The plumbing in your home is composed of two separate subsystems. One subsystem brings freshwater in, and the other takes wastewater out. The water that comes into your home is under pressure. It enters your home under enough pressure to allow it to travel upstairs, around corners, or wherever else it’s needed. As water comes into your home, it passes through a meter that registers the amount you use. The main water shutoff, or stop, valve is typically located close to the meter. In a plumbing emergency, it’s vital that you quickly close the main shutoff valve. Otherwise, when a pipe bursts, it can flood your house in no time. If the emergency is confined to a sink, tub, or toilet, however, you may not want to turn off your entire water supply. Therefore, most fixtures should have individual stop valves.

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This home is plumbing diagram for illustrates how your home should be plumbed.
The different color lines in this drawing represent the various plumbing pipes used in Home.

  • The blue lines are the fresh water supply entering the home.
  • The red lines are the hot water supply after it has left the hot water tank.
  • The black lines are waste pipes (grey water and sewage).
  • The yellow lines are the venting pipes; these enable air and gasses to escape the system.