A Basic Guide to Household Drain Lines – Sobieski Services | DE, NJ, PA, MD

A Basic Guide to Household Drain Lines

Household drain lines are a critical element in any healthy indoor environment. This essential fact becomes plainly obvious if or when a drain clog or another malfunction occurs.

Because all parts of a typical system are connected, a dysfunction in one area can frequently affect the performance of more than one drain elsewhere in your home. Household drain line designs convey waste water out of your home, while sealing out the reflux of toxins and odors from the sewer system.

Going With the Flow

The force that drives household drain lines is simple gravity. Waste water flows downward through various-sized pipes. Along the way, these smaller pipes join in with a common, three-inch drain pipe called a “stack,” that extends down to the household sewer line located at the lowest point beneath your home. The underground sewer line, usually up to four inches in diameter, is routed out of your home and across the property to join the main municipal sewer located at the street.

Relieving the Pressure

Waste water flowing through household drain lines can create pressure imbalances within your pipes. Venting is required to equalize these pressures or drain performance will be severely hampered. Empty air vent stacks, connected to the drain system, extend up to the roof, allowing airflow into and out of the drain pipes to equalize pressure differences.

Sealing the System

Wherever a drain line connects to a sink, toilet, or another fixture, a trap is required to prevent noxious sewer gas from refluxing into your home. These U-shaped traps, commonly seen under sinks and other locations, constantly retain a small quantity of water in the bend of the trap. This water serves as a seal to prevent sewer gas infiltration.

At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.

Photo Credit: Horia Varlan via Compfight cc

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