Beyond the Code: Richard's rules for better systems

1. Shutoff Valves for Every Fixture and Appliance
Individual shutoffs allow you to quickly isolate a problem without cutting the water supply to the rest of your house. After plumbing a house, Richard always leads the owner in a guided tour of all the shutoff valves, most notably the main shutoffs.

2. Don't Skimp on Vents
Codes dictate the proximity of vents to drains, and the rules should never be ignored. If the vent is too far away, it won't be able to break the vacuum and allow fast drainage. "When you pull the plug on a bathtub," says Richard, "you've got 40 gallons of water that want to scream down that pipe. If there's a vacuum, it can pull the water out of all the traps in the house."

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