what does plumbing do?

September 8, 2021

Mitchel Plumbing Gas

what does plumbing do?

Plumbing is the vital system that ensures water flows seamlessly in our homes, from faucets to drains. Essentially, it encompasses the design, installation, and upkeep of water systems. Whether it's setting up hot and cold water lines or addressing urgent issues like burst pipes, plumbing is integral to our daily comfort.

Historical milestones in plumbing, like the indoor plumbing innovations of the Ancient Romans or Thomas Crapper's flushable toilet, underscore the significance and evolution of this field over time.

And remember, if you're ever faced with a burst pipe  or backed-up sink, don't despair! Just give your friendly neighbourhood plumber a call. We delve deeper into the vast array of services provided by plumbers and the intricacies of today's plumbing systems.

What is included in the plumbing system?

A typical plumbing system in a residential home includes the following:

-Water supply lines:

these bring fresh water into your home. These pipelines are usually made of copper, PVC, or galvanized steel. The water is supplied by the municipality or a private water company.

-Drain lines:

these take used water away from your home to the sewer system or septic tank. Drain lines are usually made of PVC, ABS, or cast-iron. there are a few types of drain systems, including gravity drains and pressure drains. Stormwater also drains away through the roof and gutters for the rainfall. Roof plumbing is a speciality all its own and is beyond the scope of this article.

-Vent lines:

these allow fresh air into the system to equalize the pressure in the drain lines. Vent lines are usually made of PVC or ABS.

-Gas lines:

these supply natural gas to your home for heating and cooking. Gas lines are usually made of copper or polyethylene. In Brisbane, most houses have natural gas, but some use LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), which is delivered by truck.


these include sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs

- Traps:

these "trap" water in the P-shape of the fitting to create a water seal that prevents sewer gases from entering your home. All fixtures in your home, such as sinks, tubs, and toilets, have a trap.


these include dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters

Does Plumbing Include Gas?

Absolutely, plumbing isn't just about water. As highlighted in the overview of a typical residential plumbing system, gas lines play a pivotal role. These lines ensure the safe and efficient delivery of natural gas or LPG to homes, powering essential appliances and heating systems. The expertise required for gas plumbing is distinct, given the potential hazards associated with gas leaks. In Brisbane, where many homes rely on natural gas or LPG, the role of a gas plumber becomes even more crucial. They ensure that gas lines are installed, maintained, and repaired with the utmost precision, safeguarding households from potential risks. So, when considering plumbing services, it's essential to remember that they encompass both water and gas systems, each demanding specialized skills and attention.

How do I know what kind of plumbing I have?

The type of plumbing in your home depends on when it was built. In Australia, If your home in Brisbane was built  before 1950, it is likely that you have galvanized steel pipes. If your home was built between 1950 and 1970, it is likely that you have copper pipes. If your home was built after 1970, it is likely that you have PVC or ABS pipes.

PVC and ABS are the most common types of pipes used in modern plumbing systems. These materials are durable and resistant to corrosion. Copper is also a popular material for plumbing pipes because it is resistant to corrosion and easy to install. Galvanized steel pipes are no longer used in new construction because they are prone to corrosion.

What Does Plumbing Services Include?

Plumbing is an intricate system, a symphony of various components harmoniously working together to ensure a home's water and gas systems function seamlessly. Given its complexity, the importance of regular maintenance by a professional plumber cannot be overstated. An annual check-up can preempt potential issues, ensuring longevity and efficiency.

A comprehensive plumbing service encompasses a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Installation of New Fixtures: This covers everything from sinks, toilets, and showers to appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters.
  • Pipe Management: Whether it's a repair, replacement, or a new installation, managing the network of pipes is fundamental to plumbing.
  • Fixture Maintenance: Beyond installation, the upkeep, repair, or replacement of fixtures like sinks, tubs, and appliances is crucial.
  • Gas Line Services: This involves the installation, repair, or maintenance of gas lines, ensuring safe and efficient gas supply.
  • Vent Line Management: Proper installation and repair of vent lines ensure that the plumbing system maintains balanced pressure.
  • Drain Services: From cleaning clogged drains to ensuring smooth wastewater flow, drain management is vital.
  • Sewer and Water Line Services: This includes the repair, replacement, or installation of main sewer and water lines.
  • Hot Water Systems: Depending on the household's preference, plumbers install and maintain solar, gas, or electric hot water systems.
  • Leak Detection and Repair: Identifying and addressing leaks promptly can prevent structural damage and save on water bills.
  • Annual Maintenance: A holistic check-up of the entire system, from fixtures to pipes, ensures everything is in optimal condition.

In essence, a plumber's role is multifaceted, ensuring every aspect of a home's plumbing system, from the visible fixtures to the hidden pipes, functions flawlessly.

Plumbers are also trained to do backflow prevention, which is important in keeping your water supply safe from contamination. To learn more; check out our blog on backflow prevention devices.

So what does a plumber do on a daily basis?

Let's picture a typical day for a plumber!  

After starting their day with a cup of coffee, the plumber arrives at their first job of the day. We plumbers talk to our customers, and that's important to get an idea of what the problem might be. We also take a look at the job, to see what needs to be done.

They assess the problem and get to work fixing a broken pipe. Next, they head to a job where they install a new dishwasher. After that, they go to a house to do a maintenance check of the plumbing system.

Let's say a different type of adventure on a plumber's day! A customer calls and reports a gas leak. The plumber arrives at the house and finds that the gas line is indeed leaking. They shut off the gas and make the repair. Luckily, everyone stays safe and there won't be any damage to the house.

Another scenario could be a clogged drain. The plumber arrives and finds a clog in the kitchen sink or it could be from deeper in the plumbing system. Oh, that might be a camera inspection job!  this CCTV camera will be sent down the drains to see what is causing the blockage.

Then the snake comes in to break up the clog so water can flow freely again. Snake is a plumber's best friend which is why you'll often hear us say, "if you don't want to see the snake, don't let anything go down the drain!"

So, there you have it! A typical day for a plumber can be quite different each day.

What math do plumbers need to know?

Plumbers use a lot of mathematics in their everyday work. They use basic math skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  They also use more complex mathematics, such as geometry and algebra.

Some of the things that plumbers need to be able to do are:

-Read and interpret blueprints

-Calculate the volume of water in a tank

-Determine the amount of pipe needed for a project

-Calculate the flow rate of water through a pipe

-Find the length of a pipe

As you can see, plumbers need to be good at mathematics! If you're interested in becoming a plumber, make sure you brush up on your math skills.

Professional plumbing services near me

If you need a superhero plumber in the Brisbane area, call our friendly team at Mitchell Plumbing and Gas!

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