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Plumber Terms: A to Z

Plumber terms every Homeowner should know

Plumber terms a to zPlumber terms can be confusing to many property owners. However, having some understanding of these and the associated concepts will help you maintain your home’s plumbing better and even gain insights into the various tasks that plumbers do. Here are the ABCs of plumbing that you need to know.

Absorption system

This system’s primary purpose is to boost the efficiency of a septic tank in catching/collecting solid waste.

Aerotor

Also known as baggles, aerators are used to mix both air and water in a faucet in order to reduce splashing.

Apron

This refers to the side of the bathtub that goes from the floor to the top rim.

Backflow

Backflow occurs when water from one system contaminates other parts of the main distribution system.

Backflow preventer

This refers to the device that helps prevent contamination of water between different systems.

Balancing valve

This refers to the valve connected to water heaters. It controls water flow and balances heat.

Bathroom fixtures

These refer to different devices that either supply or dispose water. These include your sink, toilets, faucets and bathtubs.

Bidet

A bidet is a bathroom fixture that is used to cleanse the body by spraying water.

Catch basin

The primary purpose of this grated container is to catch storm water run-off and prevent debris from going to natural bodies of water.

Cistern

Cisterns are storage tanks that are typically buried underground. Their main function is to collect rain water.

Corroded pipes

Pipes corrode when the water in a household has low pH.

Cross-connection

This refers to a connection that facilitates the entry of water between systems.

Cross-connection control system

This system acts as a barrier against wastewater which can contaminate other systems.

Face plate

This device can either be decorative or functional and is used in various bathroom fixtures.

Fiberglass

This refers to glass that has been ground to create fibers. It is typically used in bathtubs and shower stalls.

Flapper

Also known as flush ball, it refers to the rubber disc or ball found inside a toilet tank. It facilitates the flushing of water to the toilet tank.

HVAC

HVAC refers to heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

HDPE pipes

HDPE or high-density polyethylene pipes are used in trenchless sewer technology.

Hydro-jetting

This is a device that is used to clear blockages in pipes by using high pressure water.

Low-flow toilet

This is a type of toilet that has been built to help save water.

Pipe inspection

This system uses video in order to record the condition of drains and pipes. In turn, this allows plumbers to know the best solution to a plumbing problem.

Potable water

This refers to safe and clean water that is fit for human consumption.

PVC

PVC means poly vinyl chloride, a type of plastic often used for plumbing and drains.

Risers

These refer to metal or plastic tubes that are connected to supply stop valves.

Septic tank

This is a tank that is used to hold waste when sewer lines and distribution systems connected to treatment facilities are not readily available.

Slab leak

This condition occurs when water leaks beneath either the floor or slab foundation. It may be caused by leaks in the water line or in the sewer.

Snaking

This refers to a method used to clear blockages using a metal wire or coil.

Tankless water heater

In this type of water heater, the need for a storage tank is eliminated. Instead, water is heated as it passes through pipes.

Trenchless sewer

This is a type of plumbing technology which eliminates the need to dig up foundations or landscape when upgrading existing water or sewer lines.

Vitreous China

This is a type of ceramic material that has been treated to become non-porous. It is often used in tiles and bathroom fixtures.

Water leak

This condition occurs when water leaks from one pipe or several pipes in a plumbing system.

Other Plumbing Resources

We are just scratching the surface on common plumbing terminology. Below are some of the best resources on the web for plumbing terminology that you may need to know about.

Safe Plumbing Glossary 

PDF – Safe Water Resources 


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