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What Is The Difference Between Plumbing And Drains?


When finding a water issue, it’s best to repair it sooner than later. Should you call the plumber or the drainage specialist? They each specialize in different areas. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between plumbing and drains to help clear up any confusion.

When Is It Plumbing?

Water comes into your home through pipes; this is your plumbing system at work. The kitchen faucet that gives you a drink when thirsty, or the warm shower in the bathroom in the morning, all wouldn’t be there for you without a plumbing system. Call your plumber when you turn something on to bring water into the home and find an issue, such as gross brown water.

Here’s how a plumbing system works: Using pressure, water is pushed through the pipes and into the area where it’s being used. Water comes from groundwater sources (such as a well) or a surface water source (lakes, rivers, reservoirs). As water is pushed through the pipes, it runs by a meter which reads how much water you’re using each day.

When Is It Drainage?

The drainage system is just the opposite of plumbing. Drainage removes wastewater from your home. Clean water in; dirty water out. Everything from flushing the toilet to the washing machine draining dirty water requires a drainage system. If the toilet keeps getting blocked or a drain is backing up, call your drainage specialist.

Here’s how a drainage system works: A drainage system relies more on gravity rather than pressure to move wastewater out of your home. The pipes are angled toward the sewer, making it easy for waste and water to make their way there. There are also air vents on your roof, which allow airflow into the drainpipes. Without those vents, the waste wouldn’t move as efficiently.

Another interesting part of the drainage system in your home is the traps. Traps are U-shaped pipes you’ll easily see under a sink, though they’re used in other areas as well. With enough pressure, water easily flows through the trap, but a small amount is always left behind. That small amount of water is just enough to form a seal and keep the sewer gases from coming up through the drain and into your home.

When To Call a Specialist

So, when should you call a specialist? Let’s look at when to call a plumber:

  • No hot water
  • No water at all
  • Low water pressure
  • Drains aren’t draining
  • Toilet overflows often
  • Constant drip on faucet
  • Sewage odor in home

The following are reasons call a drainage specialist:

  • Noisy drains
  • Backed-up drains
  • Bad odors
  • Insects around drains (especially flies)

We hope reading the differences between plumbing and drains helps in understanding your own plumbing and drainage system. Never hesitate to call a plumber or drain specialist when these issues occur. It’s always best to catch a problem early rather than allowing it to get big.

Preventative maintenance on pipes is the best way to avoid costly and time-consuming repairs. Sewer Renewal Specialists offer a sewer drain cleaning service to keep pipes working like new. Contact us for information about drainpipe maintenance and cleaning for your home’s drainage system.