Plumbing is any system that conveys fluids for a wide range of applications. Plumbing uses pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other apparatuses to convey fluids. Heating and cooling (HVAC), waste removal, and potable water delivery are among the most common uses for plumbing, but it is not limited to these applications. The word derives from the Latin for lead, plumbum, as the first effective pipes used in the Roman era were lead pipes.
In the developed world, plumbing infrastructure is critical to public health and sanitation. Boilermakers and pipefitters are not plumbers, although they work with piping as part of their trade, but their work can include some plumbing.
- potable cold and hot tap water supply
- plumbing drainage venting
- sewage systems and septic systems with or without hot water heat recycling and graywater recovery and treatment systems
- rainwater, surface, and subsurface water drainage
- fuel gas piping
- hydronics, i.e. heating and cooling systems utilizing water to transport thermal energy, as in district heating systems, like for example the New York City steam system.
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