Plumbing Services

What Does a Residential Plumber Do?

Residential plumbers install and repair plumbing systems in homes. Their duties include water supply piping and kitchen and bathroom sinks, tubs, and toilets. Plumbers also clear drain clogs and install sewer lines.


Regarding commercial plumbing, things are much more complicated than with a single home. For example, if there is a leak in a 20-story building, it might take longer to locate the source because of the extensive piping system.

Water heaters are one of the most important appliances in your home. They heat incoming cold water to temperatures suitable for running sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers, showers and tubs, and they store hot water until it’s needed. A residential plumber can help you determine the type and size of water heater that’s right for your home.

The most common types of residential water heaters are tank-style heaters. These feature a large, insulated storage container that holds between 20 and 80 gallons of hot water. They can be powered by electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil or solar energy. Each unit has a thermostat that monitors the temperature of the water inside the tank. When the reading drops below a pre-set level, the thermostat automatically kicks on and starts heating up the water again. The recommended temperature setting is 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Hotter settings may save energy, but they could pose a scalding risk for household members.

If your household uses a lot of hot water, you might consider upgrading to a larger tank or installing several smaller tanks in the basement or attic. Tank-style water heaters are also available in energy efficient models that use less fuel or electricity.

If you have a tank-style water heater, it’s a good idea to have a plumbing professional flush and inspect the system at least once a year. This can prevent sediment from building up on the bottom of the tank, which can shorten its service life. The professional will also check the anode rod and pressure relief valve to ensure they’re working properly. He or she may recommend adding a water softening system to reduce hardness in the home’s drinking and bathing water.

As the name suggests, a water service line brings fresh water into your home from a city water main. The pipe connects to the water meter and then to faucets, showers, toilets and other appliances in your house. In some areas, it may also include a pump to supply water to your well. Whether you get your water from the city or a private well, these lines need to be installed and maintained properly to ensure safe drinking water.

These lines should be buried at least four feet underground to prevent freezing and to protect the pipes from lawn mowers or cars. They should also be kept as short as possible to avoid causing undue stress on the pipeline. If you have a water service line that is lead, it should be replaced immediately by a licensed plumber.

The piping material on a water service line is typically copper, galvanized steel or plastic. However, a majority of these lines are still made from lead. This means that you are potentially exposed to lead from your tap water, and regular inspections and maintenance from a residential plumbing company are crucial for protecting your health.

Most water systems have records that note the type of material used on the portion of the service line under their jurisdiction. However, these records are not always accurate. If you want to know more about the quality of your home’s water, you can call your water system and ask if they have a record of the material for the portion of the line that crosses over onto private property.

You can also test the pipe material by running a magnet over it to see if it sticks. If the magnet does not stick, this portion of the pipe is probably lead-free.

Faucets are the final stop for water as it makes its way from the pipe to your sink. Whether the faucet is simple or fancy, it still needs to accomplish two important engineering tasks: regulating fluid (water) pressure and regulating water flow. Faucets come in a wide variety of designs, but they all have similar parts and functions.

Most household faucets are a “mixing” faucet, meaning they blend hot and cold water to create the desired temperature. Your kitchen faucet, tub faucet, shower faucet and washing machine faucet are all mixing faucets. Outside faucets, on the other hand, are typically non-mixing spigots. You probably have one of these outside your house, which may also be called a bibb, hose bibb, sillcock, hydrant or garden valve.

When selecting a new faucet, consider where it will be mounted and how much reach you want the spout to have. Then consider how the handle will turn on and off, and whether it’s single-handle or double-handle. Most homeowners find that a single-handle faucet is easier to operate.

Standard faucet materials include brass, stainless steel and plastic. Brass faucets are durable and easy to customize with a variety of finishes. Stainless-steel is more expensive than brass but holds up better against corrosion. Plastic and zinc are less expensive but don’t stand up as well to corrosion or wear.

Manufacturers treat faucet style the way Louis Vuitton treats shoes, and they often hire noted designers to craft eye-catching models. The sleek, Lamborghini-esque Jeton model from Kallista, for example, lists for $1,843. Whatever your style, you’ll probably need a faucet that works well. A faucet that drips, has hard water deposits or doesn’t shut off entirely is in need of attention.

The toilet is an essential bathroom fixture that’s usually reliable but can become a source of frustration if you have bad habits or use cleaning products that aren’t safe for your toilet. A residential plumber will be able to help you maintain your toilet and repair it when necessary.

Toilets are available in a variety of styles and designs. A residential plumber can help you choose the right one for your home and can install it properly. They can also advise you on how to avoid common problems like clogged or leaky toilets.

A residential plumber can also fix toilets that aren’t flushing correctly. This can be due to mineral buildup or other problems. They can remove the mineral buildup and restore your toilet’s flushing ability. They can also install a water softener to prevent future problems.

In addition to fixing toilets, residential plumbers can also repair other plumbing fixtures in your home. They can replace shower heads, faucets, and tubs. They can also unclog drains and sewer lines. They can even replace toilet parts like flappers and valve seals.

When choosing a new toilet for your home, consider who will be using it and their needs. For example, you may want to consider taller toilets if someone in your family has difficulty sitting or standing. You may also want to consider toilets with bidet functionality, which offers personalized cleansing. You might also want to consider dual-flush and water-saving options.

A home drain pipe carries waste water and sewage away from individual fixtures such as toilets, showers and sinks. A residential plumber works on this system, installing, maintaining and repairing these pipes. The plumber may also troubleshoot issues such as clogged drains and sewer backups.

To prevent drain clogs, the plumber may use chemicals or drain snakes to break up and remove blockages. However, this can damage the drain line and cause other problems. Therefore, it’s best to hire a professional plumber for regular maintenance and to replace the entire drain line when necessary.

In homes, the drainage system usually has a main drain and one or more branch drains. A main drain is sized according to the number of fixture units it serves; for example, a 3-inch drain serves two toilets. Branch drains collect wastewater from two or more fixtures and convey it to the main drain. They connect to the main drain via a Y-fitting, which is sloped to allow for scouring action and prevent solids from depositing in the connection.

A leaking pipe in a home is typically easy to detect, as the plumbing fixture’s water supply will be shut off and the leak will become obvious. But in a commercial space, it’s more difficult to pinpoint the source of the leak. This is because plumbing systems are typically used by a lot more people than in a residence, which can result in higher water usage and more frequent plumbing issues. As a result, the pipes used in a commercial space must be larger and more durable to cope with the increased usage. This is why it’s important for a plumber to understand the differences between residential and commercial plumbing.