Plumbing refers to all of the piping that carries water into and wastes out of your home. This includes pipes that deliver water to your sinks, toilets, showers, and those for draining the waste.
The drain system uses the properties of gravity to carry waste from your home. It also relies on venting systems to prevent the mixing of sewer gases with the water supply.
If you plan to do plumbing work on a property, you will need a permit. Depending on the type of work, you may need to submit plans and/or receive approval from a building inspector or health department before a permit is issued.
Most residential and commercial properties require permits for any major projects such as re-piping, new plumbing lines, or repairing an existing system. You can also expect a permit for a small job, such as replacing or installing a sink or faucet or replacing an old water heater.
Before a project begins, you will need to hire a licensed professional engineer (PE) or registered architect (RA) to submit the necessary applications for the required permits. The Health Department will then review these applications and issue the proper permits.
The application process is typically the same as it is for any other building project. You will need to fill out an application form and attach all the required documents.
For some projects, such as new building construction or a tenant build-out, you will need a full permit. This requires the submission of architectural drawings from a licensed architect and review by both the building’s architect and co-op board.
Another type of permit is a special plumbing permit, which is required for installations such as backflow devices, fire pumps, booster pumps, chemical waste drainage systems, and multi-purpose sprinkler systems. This kind of permit is often issued as part of a building alteration permit or separately to a plumber.
In addition to these, there are many other permits you may need for your plumbing project. Some of these are encumbrance or right-of-way permits, which can be required in cities where you need to close off or narrow public walkways.
Other types of permits are related to water quality, such as permit approval for wastewater pretreatment and reclamation. Some counties have their own specific rules about these kinds of projects, so it’s important to check the requirements in your area before beginning a project.
If you’re unsure whether a plumbing project will require a permit, call your local building and safety office or check online for the requirements. Permits are not always easy to interpret, but a little research can help you avoid expensive mistakes.
Plumbing pipes carry water, sewage, and waste from the main supply lines to the fixtures, appliances, and drains in a building. They also serve as vents for air and gases. There are a variety of different materials used in plumbing, each serving a particular purpose.
Copper pipe is a popular option for both residential and commercial properties. It is durable, strong, and resistant to corrosion. Nevertheless, it is expensive and can be difficult to install. Moreover, it can leak if exposed to water for too long.
Stainless steel is another good choice for sanitary drainage. It looks like chrome, but it is not suitable for a home’s entire drain system because it tends to rust over time at the sink traps and other piping parts.
Cast iron is a heavy plumbing material that is often used for waste and drainage lines. It is especially suited for sewage systems. However, it is not suitable for hot water and radiant heating lines.
Galvanized iron is another common plumbing material that was once widely used for home water lines. It gradually corrodes and develops leaks, so it should be replaced with copper or PEX.
PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride, is a commonly used type of plastic for both water and drainage lines. It is available in different thicknesses, called schedules, and can be molded into various shapes.