Important Plumbing Terms You Should Know as a Homeowner

Important Plumbing Terms

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When you need residential plumbing services, it can be tough to follow what is going on with your plumbing system if you don’t understand the plumbing terminology your plumber is using.

While you can always ask your trusty Gallegos Plumbing technician to explain, it wouldn’t hurt to know some plumbing terminologies to make the communication smoother.

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This plumbing glossary will outline all the basic plumbing terms that all homeowners should know. This way, you’ll be able to identify what the issue with your home may be when you need plumbing help.Here are plumbing terms and abbreviations that home and business owners should know about:

Common Plumbing Terms

Here’s a look at the common plumbing terminology you need to know: 

  • ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene): Thermoplastic resin used to make pipes
  • Black Water: Wastewater from toilets that contains fecal matter and urine
  • Bleed: To release trapped air in a pipe by opening a valve at one end.
  • Branch Drain: A drainage branch pipe connecting the plumbing fixtures in a building to the sewer line.
  • Effluent pipe: Drainage piping that conveys treated sewage from one on-site wastewater treatment system to another
  • Fitting: A device used in pipe systems to control and guide the flow of water in a supply system 
  • Flow Control Valve: Device that regulates the flow or pressure of a fluid
  • Flow Rate: How much water flows through a plumbing system; measured in gallons per minute (GPM) or per hour (GPH).
  • Gallons per Flush (GPF): Metric to measure the volume of water a toilet uses with each flush
  • Gasket: Mechanical seal that prevents leakage from or into joined objects
  • Gray Water: All wastewater generated in a building, except toilet water
  • Interceptor: Tank installed within pipework to collect and hold contaminants such as oil and grease
  • KiloPascal (kPa): One thousand times the unit of pressure and stress in the metric system
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): Maximum permissible level of a contaminant in water that you can deliver to a public water system
  • Non-Ferrous: Materials that do not contain iron
  • O-Ring: Ring-shaped seal or washer used to prevent leaks in pipe connections
  • Plumbers Putty: Plumbing lubricant used on pipe threads.
  • Potable: Water that is safe for drinking or preparing food
  • Pressure Head: Pressure exerted by a fluid column on the bottom of a well. It is the depth of fluid that will exert an equivalent pressure
  • Pump head: The measure of a water pump’s power. 
  • Sediment: Loose sand, clay, silt, and other soil particles that settle to the bottom of a liquid.
  • Tank: A storage vessel that holds potable or non-potable water for use
  • Water Hammer: A loud banging sound caused when you suddenly force the water supply to stop, causing hydraulic shock.

Also Read: Top 5 Most Common Plumbing Problems And How To Avoid Them

Bathroom Plumbing Terms

This bathroom plumbing glossary will come in handy when tackling bathroom emergencies or attempting DIY plumbing tasks:

  • Shut-off Valve: Device with a watertight seal that allows you to shut off the water supply.
  • Flapper: A valve that replaces a tank stopper in a toilet, creating a seal between the tank and the bowl.
  • Float Valve: A device that controls the level of fluid inside a tank by opening and closing a valve in response to changing water levels
  • Overflow Drain: Feature preventing your sink or bathtub from overflowing in case of a clog
  • Plunger: Rubber suction cup attached to the end of a stick, used to clear blockages in drains and pipes.
  • Snake: Slender, flexible rod or cable used to dislodge plumbing clogs

Kitchen Plumbing Terms

Not familiar with kitchen plumbing terminology? Here are a few sink plumbing terms:

  • Energy Star Certification: A label indicating that a product is energy efficient
  • Faucet: Device that controls the flow of liquid from a pipe
  • Faucet Aerator: Screens at the end of a faucet that help conserve water.
  • Garbage Disposal: Device in a kitchen sink that grinds up food waste so you can wash it down the drain
  • Reset Button on Garbage Disposal: It restores the garbage disposal’s power after it shuts off due to overload.

Piping Terms

Here are the common piping terms you should know:

  • Copper Piping: Pipes made of copper
  • CPVC: Thermoplastic pipe produced by chlorination of polyvinyl chloride resin
  • Galvanized Steel Piping: Steel pipes that have been dipped in a protective zinc coating to prevent corrosion and rust
  • Manifold: Section of pipe with built-in ports to distribute water
  • PEX Piping: Plastic tubing made from high-density polyethylene
  • Pressure Tank: A pressure tank forces water out of the faucet when you turn it on.
  • Riser: Water pipes that extend one full story or more and convey water to a group of fixtures
  • Soil Pipe: A pipe that conveys sewage or wastewater from a toilet to the drain line
  • Tee: Fitting used to join two or more plumbing pipes
  • Teflon Tape: Thread seal tape that helps seal the joints without hardening
  • Threaded Pipe: A pipe with screw-threaded ends for assembly
  • Trap Seal: U-shaped portion of pipe designed to trap liquid or gas to prevent unwanted flow
  • Trap Weir: The lowest point of the outlet arm of a trap
  • Vent: A pipe above a waste or soil pipe that allows gas to escape from the system
  • Wye Fitting: A fitting with three openings used to create branch lines

Plumber Terms

This plumbing glossary explains the different types of plumbers and what they do:

  • Plumber: A tradesperson who installs, repairs, and maintains water systems in buildings
  • Journeyperson: A trained plumber who has completed their apprenticeship under a master plumber
  • Apprentice Plumber: A an entry-level plumber working under the guidance of a journeyman or master plumber
  • Master Plumber: A person who has earned the highest professional level of plumbing.

Summing Up

Knowing some plumbing terminology from this plumbing glossary will make the whole repair thing easier. You’ll also have more interesting conversations with your plumber. Speaking of plumbers, are you searching for Ventura County plumbing services? Contact our friendly and reliable team at Gallegos Plumbing, and we’ll send over the best plumber Ventura County offers!

Schedule your Ventura plumbing services by calling (805) 750-1830 today!