The Three Parts That Make Up the Heart of Plumbing

The Three Parts That Make Up the Heart of Plumbing

The Three Parts That Make Up the Heart of Plumbing

At a relatively young age, we are able to understand the functionality of plumbing fixtures, from the bathtub all the way to the kitchen sink. That is, we understand that when we pull on the faucet, water will come out. But as a plumber, responsibilities go well beyond what the homeowner sees, all the way down to the pipes, valves, and fittings that make up the plumbing system. This helps us recognize and explain what exactly ‘plumbing’ is to those not immersed in it every day.

Plumbing is a broad term that refers to the system of pipes, valves, fittings, and any other equipment required for the water supply, heating, and sanitation in a structure. Such water and fluids flow through either the waste water piping system or the clean water piping system at any given time. Continue reading to learn more about each of the three parts that make up the heart of plumbing:


Plumbing Pipes
When it comes to the plumbing system, pipes are necessary in order to get water and other fluids from point A to point B throughout a home or building. Pipes themselves are characterized as tubes that can be comprised of many different materials. Some different types of materials used in plumbing can include:

  • Copper tube
  • PEX piping
  • PVC/CPVC piping
  • HDPE Piping
  • Ductile iron piping


Valves are used as water control devices that are usually located in a piping system at points other than outlets. A plumbing valve is responsible for regulating the flow of water in both the clean and waste water piping systems. Without valves, water and other fluids would run freely through the pipes at all times, with no way to shut them off for maintenance or any other reason. Just like pipes and fittings, there are many different valve options to choose from.


Pipe fittings are the components of a piping system that join the sections of pipe together. Fittings can be applied for many different functions, including the ability to change directions, close off a pipe line, extend or join a pipe line in the same direction, etc. Each basic type of piping material has its own unique types of fittings specifically designed for use with that system.


From the drain in your kitchen sink to the toilet in your basement. After using these fixtures every single day, any homeowner could benefit from knowing what parts make up the plumbing system. After all, these pipes, valves, and fittings are responsible for directing clean and waste water where they need to go in order to create a functional plumbing system within a home or structure.