper, as well as damaged pipes or tree roots growing into the sewage lines. Augering or hydro jetting can clear most clogs, but a sewer repair or replacement may be necessary for problems like damaged pipes or tree root infiltration.

Protect Your Plumbing With Routine Maintenance

To keep your home’s plumbing safe and working correctly, contact our team at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains. Our company offers reliable, on-time plumbing maintenance and repairs throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Our technicians average over eight years of experience, and they have over 200 hours of annual training and education each. We are available from 8 to 8 and are never late, seven days a week. We offer respectful service, leaving your home clean with no messes left behind, and we feature upfront pricing, flexible financing options, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Choose the best when you need plumbing maintenance or repairs in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky. Call HELP Plumbing at (513) 333-4357 or contact us online to schedule plumbing, drain, or sewer services today!

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