We need plumbers to rescue us from clogged drains and back flowing toilets. But there are more important reasons that we need plumbers. Innovations in plumbing continue to keep pace with modern home designs. The increased focus on water and energy conservation, energy, as well as protecting humans from chemical contaminants, have resulted in new practices. On top of that, financial costs are always a concern. Here is a look at some of the more recent innovations.
Plumbing Contributions and Human History
Plumbing innovations have radically improved quality of life. Technology for the use and distribution of water began centuries ago. In nineteenth century England, contamination of drinking water with sewage caused widespread cholera. After this was discovered by Dr. John Snow, underground sewage disposal systems were developed. Until that time, sewage drained openly through London streets. Plumbing technology has come a long way. Beyond addressing basic survival, plumbing keeps advancing to meet modern concerns.
Epoxy Pipe Liners
Using epoxy lining to repair corroded pipes is much faster and less expensive than the excavation and replacement of older pipes. Before epoxy is applied, the pipes are emptied and sandblasted. Epoxy lining is effective to prevent leeching of lead into drinking water. Improvements in epoxy compositions have yielded rapidly hardening compounds. There is a potential risk of other chemicals from the epoxy leeching into water, but it has been used widely in Europe and the United States for two decades without showing evidence of adverse health effects. Plastic, steel, and copper pipes can be repaired with epoxies. Fixing small leaks with epoxy is an alternative to breaking out walls and digging up pipes.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only when needed. They can save money by reducing the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters. Tankless water heaters have a smaller output than traditional storage water heaters. Because of this they may not provide enough hot water for the needs of a household with multiple, simultaneous hot water demands. Installation of separate tankless water heaters for high-demand appliances can address this situation. Tankless water heaters are also suitable for remote bathrooms or hot tubs, and to support solar water heating systems.
WaterSense Labeled Products
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website has calculators to help consumers gauge the amount of water they use. There are many ways to prevent waste and reduce consumption. Switching to WaterSense products can reduce the amount of water needed. These products can include bathroom faucets, toilets, showerheads, and irrigation controllers.
Drain Water Heat Recovery
Hot water going down the drain carries energy with it. Typically this is 80-90 percent of the energy used to heat the water. Heat recovery systems capture this energy from drain water (or graywater) that is already used in the shower, kitchen, or laundry room. This can be done with or without a storage unit depending on household demands. These systems are useful for increasing the amount of hot water for households with an undersized water heater. It is less expensive to install them during new home construction. Energy-saving payback is within 2.5 to 7 years.
This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong, a regular contributor here at INFOtainment News. He recommends that companies and homeowners place great attention to pipeline integrity in order to have pipes that would last longer.