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Understanding the Differences Between Drainage and Plumbing

If you’re like many homeowners, you’re likely to believe that plumbing is an all encompassing term that refers to all the pipes in your home. After all, if something goes wrong, you just want a professional to fix “the plumbing” to restore functionality inside your home. So whether your bathtub is backing up or your tap water has turned brown, assuming these are both related to plumbing is a common mistake. Here we’ll explore some of the key differences between plumbing and drainage, so you know if you need a more specialist service. The Confusion When you have water running somewhere that it shouldn’t, you may wonder who you need to call. Is it a plumbing problem or a drainage issue? The differences between these areas have been a source of confusion for years. In the plumbing industry, it is important to know the differences, even if a company handles both. The average homeowner may struggle to decide which services they need. When you have water spraying everywhere, you may not even be able to see the source to determine if you have a drainage or plumbing issue. The Plumbing Basics In essence, plumbing is the term used for the system bringing clean water inside your home. As you turn on any tap, it’s your plumbing that brings water through your faucet. So, if you turn on your tap and find you get a glass full of brown sludge, there is a problem with your plumbing. Likewise, if you have weak shower pressure, it is a plumbing issue. So, any part of the system bringing water inside your home, you’re discussing plumbing. The Drainage Basics As you’ve probably deduced, anything bringing water away from your home comes under the category of drainage. So, when you flush your toilet, empty a sink or finish a load of laundry, it is your drainage system that removes this wastewater from your home. So, whether you have a blocked toilet or a sink that’s backing up, you have a drainage problem. Plumbing or Drainage: Does it Really Matter? When you have a flooded kitchen or a clogged bathroom sink, the technicalities of whether it is a plumbing or drainage problem doesn’t really matter. In most cases, you’ll be calling a professional problem who will be able to ascertain the issue inside your home. The commonly accepted term is plumbing problems, so you don’t need to worry about getting it right. Many professionals can offer plumbing and drainage services. If you do want to get technical, just consider that if something is backing up, clogged or won’t drain, you’re likely to need drainage services, but if your water is too hot, a strange color or not delivering sufficient pressure, you should call in a plumbing service. If you’re still unsure whether you need a plumber or a drainage specialist, you can err on the side of caution and choose a company who deals in both. Just be sure to choose a reputable professional so that you can have confidence in any repairs. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.