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What You Need to Know About Plumbing

Plumbing involves the installation, maintenance, and repair of pipes that transport fluids, primarily water. The system is essential to our daily lives, providing clean drinking water and facilitating waste removal.


It also ensures the safe and efficient operation of appliances like sinks, toilets, and showers. Plumbers often work in commercial and industrial settings. Contact Plumbing Express, Inc. for professional help.

Valves are specialized fittings that allow you to control the flow of liquids, gases and solids in your piping system. While technically a valve is a type of pipe fitting, because of their critical function and wide variety of styles that target specific plumbing needs, they are generally considered as a separate category from pipes.

Valves can be divided into two groups based on their functionality: isolation valves and regulation valves. Isolation valves shut off or redirect the flow of matter in a system, while regulation valves regulate flow and pressure to ensure a safe process.

Different types of valves accomplish these functions in a variety of ways, from how they operate mechanically to what construction materials they are made from and their pressure and temperature ratings. There are also various ways to connect a valve to a pipe, with threaded connections being the most common in residential plumbing.

These connections can be either push-to-connect, in which a small O-ring inside the valve port that is slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the connecting pipe gets stretched around and compressed between the pipe and the valve body to create a leak-tight seal, or traditional compression in which a metal cuff called a ferrule is slid over the end of the pipe and tightened with a threaded nut, compressing it against the pipe’s socket. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to choose the one that is most compatible with your system’s specifications.

Many of the same piping materials used in plumbing are also used to make up the valves themselves. Stainless steel is one of the most common materials for valves, and it offers excellent corrosion resistance. Other common piping materials include cast iron, plastic and lead-free brass.

There are numerous options for piping in and out of a valve, including tees, elbows and crosses. You can also use unions, which are special fittings that join multiple pieces of piping together. If you’re working with copper, be sure to use solder to make the connections.

In addition to water, other fluids that can be regulated by valves include air and various kinds of gas. Valves that regulate these substances often have to be more durable than valves designed for fluids because of the much higher pressure they can face. For example, the most commonly used valves for controlling the flow of air and gas are quarter-turn valves that block access to the pipes with a single rotation.


When a faucet starts leaking, it can waste water and cause damage to counters, cabinets or other fixtures. Sometimes, a leaky faucet can be fixed by tightening or replacing certain parts, but in many cases, it is best to replace the entire faucet. This can help you save money and prevent future problems.

Before you purchase a new faucet, consider how it will be attached to the sink and where you will install it. A deck mount is the most common and easy to install, but only works if there’s enough space under the sink. The other option is to mount it on the wall, which frees up the space under the sink and can be more attractive.

Faucets are also available in different finishes, such as chrome, brass, bronze and nickel. The finish will influence the color, style and price of the faucet. Most faucets are finished with PVD, which is sprayed on, but other options include electroplating and powder-coating. PVD is durable and resists scratching, but it’s more expensive than other finishes.

The type of valve that your faucet has will also impact its operation and repair costs. A ball or disk-type valve may be more reliable than a cartridge. A ball valve has a handle that pivots on a ball near the base of the spout, while a disk-type valve has a plastic disc that controls the water flow over a cylindrical body.

Whether your faucet has a disk or ball valve, you can expect to clean it regularly. Sediment and mineral deposits can build up, causing them to wear out faster than usual. You should also remove the aerator frequently to prevent it from becoming clogged.

You can find faucets at hardware stores, lumberyards and home centers. Bath-remodeling showrooms are another good source, as they often carry the products that contractors use and can give you advice about their performance in your area’s water conditions.

When purchasing a new faucet, look for the brand name and model number on its packaging. This information will be helpful when searching for replacement parts or contacting the manufacturer for a warranty. You can also consult a plumbing wholesaler to get details about a product that you won’t find on the packaging or online. They can also tell you what local contractors are buying, which can be a good indicator of quality and price.

NSF Certification

Founded in 1944, NSF International is the non-profit group behind the NSF mark that you see on many of the products in your home and business. Their mission is to create standards for sanitation, which they achieve through product testing and routine inspections of facilities. NSF is a third party organization that is trusted around the world by consumers, retailers and regulators.

The NSF process is lengthy and rigorous, but it yields results that are both highly specific and reliable. To be certified, a product must undergo an extensive independent verification, including facility inspections and regular lab testing. If the product meets these high standards, it will be awarded the NSF mark that you’ll see on products like our faucets. This is a symbol of trust for consumers, as it indicates that the manufacturer has met strict quality and safety protocols.

NSF certification is important for businesses because it can reduce the risk of non-compliant products making their way onto the market and posing health or safety risks. NSF certification also demonstrates to consumers that your business takes public safety seriously, which can build customer confidence and brand perception.

Faucets and plumbing fixtures designed for contact with drinking water must be NSF/ANSI 61-certified to ensure they don’t contain harmful materials that can leach into the water supply. This standard limits the amount of lead and other metals, volatile organic chemicals, phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) that can be absorbed into a household’s water system. This type of certification is not as common for outdoor spigots, bathtub spigots and utility sinks, which aren’t used to dispense water.

To set a new NSF standard, the NSF assembles a committee that includes experts from the industry and government agencies to review all relevant details. Then, they vote on a final protocol that will be adopted as an American National Standard. The NSF is one of the few organizations that sets its own standards, as opposed to being a standard-setting body for government agencies. This gives them the unique ability to be a trusted source of information for industry and regulatory bodies worldwide.


Plumbing systems require strong materials to prevent leaks and sustain years of daily use and abuse. These pipes also need to withstand high levels of water pressure. Some of the strongest and most resilient types of materials are metal, galvanized iron, copper, PVC, and CPVC. However, the best choice depends on the particular project. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as different lifespans.

For example, copper pipes have long been a popular option because they are durable and easy to work with. Copper can withstand high temperatures and is resistant to corrosion. However, it can be difficult to solder because of its brittleness. In addition, copper has a high carbon footprint due to the energy used in its production.

In contrast, CPVC is a form of plastic that’s commonly seen in modern plumbing systems. It can withstand higher temperature ranges than PVC and is safer for hot water lines. It’s also easier to work with than metal and can be bent into curves. However, it’s important to note that CPVC is vulnerable to degradation caused by UV radiation.

Another type of plumbing pipe that’s becoming more common is PEX, which stands for cross-linked polyethylene. This type of pipe is particularly suited to plumbing applications that involve cold or warm water. It’s also flexible, making it a good choice for plumbing projects that have lots of curves.

If you’re planning to install a new kitchen, bathroom, or shower, you need the right materials for your plumbing project. You can find a wide variety of plumbing fixtures and supplies at Topline Industries, a leading manufacturer and supplier of premium-grade pipes and fittings for commercial and residential plumbing needs.

The most common types of plumbing fixtures include sinks, toilets, and faucets. These are the visible components of a plumbing system and can make a significant difference in the look and feel of your home or business. They also need to be durable and easy to maintain. In addition, they should be compatible with your existing plumbing system. Some are designed to fit with specific pipes, while others are compatible with any standard.