It's a good idea to know basic plumbing information. This way, you know how to spot problems or avoid them altogether. Here is a brief guide on residential plumbing that will help you to have a better handle on your home's plumbing system:
Watch Everything That Goes Down the Drains
You want to watch everything that goes down the drains. Know what should go down each and make sure everyone in the family is aware of those things.
All food particles should be scraped off dishes before they go into the sink. Anything with any grease on them should be thoroughly wiped off before being put in the sink because grease and oil are very bad for the plumbing. Don't fall for the misconception that grease in a liquid form is okay either. The grease will harden and stick to the pipes, causing blockages. Garbage disposals are there to grind up any small bits of food accidentally left on dishes, not to grind up large amounts of food. Some food items are harmful to disposals, such as pasta, stringy vegetables, bones, etc.
Nothing should be flushed down a toilet except for toilet paper. Even products that are labeled as "flushable" like wipes or kitty litter shouldn't be flushed. While they may appear to flush just fine, they can still cause problems further down in the pipes.
If you notice the water is taking longer to go down the toilet when you flush, or it is draining from the sinks slower, then this is a sign the pipes likely have some amount of blockage in them and the plumber should come out. They should check the pipes and the drains should be cleaned as well.
Pay Attention to the Water Heater
If your water heater has always given you enough hot water, and suddenly it seems to run out, then check the temperature setting and make sure it is correct. If there is now more demand for hot water than there used to be, then you may need a larger water heater now. You can have an on-demand water heater installed that heats the water as soon as hot water is needed. If nothing has changed in the household regarding the hot water demand, however, then there is likely a problem with the water heater.
Other things that can indicate a possible problem with the water heater include loud sounds coming from it, rusty water coming out of the faucet, or water found around the water heater tank. If you notice these things, then a plumber should come to look at the water heater.
There Are Pipes in the Yard as Well
You want to keep in mind that there are also pipes in your yard. If you see pooling of water in the yard, then a plumber should check it out because it could be a broken pipe and will need to be fixed right away.