In private housings, retail leasing properties and even bigger establishments alike, plumbing works the same way as nature with gravity, some pressure and water that seeks its own levelling.

The plumbing system within your home is made of two subsystems. One that supplies you with fresh water and another that takes the wastewater out. The water is under pressure that comes to your home and it will enter the home with the pressure that allows it to travel around corners, upstairs and around your home. When the water comes into your home it goes through a meter that monitors how much you are using. The stop valve is found close to your meter. If you suffer a plumbing emergency, you can shut the water off from this valve. Most modern fixtures like taps, tubs and sinks will have their own shut off valve so if they malfunction you don’t need to turn the whole house water off until it is fixed.

The water that comes from the supplier is always ready for use. We get it cold then the water requires another step in order to heat it. One pipe has cold water and another delivers it to you using a water heater. A hot water line carries the hot water to all fixtures and appliances that are using hot water. There is a thermostat that helps to control the temperature by turning the device’s heating on and off only when needed.

Whether your home is on a septic system or a sewer everything pretty much works the same. The drainage systems don’t actually rely on the pressure as the supplier systems do. Wastewater leaves your home through the drainage pipes that are on an angle or pitch where gravity pulls the water down. It then travels to the sewage facility or septic tank.

This sounds easy and simple, but there is more involved like clean outs, vents and traps. You will find vents that are sticking out from the roof which allow airflow into the pipes. If you have no air supply, then the wastewater won’t flow correctly and then you will need to clean the drains yourself and have the traps siphoned.

The supplier and the drain subsystems have different operations and they have nothing overlapping. There is a bridge that is located between them and is what makes the whole system worthwhile. A bridge that is located between drainage and supply is known as a fixture. Your tub, toilet and sink are also fixtures. You will have outside faucets which is what a washing machine has. The items that draw the freshwater in and then remove the wastewater are known as fixtures and are there to aid in keeping the supply there and drain systems segregated.

If you are attempting to repair the drains yourself be sure to turn off your main water supply before any repairs are carried out. If you are needing to change any pipes, ensure you check with your local plumbing laws before doing so. Do your research for what is allowed and prohibited to avoid fines and problems from occurring?

Now, what about hot water? Using renewable energy for hot water has been a popular option for many people given that most households produce more energy than they can use especially if they are using solar energy. Read on to learn more about the process of turning renewable energy into hot water that you use.

Heating water can be expensive. That is why using renewable energy is a prime consideration when the cost is a factor. Besides, in contemporary society, any form of energy that saves on non-renewable energy is recommended. The benefits of pure energy on the environment make it preferred over dirty energy.

Renewable energy is energy which is used without depleting the source. It is renewable because the source can be naturally replenished. Types of renewable energy include solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal energy, and biomass energy. 

This article focuses on the process of heating water through solar energy.

Step 1: Tapping solar heat with collectors

Commonly referred to as solar panels. They are used to tap solar radiation that serves as the source of energy for the water heating system. The most common types of collectors are the flat plate and the evacuated tubes. 

Flat-plate collectors are made of a series of copper tubes that are attached to flat absorbers. The tubes are connected to two pipes at each end, one serving as an inlet the other as an outlet. The flat absorber is contained in an insulated box and coated with hardened glass which serves to tap the solar radiation and transmit it to the water pipes.

Evacuated tubes are empty strip tubes that tap and trap solar heat which is then transported to a device containing the water. Compared to the flat-plate collectors, evacuated tube absorbs more solar energy since they do not let it escape once tapped.

Collectors are best placed on rooftops or on a raised stand where there are no barriers for solar radiation such as trees or taller buildings. For the tenants in office leasing properties, there is now an option to use solar energy to cut down energy costs. This is because most office leasing properties are high-rise buildings, and they could maximise the intake of solar energy due to its height which allows for unobstructed, maximum absorption of solar radiation.

Step 2: Transferring energy to the heat exchanger

The heat from the collector is passed to the water tank through a heat exchanger. This is usually a copper coil through which the heat in the series of tubes that pick energy from the collectors is transmitted. The copper coil is fitted inside a hot water tank. 

Once the energy has been transferred to the coil and to the water in the tank, the tubes receive more energy from the collectors and the circuit continues.

Step 3: Storing heat in a hot water tank

The heat transmitted by the copper coil to the water tank needs to be stored. In other words, the solar energy taped by the collectors would be wasted if it had to heat only a little water in the connected pipes. Instead, the copper coils consistently receive heat from the heated water in the tubes and stores it in the tank by heating the bigger volume of water. In the long run, all the water in the tank is heated.

Step 4: Ensuring the efficiency of the process with a control system

The control system has all the components needed to ensure that your water heating process runs smoothly. 

  • A pump sends water to the heating pipes so that there is consistent supply.
  • A flow meter indicates the amount of water in the heating system.
  • The pressure gauge measures the amount of pressure within the system indicating a rise or drop according to the heating or cooling of the water in the tank.
  • A thermometer signs the temperature of the water in the tank.
  • A thermostat stops the pump if the water in the tank overheats.

Step 5: Supplying hot water for use

Water from the hot water tank is piped to the different parts of the home where it is needed; the kitchen and bathrooms especially.

Heating water for use in a home can be done using renewable energy. When the choice of energy is sourced from the sun, the process of heating water is complex and involves setting up collectors, the heat exchanger, the hot water tank, the control system and the piping. Solar heating systems use clean energy and are thus preferred for their benefits to the environment and the savings that they could make.

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