Plumbing

PLUMBING

Water Source/Well Pump

Most modern homes receive water either through a municipal water service or a private well. As such, maintenance problems are usually associated with the private well and pump. The well pump may be either above ground or submersible. If the pump is above ground it is usually placed in the basement at or near the point where the water main enters the house. This pump should be mounted on a solid surface and should operate quietly and without leaks. Submersible pumps are hung deep in the well casing and difficult to evaluate. In either case, the private well pump has a pressure switch and pressure tank that maintain water pressure in the home.

Water Pressure

Water pressure in a home is generally between 40‑60 psi. and delivered at approximately 2‑3 gallons per minute. During the inspection water pressure is measured in the bathroom by turning on the tub fixture, the sink fixture, and then flushing the toilet. If there is no substantial decrease in flow from the sink, water pressure is deemed adequate. Causes of inadequate pressure include

domestic well pump inadequacy and obstructions or narrowing in the distribution piping in the house.

Plumbing Pipes

Modern household plumbing is made of copper, plastic, or a combination. Galvanized pipe, still in use in many older homes, is subject to corrosion and usually the source of a leak. Galvanized pipe rusts from the inside out. Lead pipe, characterized by a bulbous fitting near the main inlet, is rarely in use today. Pipes in the basement, crawl space, and in the attic should be insulated to prevent heat loss.

Water Heater

Water for the home may be heated in a number of ways; electric, gas or oil fueled, or the hot water may be produced as part of the home heating system. The typical gas water heater is the most common means of providing hot water to the home. This type of water  heater consists of a tank wrapped with insulation and protected with an enameled metal jacket. The tank has several fittings on top; the inlet has a dip tube which deposits cold water at the bottom of the tank, an anode rod , attracts certain elements that may damage the tank, and the outlet which provides the hot water at temperatures between 120‑140 degrees

A pressure relief valve should be utilized with a water heater. The valve should have an extension pipe the will direct the hot water under pressure down onto the floor. The hot water heater has a drain at the bottom of the tank where manufacturers recommend the tank be drained and flushed each year to remove silt and debris.

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