You’ve worked hard, saved money and managed to purchase your dream home. Pride of ownership is one of the benefits of being a homeowner. The downside of owning your home is maintaining it.

One of the most frequent issues homeowners face is plumbing. Having a basic understanding of how these systems work, will help you remain calm when the “s” hits the fan.


You have two distinct yet connected plumbing systems in your home. The first system brings water into your house. This is the supply side. Everywhere you have a water supply (faucet) you have a corresponding drain. They are complementary but not physically connected.

When water comes out of a faucet, it is put to use, for example, washing, rinsing, cleaning, and cooking. There is usually some human input involved in using the water for a specific purpose. Once that purpose is finished, the water has to go somewhere. Where does it go? Down the drain.

All of your supply lines originate in one place and branch out to the various outlets. All of your disposal lines (drains) begin at the branches and then converge into one main pipe or outlet, which leaves your home and feeds into a sewer or septic tank.

Waste Disposal

One of the nastiest emergencies you can experience is a toilet backup. This can be caused by something clogging the toilet drain. If you have children, expect that something may have been accidentally flushed down the toilet.

It could also be that something is blocking your sewer main line. Sometimes it’s roots, and at other times, older pipes may have broken or shifted. Either scenario can partially or fully block your drain lines. If you suspect this is the case, consider having your sewer lines replaced or relined. 

A reputable plumber should be called in to assess the situation. If you’re looking for reliable pipe relining in Northern Beaches check with friends and neighbors to find out if they recommend anyone.

There are other aspects of home ownership you need to understand, but your drains are an important aspect.

Water Supply

The other side of your plumbing is bringing water into your home.

You have one main source of water. It is most likely from the city water supply, but it might also be from a well. You are responsible for any plumbing issues that arise from the point of connection to and throughout your home. If you suspect problems before the water reaches your property contact your local water department.

Water supply problems are generally due to low water pressure, or old or damaged water supply lines in and around your home.

Pipes can become defective in several different ways. A galvanized iron pipe can rust, or build up deposits, which clog or slow water flow to your faucets. Some copper pipes are susceptible to breaking due to the cheap copper alloys that are used in their construction.

Many different systems go into your home. Plumbing is just one of them. You don’t have to be able to fix them yourself, but if you understand the basics you will be better prepared to deal with any issues.

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