Plumbing 101: What New Homeowners Need to Know

Congratulations on getting a new home! It may be an exciting time for you as you move into your first home, or upgrade into a new one. Homeownership is very rewarding, and it also is more work than living in a place where most systems, such as plumbing, heating, cooling, landscaping, and home maintenance are largely done for you. We want to educate you on your plumbing system so you can make good decisions about care and know when it is important to call a plumbing company.

Plumbing 101

In general, plumbing refers to the system in your home that brings clean water in and dirty water out. Plumbing then, really is two parts: water and sewer.

Pipes that bring clean water in and through your home tend to be metallic, such as copper, or plastic, such as PVC. These pipes tend to be smaller than drain lines and are primarily hidden behind walls, making repairs rather problematic. For this reason, plumbing repairs should be done by a licensed, professional plumber to ensure proper installation and a warranty and/or guarantee of quality workmanship.

Pipes that lead waste water out of your house are drain lines, which lead to the main sewer line. These lines are like a tree where every branch leads to the trunk. Drain lines are larger than water lines and are not pressurized like water lines are. This is important in moving clogs through the line, and is also why they get clogged when too much waste (and not enough water), pass through.

Water and Sewer

All plumbers work on both plumbing systems of water and sewer, however some tradespeople specialize in one or the other. It’s important to understand the distinction between the two to help you to know if and when you want to call in a specialist. Even within these two systems, there can be plumbers who specialize such as in trenchless repairs, sewer line replacement, drain cleaning experts and more.

Weird Things Plumbers Don’t Do

It was mentioned that plumbers handle clean water in and dirty water out, but there are a couple exceptions to that rule. As noted, there are some specialties that a plumber won’t handle, and typically plumbers don’t address pool, pond, sprinklers or other such items. These are typically handled by landscaping professionals.

Some Things You May Not Expect a Plumber Does

And while plumbers don’t deal with water that has ties in landscaping, they do handle quite a bit including:

  • Installing and/or repairing sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, hand basins
  • Setting up water lines to ice makers, dishwashers, water softeners, water filtration systems and drinking fountains
  • Supporting the installation of a wet bar, condensation drains, and food service areas that require water
  • Repairing and replacing outdoor water spigots, water heaters, garbage disposals and sump pumps
  • Clearing clogs from french drains, drain pipes, toilets, sinks, tubs and more
  • Re-piping old lines including trenchless repairs on both damaged water or sewer pipes
  • Installing an ADA toilet
  • Repairing a drinking fountain
  • Fixing water pressure, and rattling or noisy pipes
  • Installing a water filtration system for your whole house or just one area
  • Installing an instant hot water faucet (insta hot)


AC&R Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing would like to earn your business as your plumbing company of choice in Albuquerque, NM. Whether a new homeowner or a seasoned one, we are here to help you love your home without plumbing worries. Call us today for a quote or to get your questions answered.