- Plumbing: from lead to plastics
- The end of lead in plumbing
- From the meter to the house
- From distribution to water treatment
- Diagram of water arrivals and evacuation of a kitchen
- Diagram of water arrivals and evacuation of a bathroom
- Track leaks
- 7 ways to save money
If plumbing work remains one of the most expensive items when renovating or building a house, techniques and materials have evolved, prices with.
Plumbing: from lead to plastics
Plumbing is all about the circulation of water, from entering the house (food) to its evacuation to sanitation networks. In addition to laying and installing pipelines, it also refers to plumbing fixtures and fittings.
The job has changed a lot. In old installations, the pipes that distributed the water in the dwellings were made of lead. As the material proved to be harmful to health, it was replaced by copper (see box below).
Today still mostly used, copper is competing with products simpler to implement: PER (crosslinked polyethylene) and multilayer.
The end of lead in plumbing
Lead pipes have not been used in plumbing since 1995.
But in old installations, mainly the general power supplies of collective buildings, they have not always been replaced.
By the end of 2013, the allowable lead level in drinking water was expected to increase from 25 to 10 micrograms per liter.
To respect this rate, the owners had only one solution: to replace the old lead pipes still existing.
For more information: cuivre.org.
From the meter to the house
The private water network starts after the meter: it's up to us to manage and maintain it. After the counter, the installation must therefore include:
- a general shut-off valve, easy to access to shut off water quickly in case of emergency;
- a non-return or anti-pollution valve, which prevents the water from the house from returning to the waterworks network;
- a purge valve, which serves to empty the installation in case of prolonged absence (especially winter) or repair. This device is sometimes integrated in the check valve.
- Other devices allow better control of the installation and the distribution of water:
- the pressure reducer regulates the flow of water; sanitary fixtures and taps operate optimally at a pressure of 2 to 3 bar. If the pressure is greater than 3.5 bar, the connections are weakened and water hammers or vibrations are heard;
- the booster is useful in the rare cases where the pressure is too low (<0.3 bar): it is activated when a tap is opened;
- the bombardier absorbs the shock waves caused by the sudden stop of a mass of moving water.
CounterThe private water network starts after the meter: it must be managed and maintained.
StopcockHandle shut-off valves annually to prevent them from seizing. Again, check that no leaks appear
Pressure reducer and axial pressure gaugeThe hidden organs of the water supply network must be checked regularly.
From distribution to water treatment
The distribution network of a whole house will be even simpler as the rooms (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and toilet) will be close to each other.
For example, provide a common wall between two bathrooms or between a bathroom and a laundry room.
Same for evacuations: in a two-storey house, install the toilets one above the other to connect them to the same evacuation chute.
In addition, it is possible to equip with individual water treatment devices. They make it possible to lower the content of certain substances (tartar, lead, nitrate) and to eliminate bad taste, odors or suspended matter. But be careful, they must be regularly checked, cleaned and / or refilled with salts. Indeed, a filter in poor condition can compromise the quality of the water instead of improving it.
The visible part of your plumbing network is the faucets. We handle these devices dozens of times a day, they will be subjected to severe testing. A tip: when buying, do not skimp on their quality.
A pre-assembled shower enclosure is simple to install, with a minimum of connections and little risk of leakage. Some models offer interesting comfort options: hammam, waterfall, recycling, hydromassage... What combine hygiene and pleasure of water at home.
The laundry room of course hosts the washing machine, but it is also convenient to have an additional water point.
To supply it with hot water, a small 30 liter deported balloon can suffice.
The water we consume is controlled to meet the health requirements of the most fragile. If despite this, it has an odor or an unpleasant taste, it is possible to set up a filter to treat the water that we drink.
Diagram of water arrivals and evacuation of a kitchen
The kitchen must be both well thought out and well equipped.
Regardless of its size, it often requires the largest budget (work and equipment), although today the standardized dimensions of furniture and appliances allow to associate them without difficulty.
As for the plumbing networks, the kitchen has a sink, a dishwasher, sometimes a washing machine when it has not found its place in the laundry room.
The sink being the only equipment that must be supplied with hot water, it is often better to install under the worktop a 30 liter flask, to have hot water immediately.
Diagram of water arrivals and evacuation of a bathroom
Renovating a bathroom requires following a few simple rules of layout.
The space must be able to accommodate at least two water points (sink and shower). If space allows, the room can be equipped with a bath, toilet, possibly a laundry area. All this equipment requires a suitable water supply and drainage network.
The water supply is under pressure and can follow the path that suits you. However, think of installing a general shutoff valve in an accessible place.
On the other hand, the water flows naturally in the evacuation pipes: they must therefore have a minimum slope of 1 to 3%.
Leaks account for 15 to 20% of a household's water consumption and a clear loss of money: a leaking faucet is 100 € engulfed per year, and a defective flush 600 €..
• It is therefore important to check the installation. One trick is to pick up the meter numbers in the evening before going to bed. If we notice a difference the next morning, a leak is at the origin.
• It is most often the flush that allows an imperceptible trickle of water to flow. To make sure, closes the tank supply valve, if it is empty in a few hours, the problem comes from there.
• If the leak comes from pipes buried under the house or running in the crawl space, call a plumber to get the feel of it.
Water leak detectors help prevent major damage. Composed of one or more probes, they radio control the closing of the main power supply.
7 ways to save money
Every day, we consume about 137 liters of drinking water for all our activities (drinking, hygiene, watering the garden...). Every liter consumed has an impact on the environment and on our wallet: 550 € on average per year for a family of four people.
Many solutions exist to save water daily, or even to halve its consumption without losing comfort.
It starts with a thoughtful plumbing installation:
• Install a pressure reducer to limit the flow of water.
• Install the water heater as close as possible to the faucets and thermally insulate the pipes.
• Equipped with dual control flush toilets.
• Give preference to thermostatic valves because the setting is simpler and faster.
• Screw frothers on the spouts of the faucets.
• Use economical shower heads.
• Equip yourself with class A appliances, which consume less energy.