How Does Your Home Drainage System Work

Your home drainage system is made up of a specific series of pipes that gets water, carries it throughout your home, and removes the waste and other water from your home as well. These pipes both bring in the water that you use, and carry away the waste that you do not use. There are several different sections to the home drainage system, and it is important to understand each of them as well as what they do.

House Sewer

The house sewer is a section of pipe that is running between your house drainage system and the public sewer, or the septic tank that you have for your home. There should only be one residence whose waste is being carried with the house sewer.

House Drain

The house drain is the lowest piping in a house drainage system. This is the pipe that gets the discharge from the soil, the waste, and the other pipes that are drainage pipes. The house drain carries this waste to the house sewer. The house drain will end just outside the front of a building, and works by gravity.

Soil Stack and Pipe

There are several lines of pipe that carry the discharge from the bathrooms. Stack refers to the way that these are vertical runs of piping.

Waste Stack and Pipe

These are the pipes that get the discharge from places other than the bathrooms. This doesn’t connect directly with the house drain, or the soil or waste stack. It ends above and over the overflow rim of the place that is supplied with water, as well as where water is vented and trapped.


This is a fitting, or a type of device that is constructed in order to prevent the air or gas from getting back through a fixture or a pipe. This does not affect the way that the water or sewage flows.

There are other types of piping that are important to understanding how the drainage system works. The vent piping is what provides the drainage system with proper ventilation. It prevents the siphonage from the trap getting into the system as well. Also, the sub house drain is a drain system that is connected by gravity, but that handle the disposal of sewage waste. The fixture is a receptacle that receives discharge water into a draining system. The main is the horizontal or vertical piping that the fixtures like sinks, toilets, and other water systems are connected to. The branch is a line of piping that goes from the main to a particular fixture. A leader is a vertical line of piping that takes and carries rain water. A fitting is any number of devices that might be used to make connections with piping and to put them all together.

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