Your plumbing includes all of the pipes and fixtures on your property, from the meter or valve near the street to the faucets inside your home. Below are a few important components to be familiar with:
Inside Your Home
- Main Shutoff Valve: This valve is normally located where the water line enters your home through the foundation. It can be used to shut the water off in an emergency or when plumbing improvements are being made. It can also be turned off while the property is vacant to prevent water damage that unforeseen leaks might cause.
- Pressure Reducing Valve: Most houses built after 1972 are equipped with a pressure reducing valve (PRV), which is normally located near the main water valve. PRVs are usually bell-shaped devices, approximately 4" in length, that are designed to keep the water pressure inside your home from exceeding a set limit. This helps prevents "knocking" in pipes and other stresses caused by high pressure.
- Hot Water Heaters: Hot water heaters provide a source of hot water for home appliances that require hot water.
- Drains: Overflows and sewer backups caused by fats, oils and grease (FOG) can get into the sewer from household drains which can canuse health hazards and lead to expensive repairs.
Outside Your Home
- Pipes in Your Yard: Always contact Miss Utility at least three business days prior to digging anywhere in your yard. Water and Sewer Service Laterals are the pipes that run underground from the meter or valve near the street to the main water valve inside the house. They are typically made of copper, plastic, or sections of both and are your property and responsibility. If either line needs repair, Loudoun Water may be able to assist with the location of the lines. Water meters and their settings are owned and maintained by Loudoun Water.
- Grinder Pumps: In Loudoun County, wastewater is collected and treated in many ways. Most wastewater collection relies on the force of gravity to pull it through miles of pipe, ending at a wastewater treatment facility. Since not every area in the County can benefit from gravity, some areas rely on a pressure system or a pump to facilitate wastewater collection. Pumps can serve one household or many households. Approximately 300 homes served by Loudoun Water have their own wastewater pump.