Glossary of Plumbing Terms
ABSAcrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene. Rigid black plastic pipe used for drain and vent lines.
Back Flow PreventerA device to prevent backflow into a potable water supply.
Back PressurePressure that resists the flow of water into a piping system.
Back SiphonageThe negative pressure that causes backflow.
BleedTo remove excess air by opening a valve at the end of the pipe.
Catch BasinLarge underground container to collect dirt and debris from storm water runoff.
Check ValveA type of backflow preventer installed in a pipe run that allows water to flow in only one direction.
Cleanout PlugA plug in a trap or drain pipe that allows access for clearing an obstruction.
Corrosive WaterA water condition of low pH that causes corrosion in metal pipes, pool fixtures and pumps.
DamThe barrier in the toilet tank that controls the water level in the toilet bowl.
DiverterA valve that directs fluid to various outlets. They are used in showers, tubs and sinks.
Dynamic PressureThe pressure when the water is flowing.
EffluentLiquid waste in your septic system.
EjectorA mechanical device for pumping sewage from below the sewer line.
EnclosurePanels of glass or other material used to form shower or tub stalls.
Fall / FlowThe proper slope or pitch of a pipe for adequate drainage.
First DrawWater that has been sitting in pipes or plumbing fixtures overnight and comes out when taps are opened in the morning.
FittingAny pipe part used to join together two sections of pipe.
Flexible ConnectorA braided hose that connects a faucet or toilet to the water supply stop valve.
GPHGallons Per Hour. A measure of flow rates.
GalvanizingThe process of applying a coating of zinc to a finished product to provide corrosion protection.
Gray WaterWaste water from sinks, showers, and bathtubs, but not toilets.
Grease TrapA device used to capture grease entering a system before it reaches the sewer lines.
HVACHeating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.
Hose BibbAn outdoor faucet.
House TrapU-shaped fitting with two adjacent cleanout plugs visible at floor level if main drain runs under floor.
ImmersionA term referring to something submerged in water.
In-line PumpSmall pump which pumps fluid through a line on which it is supported and mounted.
Integral StopsStops that allows the shut off of water supply at the faucet for maintenance without shutting off the water supply to the entire house.
Johnni-boltsCloset bolts, used to mount toilet bowls to the closet flange.
JointOne length of pipe.
Junction BoxUtility area where incoming current is connected in an electrical appliance.
Knockout PlugPVC test plug.
Leach FieldPorous soil area, through which septic tank leach lines run, emptying the treated waste.
LeakageLoss of fluid usually due to mechanical breakdown or gasket wear.
Limit StopFaucet control unit used to adjust maximum water temperature.
MaceratorA device installed in a drain line between a toilet and the soil stack to reduce solids to liquid form.
Metal fatigueA breakage of a metal that can be caused by the bending and flexing or the expansion and contraction of a metal part past its endurance limit.
Municipal WaterWater supplied by a city or county for public use; tap water.
NippleA short length of pipe installed between couplings or other fittings.
Non-PotableNot suitable for drinking.
O-RingRound rubber washer used to create a watertight seal.
Outlet / DischargeThe opening through which the water exits the pump.
Overflow TubeThe tube inside a toilet tank that directs water into the bowl in case the ball malfunctions.
PPMParts Per Million. A unit of measure for impurities in water.
Perforated PipePipe designed to discharge water through small, multiple, closely spaced orifices or nozzles, placed in a segment of its circumference for irrigation purposes.
PitchDownward slope of a drain pipe in the direction of the water flow.
ReducerA fitting that connects pipes of different sizes together.
Return Circulation SystemTempered water from or near the point of usage which eliminates waste of hot water used for long runs.
Roller HangerA pipe hanger similar to a clevis hanger except that the yoke bolts to a roller rod instead of a metal strap.
Sanitary FittingFitting that joins the assorted pipes in a drain, waste, and vent system, designed to allow solid material to pass through without clogging.
Scupper DrainA drain normally located on a roof or deck that allows rain water to drain off.
Service EntrancePipe connecting the water company piping to the water meter.
Slide BarType of shower component designed for the attachment of a hand-held shower.
Tank FixtureA reservoir for flush water. On a conventional toilet, the ballcock, flush valve, and trip lever are installed in the tank.
TeeT-shaped fitting with three openings that allow another pipe to be joined at a 90 degree angle, used to create branch lines.
Touchless FaucetCommercially installed faucet or urinal valve that function using infrared sensor system.
Universal Plumbing CodeA system of procedures designed to provide consumers with safe and sanitary plumbing systems.
Vacuum BreakerAn anti-siphon device that prevents the backflow of contaminated water into the water supply system.
VentA pipe that allows air into a drain system to balance the air pressure, preventing water in the traps from being siphoned off.
Voral TubeFlexible steel hose used for hand-held shower sprays.
Waste ShoeBathtub drain assembly.
Water SpotWater surface in the toilet bowl once the flush is completed.
Well CasingA steel or plastic pipe inserted into a drilled well to prevent dirt and debris from contaminating the water.
YokeUsually a brass casting that holds both the hot and cold valves and the mixing chamber for the water.
Zero SoftWater with a total hardness less than 1.0 grain per gallon.
Zone of SaturationThe layer in the ground in which all of the available voids are filled with water.
Got a Question?