A burst copper pipe with pressurized water coming out.

Plumbing, Pipes, and the Water System

Plumbing is something that’s easily taken for granted. However, if you’ve ever lived without plumbing, even for a weekend camping trip, you can quickly appreciate how important it has become to modern living.

Drinking water, baths, showers, toilets, dishwashers, clothes washers, gardens—none of these are possible, or at least practical, without plumbing systems and fixtures. In this family of articles, we look at buying, improving, repairing, and maintaining your home’s plumbing systems and fixtures. Pick a section below to dig deeper.

jacuzzi spa bath tub

Bathtubs

If you are building a new bathroom or remodeling your existing one, this section will be a helpful guide to making informed bathtub buying decisions.

A black kitchen faucet with water running.

Faucets & Taps

Beyond its role as a conduit for delivering water to a sink, a faucet can set the tone for a room's personality and style.

home plumbing system

Home Plumbing System

A home’s plumbing system is a complex network of water supply pipes, drainpipes, vent pipes, and more.

pumping a septic tank

Septic Systems

This section of HomeTips covers septic tank problems, how a septic tank works, and tips on septic tank pumping and replacing a failed septic tank.

waterfall shower head

Showers & Steam

Learn everything you need to know about showers and steam showers, including buying guides, information on showerheads and valves, shower plumbing diagrams and repair tips.

wall mounted bath sink with cabinet

Sinks & Lavatories

Kitchen and bathroom sinks and lavs are among the most utilitarian of all the fixtures in a home. This section discusses buying, repairing, and installing sinks.

popup sprinkler watering lawn

Sprinklers & Drip

When it comes to watering your lawns and gardens, you have several options, from spraying with a hose to installing complex drip irrigation systems.

Sump Pump Parts & Installation Diagram

Sump Pumps

In an ideal world, our houses are designed to keep us high and dry—well away from the damaging effects of ground water. But life isn’t always ideal.

toilet and bidet

Toilets & Bidets

Does your toilet need repair or is it time to replace it? Although a toilet is not the most glamorous fixture in a house, it certainly is one of the most important and regularly used plumbing fixtures.

install water filter dispenser

Water Filters

Because unhealthy levels of contaminants such as bacteria, lead, and pesticides are found in both metropolitan and well water supplies, it’s important to know whether pollutants exist in your water.

Man's hand wrenching gas and water lines beneath a tankless water heater.

Water Heaters

It’s important to be prepared for the day your water heater gives up the ghost—which it’s likely to do if it’s a few years old. Even the best storage water heaters only live 8 to 10 years.

Man connecting a blue water softener to a house’s hot-water supply plumbing.

Water Softeners

What is a water softener? If you find that soap and shampoo don’t lather well, dishes have spots, and the coffee maker has scale deposits, your home probably has a hard water problem.

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Home Plumbing Articles

Diagram of hose emptying from a tank drain valve to a floor drain.

How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater

Flush your water heater tank twice a year to remove mineral sediment and scale. Your water heater will heat more efficiently and last longer. This

Diagram of sprinkler rotors throw, including middle and corner measurements for a rectangular area.

Planning a Lawn & Garden Sprinkler System

Check with the building department in your area before you start planning a sprinkler system. Research any installation restrictions or codes that might affect the

branch drains

Planning a Plumbing Remodel

Expert advice on planning a plumbing remodel, including diagrams on where to place toilets, sinks, and other fixtures, and tips on routing supply and drainpipes

Sump Pump Parts & Installation Diagram

How a Sump Pump Works

A sump pump will keep water out of your basement. This shows how a sump pump works, with parts diagram and information on submersible and

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