The wonders of modern plumbing affect—and greatly improve—our lives every single day, and yet very few of us know exactly how our bathrooms and their plumbing work. To help improve your bathroom knowledge we’ve put together a list of 4 behind-the-scenes components you should know about your bathroom. These components will help you keep your bathroom processes running smoothly, and will make you more knowledgeable when it comes to repairs—helpful information if you are making small bathroom renovations or are having a professional plumber in Durham region make major upgrades or repairs.
1. The Pressure-Balancing Valve
Ladies and gentlemen allow us to introduce you to the most important part of your shower—the tiny valve that keeps you from scalding yourself daily with hot water—or waking yourself up in the morning with a blast of arctic-cold water. This intelligent little valve is mandatory in most building codes and is a necessity if you have children or elderly relatives living with you. Many houses have this valve on the sink faucet in addition to the shower faucet, as sinks are also important in terms of balancing the water pressure and the mixing of hot and cold. Many of us can remember life before the pressure-balancing valve—when you would get cold-blasted or scalded when someone flushed the downstairs toilet, but thanks to this nifty device we are scalded no longer!
2. A Thermostatic Valve
A thermostatic valve serves the same purpose as the pressure-balancing but better controls the mixture of cold and hot water—and maintains a constant flow and water temperature. These valves can either be installed on each faucet individually, or mounted on a hot-water tank to control the temperature of the entire household’s water.
3. The P-Trap or U-Trap
The P-trap or U-trap is the bent, ‘U’-shaped part of the drain underneath your bathroom sink where the sink’s water drains to. It is the cause of people saying “that darned sink clogged up again”, as its helpful-yet-somewhat-unfortunate shape causes build-up and can clog easily. If you’re at least a Red-Green level of handy you might have even removed it once or twice by removing the large slip nut at each end. Get to know your U-trap well as you will likely be disassembling it at least a few times in your lifetime—otherwise you will be calling us, your plumbing and U-trap experts in Durham region.
4. Shut-off Valves
Your shut-off valves are the miracle devices that control the flow of water and can keep your toilet and sink from overflowing. If either are threatening to overflow, strike a pre-emptive blow by closing the shut-off valve(s).
The above components you should know about your bathroom is meant to be a general introduction to your washroom’s plumbing, but should not act as knowledge to replace a plumber. Trust us, we know things. When it comes to your plumbing always call a professional—especially when it comes to changing, replacing or assessing vital bathroom components.