The Difference Between Plumbing & Drainage

If you’re like most people, you might think that plumbing encompasses all those pipes in your home. Actually, if you’re like most people, you don’t really care whether or not plumbing encompasses all those pipes – you just want someone to fix the thing!

Assuming you want to know the difference, whether your bath tub is backing up, or the water in your tap has turned brown, all of this is often considered ‘plumbing’.

It’s a common mistake, and no one really thinks about it much. But there are key differences between drainage & plumbing, and depending on the problem you have you’d be looking for a different service.

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What is Plumbing?

In a sentence, plumbing is the system that brings clean water into your home. When you turn on your tap, that’s your plumbing bringing water through the faucet. When you turn on your tap for a cool glass of sparkling water and you get brown sludge, that’s your plumbing. When your weak shower pressure makes you throw the soap and shampoo across the room, you’re angry at your plumbing.

Any part of your system that brings water into your home, you’re talking about plumbing.

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What is Drainage?

You’ve probably already guessed this, but anything that brings waste water away from your home is drainage. As you flush your toilet and it threatens to flood your entire bathroom, you probably scream, “OMG, MY FREAKING PLUMBING!”

What you should be screaming is, “OMG, MY FREAKING DRAINAGE!” When you curse your flooded yard, you’re cursing your drainage.


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Does it Matter?

When your sink is flooding your kitchen – no, no it probably doesn’t. Most of the time this only matters to those who are doing the work. If you call a plumber and explain that your bathroom plumbing is clogged, they won’t look at you cockeyed.

Most people accept that we all just consider this plumbing, and no one worries about the words. After all, regardless of the service you need, we’re all plumbers. There are no ‘drainers’.

So when something is clogged, can’t drain, or is backing up, you’re probably looking for a drainage service. When something is too cold, too hot or a color that wants to make you gag, you’re probably looking for a plumbing service.

Now the next time you need a service, you can call us and wow us with your complete knowledge of the technical jargon. You should call us today!

Images by Christopher T. Howlett, Juan Garces, Monika Ciapala and David Blackwell.

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