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The Basics of Home Plumbing Systems

Have you ever wondered how your home’s plumbing system works? At Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating, we know the ins and outs of modern residential plumbing systems. We sat down today to write out a little guide. Not every home has the same plumbing system, but most follow these guidelines.

The Water Supply Intake System

This is the system that circulates water from your main valve. If you’re on city water, then this valve is probably buried in the street in front of your house. Fresh water enters your home’s system through the “main,” a large pipe that runs along your street. Water coming from the main is extremely pressurized, meaning it can travel quickly anywhere throughout your home’s plumbing system.


If you have well water, then you likely have a pump responsible for pressurizing and delivering water to your home. Plumbing systems hooked up to city water typically have more pressurized water than wells, so if you’re on a well, you may need to space out your showers somewhat.

Your Drain-Wastewater System

Once water has flown through your home’s plumbing system, it becomes wastewater. Wastewater needs to be removed from your system, but rather than using pressure, drain-wastewater systems use gravity to flow water away. These systems are usually more complicated than the water supply intake systems.


You should notice several vent pipes sticking out of your roof, these are part of the drain-waste water system. “Traps” are also part of this system. You should find a trap under every sink in your home, these traps are there to catch any large objects that may have fallen down your drain. So if you drop a ring or something else, accessing these traps will allow you to get it back.

Need Assistance from an Experienced Plumber in Maryland

If you’re looking for aid from a local plumber, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve been providing Marylanders with our residential plumbing services for years. If you need plumbing help, get into contact with us. Our team of professional Maryland plumbers is standing by, ready to answer any questions you may have.

What Our Customers Say

"Great experience. Moved into a new home and experienced major plumbing issues (flooding) the morning after New Years. The plumber arrived that morning within the hour and relieved the issues, also provided some recommendations that benefited us in the long-run."

-Matt Lewis

Get Your Water Flowing Again

Click here to view the areas that we serve

Frederick County: Frederick (21701, 20702, 21703, 21709), New Market (21774) , Mount Airy (21771), Urbana (21704), Ijamsville (21754), Walkersville (21793), Libertytown (21762), Damascus (20872), and more.

Howard County: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Montgomery County: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

Baltimore County: Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), and more.

Carroll County: Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Woodbine (21797), Taneytown (21787), and more.

Washington, DC and Northern Virginia

Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating