There are some things we do everyday but rarely do we think about what actually makes it all happen. We use water for our ablutions, washing and cooking purposes - all of which are activities leading to smooth and happy living but have we ever given it a thought as to how the water is supplied, how it makes it's way through your home? Around the corners, through the walls, to almost every room in the household, all the way up to your pretty faucets and how the wastewater is jettisoned through efficient drainage systems. The plumbing systems helps water in and out, all around and then out - without any untoward incidents.
Here is a snapshot of how the basic plumbing system works so as to enable you to fix leaks or repair faucets and sinks and help save time and trouble. Basically water enters though the main water supply lines into your home through your water meter (to check your water usage level, of course!) and a regulator (to check water pressure and keep it under control!) you might also find a stop valve very close to the meter to help you shut off the water supply when working on a plumbing job, perhaps. The main pipes (about 1/2 inches & usually made of PVC or copper and are sometimes Galvanized to avoid corrosion, leaks and sudden bursts) have smaller pipes - about 1/2 inches in diameter, branching away into other smaller corners in your home to enable easy access to water through faucets, sprinklers, geysers, washbasins, sinks, showers etc. The waste water is forced into a separate, equally intricate waste water disposal system (or drainage system!), as the water finds its way from every possible water usage area to either roof vents or the underground pipes leading out of your home to the public drainage systems or both. Now that you know a little about the two main subsystems - water in and water out systems - You have at least a fair idea about plumbing and can work towards a definitive purpose when something seems to be wrong.
However, if you intend to embark on a Do-it-Yourself repair project, it might help to shut off the water supply, check regulatory valves find a local plumber for guidance. It might also help if you check with your local department as to the different terms and conditions they might have - a little over to the legal side- regarding what kind of pipes to be used (In case of replacements!).
Barney Garcia writes about on Plumbing - The System That Keeps You Wet and Alive to visit :- plumbing