Types of Plumbing

Apex Plumbing involves installing and maintaining pipes for water supply, waste removal, and venting. It is a highly specialized trade that requires extensive training and knowledge.


A plumbing plan is a blueprint that shows the location and layout of pipes in a building or house. It also includes the estimated length of supply pipes and their sizes.

The pipes that carry water to and from fixtures in a home are the backbone of a plumbing system. They deliver water, remove waste and handle both hot and cold water. Pipes come in many different materials, shapes and sizes, and can be a variety of thicknesses. The pipes themselves are typically threaded at both ends to allow them to be screwed into each other. Pipes can be welded together, or joined using fittings like elbows and tees.

The most common type of pipe used in residential plumbing is plastic. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are familiar to most people, and are used as part of the water supply line, as well as in drain lines for sinks, toilets and bathtubs. These pipes are durable and can withstand water pressure and high temperatures. PVC is also easy to work with, and can be cut and bonded without the need for soldering or gluing.

Another common type of plastic plumbing pipe is PEX pipe, or cross-linked polyethylene. This is a newer, more flexible form of plastic pipe that has gained popularity among plumbers and DIYers over the past three decades. This type of plumbing pipe is typically used for water supply lines, and can be bent around corners to reduce the need for pipes to make awkward turns. This can lead to fewer leaks and easier installation, as well as lower costs.

Other common types of non-plastic plumbing pipes include copper and galvanized iron. While these are still used in some installations, they have been largely replaced by more durable and environmentally friendly options. Copper is durable and can withstand high temperatures, but is more expensive than other non-plastic pipes. Galvanized iron is similar to copper in its durability, but is more prone to corrosion and can rust over time.


Pipe fittings connect the pipes in a plumbing system, and they aid in changing the direction of flow, combining or dividing fluid flows, and changing pipe size. There are many types of pipe fittings, including elbows, tees, crosses, reducers, unions, plugs and caps. The right kind of fitting is crucial to a smooth, durable plumbing system. The most common types of pipe fittings are made from copper, CPVC, PVC and steel.

Pipe elbows are installed between long pipe runs for changing the angle or direction of the pipe run, and they come in two types – 90 degree and 45 degrees. They can also be straight or swept, depending on the sweep required.

The tee, the most popular plumbing fitting, combines or divides fluid flow and comes in a variety of sizes and materials. It is called an equal tee when its three connections are equal in size, and unequal tee when it has different sizes of connections. A cross is similar to a tee but has one inlet and two outlets set at an angle to the supply line. A reducer is a half coupling that maintains a diameter but is smaller than a full-sized coupling.

Caps and plugs close the ends of a pipe temporarily or permanently. They can be attached by soldering, glue or threading. Unions are another type of pipe fitting that perform the same duties as couplings, but they can be disconnected at any time. Clean-outs are a plumbing necessity, and they allow an auger (or plumber’s snake) to be inserted down the drain to clear out blocked or slow-moving clogs. These are typically located at regular intervals along a plumbing system and outside the building.


Valves are an integral part of household and industrial plumbing, used to regulate or modify water flow and shut off the supply in case of an emergency. They come in a variety of designs and styles, each meant for a specific function. The internal valve parts that come into direct contact with the flow medium are called Valve trim and are designed to withstand different forces and conditions.

Ball valves, for instance, are simple to use and relatively inexpensive. They work by letting water flow through two ports in the body when the valve is open. But if the valve is closed, it blocks the flow of water, preventing any backflow.

Gate and butterfly valves are more complex, but they offer greater control over water flow and pressure. The spherical valve body holds a fixed ring seat, and a disc-shaped mechanism sits on top of it. When the handwheel knob is cranked, the disc-shaped mechanism moves away from the ring seat, freeing up a larger opening to let water pass through. The valve also has a thin fin or wing on either side, which can restrict the amount of water that flows through.

These valves are used in a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceutical factories, oil and gas companies, and car production. They are essential in regulating and directing the movement of chemicals through pipes and systems. To ensure that they perform their functions well, they must be properly chosen and installed. Choosing a valve that is too large or small for the available space can increase costs and lead to system failure or inaccuracy in flow control. This is why it is important to learn the various types of valves and how they work before deciding which one is right for you.


Pumps come in a wide range of types and sizes to accommodate different applications. They all work by creating a difference in pressure that pushes or pulls liquids or gasses through the system. The most common type of pumps are centrifugal pumps, which transfer mechanical energy into the fluid flow through rotating impellers, causing them to increase their velocity and exert an enhanced force on the entire volume.

Other types of pumps include positive displacement pumps, which use the reciprocating movement of a piston in the pump cylinder to change the volume of the sealed pump cavity and realize suction and discharge of the liquid; and diaphragm pumps, which employ a flexible hose with one head open for air and the other closed so that electro-mechanical movement flexes it, allowing the fluid to enter and leave the chamber through a set of non-return valves. Positive-displacement pumps are typically used for transportation of oil emulsion without solid particles and mineral sludge, while diaphragm pumps are commonly employed when acids, bleach or caustics are involved.

When selecting a pump, it is important to consider the flow rate and pressure required for your system, as well as the liquid’s temperature, viscosity and any abrasive or corrosive substances present. You should also evaluate the pump installation and maintenance requirements, as well as the cost and energy efficiency. Energy usage accounts for more than 35% of a commercial building’s total water and wastewater utility costs, so it is crucial to choose efficient pumps. For instance, running two or more pumps in parallel can reduce the overall demand by allowing you to operate them at off-peak times. You can also control the speed of your pump to adjust the flow rate and to save energy by limiting its operation when demand is low.


Filters are a vital part of your plumbing system that remove contaminants from the water supply. They are available in a wide variety of designs and materials to meet your specific filtration needs. The most common type of filter is the sediment filter, also known as a sand or sediment mesh filter. These filters catch the larger pieces of sediment in the water and help prevent clogs in your plumbing. They can be placed anywhere in the plumbing system, but are most often installed prior to the appliances in your home that need a clean water supply.

A sediment filter works by using mechanical filtration to block out sediment, dirt and any other debris while tiny pores allow water to pass through. There are many different types of sediment filters, ranging from a simple fine screen to a ceramic filter with a very complex pore structure that removes microscopic pathogenic bacteria such as Giardia and cryptosporidium.

Another type of water filtration system is the carbon filter, which uses activated charcoal to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemical contaminants from drinking water. The resulting water is healthier for your body and the environment, and it can be used in all appliances in your home.

When choosing a filter, be sure to read the label carefully and check the manufacturer’s claims against the NSF database for independent verification. Sales people may be able to recommend a model, but it is important for you to make your own selection. In some cases, multiple filters are needed in series to ensure the optimum filtration level is achieved. This is best done with isolation valves added to the inlet and outlet of each filter, allowing one to be serviced without disrupting the operation of the other.

Why Radon Testing Is Important Before Buying a Home

Radon is a dangerous gas that can cause lung cancer. If you’re thinking about buying a home, it’s a good idea to have radon testing done first.

Radon Testing Colorado Springs places a detector in the basement or lowest occupied level, away from drafts, radiators, and exterior walls.

radon testing

Long-term tests measure radon levels over at least three months. During that time, a small testing device is placed in your home or workplace and left undisturbed for several months, with the results mailed to a laboratory for analysis. Long-term testing allows for more accurate measurement because radon levels fluctuate daily and seasonally, depending on weather conditions and ventilation habits.

Using short-term test kits is the fastest way to find out your building’s radon levels, but they provide only a snapshot of your indoor radon concentration. Radon levels can also vary daily, depending on the operation of furnaces and fireplaces, changing weather conditions, and opening/closing windows and doors.

The EPA says that short-term tests can miss spikes in radon levels and, therefore, may provide inaccurate readings. As a result, homeowners may spend money on radon mitigation when their risk is low or need to pay more to lower their risks when they could have saved thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.

Even non-smoking radon exposure can cause Stage IV lung cancer in humans, and that’s why accurate information about radon is so important. The perceived benefit of getting a test result faster is rarely worth the cost of compromising accuracy when testing for the most dangerous gas known to humankind.

The best radon test is one that is conducted for a year. A lab will analyze the accumulated data, which will give a more accurate picture of your radon exposure and your radon levels.

Most long-term test kits use an alpha track detector, which measures radon levels by measuring the damage caused to a thin film in a detector for 91 days to a year. These devices are typically available at home centers and hardware stores or online, and they can be purchased for around $70 each, including shipping to the lab.

Regardless of the type of radon test you choose, it’s a good idea to perform your tests during the heating season. This is because radon levels are higher during the winter when people are more likely to be inside.

Short-term tests measure radon levels for 48 hours or less. They are quick, inexpensive, and easy to use. They are the method most often used to test for radon before purchasing a home or as a follow-up to a long-term test. Short-term testing kits are available at home centers, hardware stores, and online retailers. They contain some containers filled with activated charcoal, which absorbs the radon gas in the air throughout the test period. The canister is then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis.

Most short-term radon test kits use an electronic sensor to measure the alpha particles produced during radon decay. The sensors are placed in the lowest part of a home (usually the basement), where people spend at least 4 hours daily. The device must remain undisturbed during the test (although picking it up to dust underneath occasionally won’t hurt). The sensors are then mailed to a lab for processing.

The EPA recommends that you test any time of year. However, the heating season is typically the best time for testing a home. This is because a house is heated and ventilated more during this time, so the radon level is likely higher than at other times of the year.

Unfortunately, the accuracy of short-term radon testing kits is limited. They can be inaccurate by up to a factor of 2 compared to long-term tests. This is because radon levels vary widely from day to night and month to month, and the short-term tests provide only a snapshot of one moment in time.

It is also important to note that a short-term test is inaccurate enough to determine if a home’s radon level is above or below the EPA action level of 4 pCi/L. This is because a short-term test does not account for how the homeowner uses their home, which can change the radon concentration significantly.

Therefore, in addition to a long-term test, you should always retest your home before and after making any changes. This includes modifying the ventilation system, finishing a basement, adding an energy-efficient heating or cooling unit, and changing any other factors that could alter your home’s average exposure to radon.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere that can cause lung cancer when found in higher concentrations in homes. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, so the only way to know whether your home has high levels is to test it. Tests are relatively cheap and easy, making radon testing an affordable option for homeowners.

A radon mitigation system can cost from $300 to $1,300, depending on the size of your house and how it is constructed. A professional will inspect your house to determine the best type of system to install. They will also use diagnostic tests to help them design the right system for your home. These tests may include a continuous radon monitor (CRM) test, a charcoal canister test, or an electret ion detector. A CRM is an electronic device that requires annual calibration and certification by a trained operator. These devices are often used in real estate transactions and typically have a higher price tag than short-term tests.

The cost of a short-term test can range from $10 to $25. The most common method involves placing a small container filled with activated charcoal in the home for 2 to 90 days. This device then measures the radon level inside the home by analyzing the air in the container. This information is then sent to a lab for analysis. Other methods for short-term radon testing are available through some DIY test kits. These usually consist of a test tube or canister with a tamper-proof seal that houses an electret ion detector, which is powered by a battery and has a statically charged Teflon disc that attracts ions from decaying radon molecules. These devices can be purchased online or from most hardware and home improvement stores.

While the increased radon testing rates in Kentucky following the release of geologic maps was encouraging, more research is needed to examine the long-term effects of this communication strategy on testing rates and on radon mitigation rates, lung cancer incidence, and the economic value of avoided radon-related premature deaths and lung disease. A more integrated approach to radon outreach could improve radon testing rates, including incorporating the geologic map-based infographics with other initiatives, such as free radon test kits at pharmacies, primary care clinics, and tobacco treatment services.

Inhaling radon can lead to lung cancer in people who smoke or are at higher risk due to genetics. It also can damage other organs, such as the kidneys and ovaries. In general, the risk of getting cancer increases by about 16% for every 100 Bq/m3 increase in long-term average radon levels. Radon can enter homes through groundwater or from gaps in walls or floors. A home’s geology, building materials, and ventilation affect radon levels.

 Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in people who don’t smoke and the first for those who do. It’s an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that can build up in a house without anyone knowing it is present. The only way to tell if your home has elevated radon levels is to have it tested.

Tests can be done by professional inspectors or with do-it-yourself kits you buy at a hardware store. A professional will ensure the device is placed in the best location based on your home’s configuration and can reduce interference or “measurement noise.” Professional tests are usually more accurate than DIY kits, but both can help you determine if your home has high radon levels.

Radon levels are expressed in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The EPA recommends that homeowners take action to reduce radon levels in the home if they get results above four pCi/L. If you’re thinking of buying a home, consider having it tested before making an offer. The results can have a significant impact on the final price of the property.

For the duration of a short-term test, it’s important to keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. Do not operate fans, use the fireplace or wood stove, paint the home, or make major remodels that could alter the airflow. The same goes for a long-term test, which should be conducted in the lowest livable area of the house.

A radon test should be re-run if it’s done in winter, as radon levels tend to be higher during that time of year. A retest will help you confirm whether or not radon levels have decreased since the initial test and can provide a more accurate reading of your home’s radon level.

A Home Inspection Journal For Beginners

Home inspections are a necessary step for prospective homeowners and can help them discover problems that they may not have been aware of before buying the home. They can also help buyers negotiate pricing with sellers.

Some inspectors provide a lot of detail about issues; others do not. To maximize the usefulness of your reports, it’s important to balance the level of detail between job-specific limitations, descriptions and maintenance tips.

Keep Track of Your Inspections

The home inspection is one of the most significant steps in the home buying process. It’s designed to help you avoid surprises after moving in that could potentially put a damper on your home ownership experience. It’s also a key step in helping you negotiate with the seller.

Home inspectors make notes about every flaw they find, whether it’s something minor or a red flag. Because of this, they’ll likely have a lot of items listed on their report. It’s often recommended that home buyers attend their home inspection so they can see the damage and ask questions in real time, though this is not always possible. However, if you are able to attend your inspection, it’s worth following along with the inspector from room to room as they’re doing their work. This allows you to hear comments that may not end up in the final report and ask spur-of-the-moment questions.

A home inspector is a trained professional who has a keen eye for detail. However, they can’t detect everything. For example, a crack in the foundation might not be visible, or if it is, it might not be a large enough issue to warrant mentioning on the report. Additionally, a home inspector is not able to test for things like lead paint, asbestos or mold that might be hiding in a crawl space or other hard-to-reach places.

It’s also important to remember that a home inspection is not a pass-fail examination. A home inspection can provide you with valuable information but it’s up to you to determine how serious a problem is and how you would want to proceed. You can choose to negotiate with the seller or walk away from the deal if the issues are significant.

Keeping track of your home inspections can be an easy task with the right tools. Property Inspect, our all-in-one home inspector software, makes capturing inspection data and creating reports simple, efficient and professional. Trusted by top inspectors, our streamlined, powerful and customizable solution gives you the edge you need to take your business to the next level.

Keep a Record of Repairs

Home inspectors take note of almost everything they can see, including stains, damage and signs of wear and tear. This makes their reports pretty extensive, and they may include a number of repairs that need to be made. While these repairs won’t be deal breakers if you’re looking at the overall condition of the house, it’s important to keep track of them to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

A home inspection journal allows you to do just that. It helps you to record the inspection and the subsequent repair estimates, as well as the date of the actual repair. You can then use this information to help you schedule and prioritize future repairs, which will save you money in the long run. This is particularly helpful if you’re planning to sell your home in the near future. It’s also useful if you’re buying a new home and need to make sure the seller is disclosing all the necessary repairs.

While a home inspector will note all of the problems they find, they won’t be able to catch everything. If a crack in the foundation can’t be seen, for instance, it won’t be included in the report, and the same goes for a hidden pest infestation or other issues that require specialized testing.

It’s best to attend the home inspection if you can. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions in real time, which can lead to more detailed discussions with the inspector than would be possible on paper. It also gives you a chance to see any problems firsthand, which can help you decide whether or not they are significant enough to stop the sale of the home.

If you’re thinking about becoming a home inspector or just want to learn more about the inspection process, consider checking out A Home Inspection For Beginners. This book offers a comprehensive look at the field, including what tools and equipment are needed to do a good job and what a home inspection report looks like. It also covers how to prepare a home for an inspection, including turning on all the utilities, clearing items that could obstruct the inspector’s access and removing pets from the property.

Keep a Record of Repair Estimates

As a home buyer, the inspection is your opportunity to uncover any problems with the property and get them fixed before you close on the sale. It’s also your last chance to negotiate with the seller for pricing on these repairs. But the list of items to address is often long, and it can be difficult to keep track of everything.

When a home inspector issues a report, it will likely be accompanied by a list of repairs that needs to be made. It’s helpful to keep a record of these repairs, because it will make it easier to compare prices from different repair companies later on. In addition, if you use an online service to help manage your home renovations, it can also save you time and money by creating a detailed project cost estimate that includes labor, materials, and other relevant expenses.

Some inspectors go to great lengths to provide detailed information on each problem they note, while others simply write a short paragraph and move on. One way to gauge the thoroughness of an inspector is to ask them for a sample copy of an inspection report from another property. If they go into detail on each issue, it’s a good sign that they’ll do the same with yours.

It’s also a good idea to check out the reputation of a home inspector before hiring them. Ask friends who’ve recently purchased homes for recommendations, and search for local reviews online. Sites like Nextdoor App and community Facebook groups, and crowdsourced services like Yelp and Angi can help you find a qualified professional.

Finally, if you’re looking to buy a new home, be sure to include a home inspection contingency in your contract with the seller. That way, if the inspection reveals significant defects that you can’t agree to fix, you can walk away from the purchase without penalty within a certain timeframe.

Home inspections are important for both buyers and sellers, but they’re particularly useful for new homeowners. They can reveal a wide variety of problems that you might not be aware of, and they can help you determine how much to offer on the property.

Keep a Record of Expenses

A home inspection is a necessary step in the home buying process. It can reveal problems that you can ask the seller to fix before you move in or prevent you from buying a money pit. A home inspector can also tell you about the remaining useful life of key systems and appliances, such as the roof, structure, and paint.

It’s recommended that buyers be present during the inspection so they can follow along as the inspector goes room to room and ask questions. However, it’s important to remember that your inspector doesn’t have a crystal ball, so aesthetic issues like a stain on the ceiling or a faded window will probably go unnoticed, unless they betray larger problems, such as water damage.

The book starts by explaining what a home inspection is, how it’s done, and why it’s important. It then discusses the tools and equipment used in the industry, as well as how to prepare for a home inspection. It also explains how to understand and write a home inspection report, including what common terms mean and how to add photos and diagrams. Finally, the book covers the code of ethics for professional home inspectors. It outlines what an inspector needs to do for their clients, the community and the environment.

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