Water Distribution in Buildings


These are devices incorporated in pipelines to control the flow into, through, and from them. Valves are also known as faucets, cocks, bibs, stops, and plugs. The term cock is generally used with an adjective indicating its use; for example, a sill cock (also called a hose bib) is a faucet used on the outside of a building for connection with a garden hose. A faucet is a valve installed on the end of a pipe to permit or stop withdrawal of water from the pipe.
Valves usually are made of cast or malleable iron, brass, or bronze. Faucets in bathrooms or kitchens are usually faced with nickel-plated brass.
The types of valves generally used in water-supply systems are gate, globe, angle, ball, and check valves.
Gate valves control flow by sliding a disk perpendicular to the water flow to fit tightly against seat rings when a handwheel is turned. This type of valve is usually used in locations where it can be left completely open or closed for long periods of time.
Globe valves control the flow by changing the size of the passage through which water can flow past the valves. Turning a handwheel moves a disk attached at the end of the valve stem to vary the passage area. When the valve is open, the water turns 90 to pass through an orifice enclosed by the seat and then turns 90 again past the disk, to continue in the original direction. Flow can be completely stopped by turning the handwheel to compress the disk or a gasket on it against the seat.
This type of valve usually is used in faucets.
Angle valves are similar to globe valves but eliminate one 90 turn of the water  flow. Water is discharged from the valves perpendicular to the inflow direction.
Check valves are used to prevent reversal of flow in a pipe. In the valves, water must flow through an opening with which is associated a movable plug (or flapper).
When water flows in the desired direction, the plug automatically moves out of the way; however, a reverse flow forces the plug into the opening, to seal it.
Ball valves are quick-closing (1⁄4 turn to close) valves, which consist of a drilled ball that swivels on its vertical axis. This type of valve creates little water turbulence owing to its straight-through flow design.

Pipe Supports

When standard pipe is used for water supply in a building, stresses due to ordinary water pressure are well within the capacity of the pipe material. Unless the pipe is supported at short intervals, however, the weight of the pipe and its contents may overstress the pipe material. Generally, it is sufficient to support vertical pipes at their base and at every floor. Maximum support spacing for horizontal pipes depends on pipe diameter and material. The plumbing code should be consulted to determine maximum horizontal and vertical hanger spacings allowed.
While the supports should be firmly attached to the building, they should permit pipe movement caused by thermal dimensional changes or differences in settlement of building and pipe. Risers should pass through floors preferably through sleeves and transfer their load to the floors through tight-fitting collars. Horizontal pipe runs may be carried on rings or hooks on metal hangers attached to the underside of floors. The hangers and anchors used for plumbing piping should be metal and strong enough to prevent vibration.
Each hanger and anchor should be designed and installed to carry its share of the total weight of the pipe

All piping installed should be restrained according to the requirements specific to the exact earthquake zone where the building is located. The local code authorities should be consulted about these requirements.

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