Glossary Items starting with "A"
- ABS -
(Aristocraft bristone styrine)
Pipe used for waste, vent, and drain lines made of rigid plastic.
- "A" Valve -
A valve used to manually shut gas off.
- Access Panel -
For servicing purposes, an opening in a wall or ceiling near plumbing/electrical fixtures.
- Acid -
Increasess the concentration of hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. Acid dissolves common metals.
- Acidity -
The measurement of acid concentration in water.
- Acrylic -
For the purpose of waterproofing shower walls, it is a thermoplastic added to the surface of bathtubs and whirlpools.
- Adaptor -
A fitting that allows for different pipe types to unite.
- Aerator -
A device that adds air into flowing water from the end of a faucet to reduce splashing.
- Airbreak -
A separation between the waste receptor and the fixture, appliance, or device that is indirectly connected.
- Air Lock -
An air bubble in the line that blocks the flow of liquid on the suction side of the pump.
- Alkali/Alkalinity -
The measurement of a water supply’s ability to neutralize acids.
- Ambient Temperature -
The average temperature of the air surrounding an appliance.
- Angular Discharge Tube -
A tube that changes the direction of water flow by 90 degrees.
- Angle Stop -
Used for emergency repair, it is a shutoff mechanism between water pipes and a faucet.
- Anode Rod -
For the purpose of extending the life of the tank, it is a rob installed in a water heats that reduces corrosion.
- Anti-Siphon -
Prevents water from trickling back into the supply that is feeding into a sprinkler system.
Glossary Items starting with "B"
- Backflow -
Flow of water or other substances into the distributing pipes of a potable supply of water from unintended sources.
- Back Flow Preventer -
Prevents water or other substances from traveling back into the main distribution system. A backflow preventer is required for sprinkler systems, handheld showers, pullout faucet sprouts, kitchen sprayers, and other various devices.
- Back Pressure -
Pressure against the flow of fluid in a piping system.
- Back Siphonage -
The reverse flow of liquid due to a partial vacuum in the pipe.
- Backup -
A clogged plumbing fixture due to drain stoppage.
- Backwater Valve -
A valve within the sewer line that prevents sewage from reversing travel into the building.
- Ball Check Valve -
A valve that utilizes a ball to seal an area and stop flow in a certain direction.
- Ballcock -
The fill valve that determines the flow of water from the water supply line to the toilet tank.
- Basin Wrench -
A long-handled wrench with jaws mounted on a swivel that can reach nuts in a previously installed sink.
- Basket Strainer -
A strainer that fits into a sink or shower drain that allows water to run through, but catches food, hair, and other objects to prevent clogging.
- Bidet (pronounced Bid-day) -
Consisting of a washing basin, hot/cold faucet, and sprayer, it is mounted near a toilet for the purpose of washing one’s self.
- Bleed -
Bleeding is the process of draining a pipe, tube, or hose of excess air.
- Blowbag -
Blowbags are devices that clean drains. They are made up of a rubber bladder with a hose fitting on one end and a nozzle on the other. The blowbag is attached to a water hose and the hose is inserted into a clogged drainpipe. Water is expelled in pulses, forcing water through the clog.
- Boiler -
A tank that heats water and turns it to steam for power or hot water.
- Branch -
Various parts of a drain system, less the main, riser, or stack.
- Branch Vent -
A vent that connects 1+ single vents with a vent stack.
- BTU (British Thermal Unit) -
A unit of heat energy needed to raise 1 lbs. of water by 1 degree.
Glossary Items starting with "C"
- Catch Basin -
A below ground container with a grate that collects storm water run-off. It catches debris, preventing water pollution.
- Centerset -
A type of bathroom faucet with a spout and handles that are 4 inches apart.
- Cesspool -
A cesspool is an underground excavation in the ground that receives the discharges of a drainage system. It retains the organic, solid matter and permits the liquids to seep through.
- Check Valve -
A backflow preventer that only permits water to flow in one direction.
- Circuit Vent -
A vertical vent drainage system run from the last two traps on a horizontal drain line to the main vent stack.
- Cistern -
An underground rainwater storage container.
- Cleanout Plug -
A cleanout plug provides access to a drain pipe to clear out obstructions.
- Closet -
Another phrase for toilet.
- Closet Auger -
A rod that can access the built-in trap to remove clogs.
- Closet Bend -
A fitting mounted below the toilet, connecting the closet flange with the toilet drain.
- Closet Flange -
A closet flange is an anchoring ring that attaches to the closet bend, and then is secured to the floor.
- Cock -
A faucet or valve that regulates the flow of water; it is also known as a ballcock.
- Common Vent -
A drain system within a building that connects 2+ fixture branches on the same level.
- Compression Fitting -
A pipe connection where a nut and sleeve is place over a tube, compressing it tightly around the tube as the nut is tightened; this forms a seal without soldering.
- Compression Valve -
A valve used for water faucets. It opens and closes by raising and lowering a horizontal disk.
- Coupling -
A hood for the vent pipe.
- CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) -
A plastic pipe used in some water supply systems, depending on code requirements.
- Culvert -
Similar to a pipe, a construction of concrete that allows drainage underneath a road.
Glossary Items starting with "D"
- Desanco Fitting -
A compression adapter that attaches tubular brass fittings to PVC pipes.
- Diaphragm -
To prevent debris build-up within the valve, a diaphragm is a flexible membrane within a valve that regulates water flow from the supply lines.
- Dip Tube -
A tube with the purpose of bringing cold water to the bottom of the water heater tank.
- Direct Tap -
A clamp on a branch line that takes it off of the main line.
- Discharge Tube -
A discharge tube is an outlet tube that connects a disposer/sump pump to a drain line.
- Disposal Field -
A series of trenches that distribute waste uniformly into the soil.
- Dishwasher Tailpiece -
An adapter that unites a basket strainer to a drainpipe with a dishwasher inlet.
- Diverter -
Used in showers, tubs, bidets, and sinks, they are valves that direct water to certain outlets.
- Drip Leg -
A pipe with one closed end that is placed at a low point in the gas piping to collect and remove condensate.
- Drum Trap -
This type of trap is no longer used. It was formerly used as a trap in sewer lines.
- Duo Valve -
A hot and cold valve with a single on/off lever used for washing machines.
- DWV -
Abbreviation for Drain, Waste and Vent.
Glossary Items starting with "E"
- E Coli -
An abbreviation for Escherichia Coli, a bacteria that reveals fecal contamination.
- Earthquake Strap -
A metal strap that secures a water heater to a building’s frame or foundation.
- Efficiency -
Generally expressed as a percentage, a term that describes the ability to utilize energy.
- Effluent -
Liquid waste from a Septic system.
- Elbow -
A pipe fitting that changes the direction of the line.
- Escutcheon -
A trim beneath a faucet handle that covers the faucet stem and the hole; the escutcheon is used for vanity purposes.
- Expansion Tank -
A tank with thermal expansion that has the ability to absorb excess pressure.
Glossary Items starting with "F"
- Fall/Flow -
For the purpose of adequate drainage, the accurate slope of a pipe.
- Female Fitting -
A fitting in which another fitting or pipe is inserted.
- Finish Plumbing -
Plumbing fixture installation to make a system usable.
- Fixture -
The device within a plumbing system that provides a supply of water and or its disposal.
- Flapper Valve -
A piece of equipment on the bottom of the toilet tank that opens and closes, regulating the flow of water from the tank into the bowl.
- Float Ball -
A ball connected to the ballcock that rises and falls with the water within the tank. It regulates the ballcock as needed.
- Floor Flange -
A piece of equipment that connects a toilet and floor drain.
- Flushometer -
A valve within a toilet that automatically shuts off after it reads a pre-set amount of water.
- Flushometer Tank System -
A toilet flushing system that uses water pressure to flush instead of the traditional gravity flushing system.
- Flux -
Flux is a paste that assists with the fusion of copper pipes and fittings before soldering. The paste helps the fusion and prevents oxidation.
- Footprint -
The amount of floor space taken by an appliance.
- French Drain -
A covered ditch with a layer of stones or other material.
Glossary Items starting with "G"
- Gas Cock -
A plug valve that is installed and used between a main gas line and an appliance.
- Gas Control -
A piece of equipment that controls gas pressure on a water heater.
- Gate -
A Gate manages the flow in a conduit, pipe, or tunnel.
- Gate Diverter -
A lever on a tub that activates the diverter valve.
- Gravity Operated Toilet -
A flushing system that uses the natural downward pressure of water in a tank to effectively flush the toilet.
- Gray Water -
Gray water is waste from sinks, showers, and bathtubs.
Glossary Items starting with "H"
- Horizontal Branch -
Drain pipes that run laterally. They run from plumbing fixtures to waste stacks in a building or in the soil.
- Horizontal Run -
The horizontal length between where the fluid enter a pipe and where it leaves.
- Hose Bibb -
An outdoor faucet.
- House Trap -
A u-shaped fitting that has two adjacent cleanout plugs.
- Hubless (No-Hub) -
A drainage pipe made of cast iron that utilizes neoprene gaskets and clamps.
- Hydronic -
A system that transports heat through circulated water.
Glossary Items starting with "I"
- I.D. -
The abbreviation for inside diameter.
- Indirect Wastes -
A waste pipe that discharges gray water by discharging it into a plumbing fixture.
- Instantaneous Water Heater -
A water heater that uses a heat exchanger coil to heat the water.
Glossary Items starting with "J"
- Jet -
A toilet feature that directs water into the trapway to begin the siphon action.
- Johnni-bolts -
A johnni-bolt or closet bolt is used to mount a toilet bowl to the closet flange.
Glossary Items starting with "K"
- Kafer Fitting -
A cast iron drainage pipe that attaches to the existing case iron lines.
- Knockout Plug -
PVC test plug.
Glossary Items starting with "L"
- Lavatory (Lav) -
Another term for bathroom or restroom.
- Leach Field -
For the purpose of emptying treated waste, a porous soil with septic tank lines running through it.
- Leader -
A leader is a pipe that carries rainwater to the ground or sewer.
- Lock Nut -
A nut that joins two pipes together.
Glossary Items starting with "M"
- Main -
All branches connect to this main water supply.
- Male Threads -
The threads that are seen on the outside of pipes and fittings.
- Malleable Fittings -
A pliable fitting made of metal.
- Manifold -
A type of fitting that connects branches to the main.
- Mechanicals -
The moving part components of plumbing, heating, and cooling systems in a building.
- Multi-Stage Pump -
A pump with multiple impellers.
Glossary Items starting with "N"
- Nipple -
A short length of pipe that is installed between fittings.
- No-Hub Connector -
Used to connect different materials together. It consists of a rubber sleeve and a stainless steel band with hose clamps.
Glossary Items starting with "O"
- O.D. -
Abbreviation for Outside Diameter.
- O-Ring -
Used around valve stems, a rubber washer that creates a watertight seal.
- Oakum -
Oakum woven hemp rope that has been treated with a waterproofing agent. It caulks bell and spigot pipe and fitting joints.
- Outlet Sewer -
An outlet sewer is a pipe section that runs between a septic tank and drainage field in a septic system.
Glossary Items starting with "P"
- Packing -
A material used on faucets that prevents leaks.
- Packing Nut -
A nut that keeps the faucet in position and holds the packing material.
- PB (Polybutylene) -
A type of flexible, plastic tubing used in some water supply systems.
- Peak Hour Demand -
The peak hour demand is the time of day when hot water demand is at its climax.
- pH -
pH is the amount of hydrogen ion concentration in water. The pH scale measures the alkalinity and acidity.
- Pipe Dope -
A nickname for a material that is applied to a threaded fitting to create a watertight seal.
- Pitch -
The slope of a drain pipe in the direction of the water flow.
- Plumb -
The act of performing plumbing work.
- Plumber's Putty -
Pliable putty that seals joints between drains and fixtures,
- Plumbing Tree -
A set of drain waste, vent, and supply lines that have been pre-fabricated.
- Plunger -
A rubber headed instrument that creates suction in a drain line or toilet and pushes a clog through the line.
- Pop-Up Drain -
A type of drain assembly that uses lavatory lift rod or bath overflow plate lever. When it is lifted, the pop-up drain closes for the purpose of retaining water.
- Port -
The opening in a burner head that allows gas or air-gas mixture to escape for ignition.
- Positive Displacement Pump -
The PD pump makes a fluid motion by containing a fixed amount and moving it into the discharge pipe.
- Pressure Balance Valve -
A shower mixing valve that maintains a balance between hot and cold water supplies by automatically regulating fluctuations in pressure. The result is constant temperature.
- Pressure Tank -
A pressure tank is used in a well to pump water.
- Pressure Tubing -
A pressure tube conducts fluids under pressure or at high temperatures.
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) -
A PVC plastic pipe is used in non-pressure systems, such as drainage, waste, and vent systems.
Glossary Items starting with "Q"
Glossary Items starting with "R"
- Rated Storage Volume -
The amount of water within a tank.
- Reamer -
A grinding tool that levels valve seats in faucets to improve the valve stem fit.
- Recovery Capacity -
The amount of water in gallons/hour raised to 100 degrees at a given thermal efficiency.
- Reducer -
A reducer connects different sized pipes together.
- Return Circulation System -
A system that eliminates the waste of hot water for long runs; this system also adds storage.
- Revent -
A pipe that connects with a vent system, used to vent a fixture trap.
- Reverse Trap Water Closet -
A water closet that has a siphonic trapway at the back of the bowl.
- Rigid Pipe -
A pipe that transmits the backfill load to the foundation beneath the pipe.
- Rim Holes -
A number of holes circulated around the toilet rim. The incoming water flows into the bowl through the holes, washing the inner surface of the bowl.
- Riser -
An assembly that connects a faucet and water supply stop valve. It is also a name of a supply line that goes from one story to the next.
- Roof Flashing -
Installed to prevent leaks, it is a sheet metal at the break of a shingled roofline, sewer vents, and flue pipes.
- Rough-In -
Installation into the proposed location of the drain, waste, vent, and supply lines.
- Rough-In Dimensions -
The measured length between the center of a waste/supply opening or fixture to a wall or floor.
- Run -
A section of pipe that extends from supply to fixture or drain to stack.
Glossary Items starting with "S"
- Saddle Valve -
A valve mounted on a pipe run near a clamping device or fitting. It enters the side of the pipe and provides a water supply for a low-demand device.
- Sanitary Fitting -
A fitting that is designed to allow solid material to pass without clogging a drain, waste, and/or vent system.
- Sanitary Sewer -
A drain that takes wastewater away from the house to a disposal system such as a sewer system or septic tank.
- Self-Rimming Sink -
A sink with a built-in lip of the same material that supports the vanity top.
- Service Entrance -
A pipe that connects the water company supply to the water meter.
- Setting -
The distance from the top of the well to the top of the pump.
- Shroud -
A drain outlet cover mounted below a wall-mount lavatory.
- Siphon-Vortex Water Closet -
A type of toilet that has a trapway at the back of the bowl, integral flushing rim, and a water supply system that does not go into the trap.
- Sleeve -
A pipe that runs through a wall to allow another pipe through it.
- Slip Joint -
A connection made with compression fittings.
- Soil Stack -
A main drain line that all branch lines connect to carry waste to the sewer.
- Solder -
Melted metal alloy that fuses joints of metal together.
- Spud -
A spud is a threaded opening on a water heater tank.
- Stack -
A vertical main that reaches multiple stories; the main resides in the drain, waste, and vent system.
- Stand Pipe -
A stand pipe is the name of several pipe types. A stand pipe is a vertical pipe that receives water from washing machines; a water supply for a fire sprinkler system, or a vertical pipe that has water pumped into it to produce a certain pressure.
- Static Lift -
In a pump installation, the vertical length of space between the source and discharge water levels.
- Stop Valve -
A valve beneath sinks and toilets that shuts off the water supply to one fixture without affecting the other.
- Straight Cross -
A straight cross connects four pipes of the same diameter together.
- Sump -
A pit for draining, collecting, or storing water.
- Sweating -
Sweating has two definitions. It is slang for soldering and a term for condensation that builds outside of pipes or toilet tanks.
Glossary Items starting with "T"
- T & P (temperature and pressure) Valve -
A T&P valve is a piece of safety equipment that expels extra pressure or heat from within the tank.
- Tailpiece -
A piece of pipe that is fitted between a fixture outlet and its trap.
- Tail Pipe -
The tail pipe is added below the jet assembly in a well system.
- Tank -
A tank is part of a toilet system. It is a reservoir for flush water. The tank houses the ballcock, flush valve, and trip lever as well.
- Tank Cross -
A fitting installed between a well pump and a bladder tank with valve, gauge, and an outlet for a pressure-relief valve.
- Tap Tee -
A tee made of cast iron; this tee has a threaded female inlet.
- Tee -
A t-shaped fitting that has three openings for branch lines.
- Thermocouple -
A thermocouple is a small electric generator.
- Thermostatic Valve -
For showers, this valve balances pressure and temperature control.
- Trap -
A curve in a drain line that traps sewer odors, preventing them from escaping into the atmosphere. All drains have “P” traps, but toilets have “S” traps.
- Trap Arm -
In a drainage trap, the trap arm acts as a waste arm.
- Trap Dip -
In a drainage trap, the trap dip is the u-bend.
- Trap Primer -
A line that connects the cold water line to the drainage trap for the purpose of releasing small amounts of water into the trap to maintain the water seal.
- Trap Seal -
A trap seal is the height of the water in a toilet bowl while not in use. It acts as a water seal to prevent sewer gases from seeping into the home.
- Trapway -
A connection between the bowl and waste outlet in a toilet. Trapways are measured by the largest diameter ball that can pass through it.
- Trip Lever -
The handle and actuating arm on a toilet tank or the lever that controls the drain on a bathtub.
Glossary Items starting with "U"
- Uni-flex -
A one-piece stop and riser.
- Union -
A three piece fitting that joins two pipes together with the ability to disconnect without cutting the pipe.
- Usable Storage -
The percentage of hot water that can be taken from a tank without lowering the temperature to the point it is not considered hot.
Glossary Items starting with "V"
- Vacuum Breaker -
A device that prevents the backflow of impure water into the water supply system.
- Valve Seat -
A part of the valve that is stationary. Water flow halts when the moveable portion of the valve meets the valve seat.
- Vent -
For the purpose of preventing siphoning, a pipe that brings air into the drain system to balance air pressure.
- Vent Header -
Several vents connect to the vent header, which leads to the vent stack.
- Vent Stack -
The top portion of a soil stack, that allows gases and odors to escape.
- Vent System -
A vent system provides an airflow to and from the drainage system. The air protects against siphoning and back-pressure.
- Venturi -
For the purpose of creating a suction in a vacuum pump, a venturi is a short, narrow tube that increases the speed of the flow of a fluid and decreases the fluid pressure.
- Viscosity -
Viscosity is the resistance of fluid flow due to molecular friction.
- Vitreous China -
A non-porous ceramic used for bathroom fixtures.
Glossary Items starting with "W"
- Washdown Water Closet -
A water closet with a front siphon trapway and integral flushing rim.
- Waste Arm -
A waste arm is an extension pipe that extends from a fixture into the wall.
- Waste & Overflow -
A waste and overflow is a drain assembly for a bathtub. It has an outlet at the top that removes any overflow of water and a drain at the bottom that removes wastewater.
- Wet Vent -
A vent that also acts as a drain.
- Widespread -
A type of bathroom faucet with separate spout and handles.
- WYE -
For the purpose of making branch lines, a Y-shaped fitting with three openings.
Glossary Items starting with "X"
- Item Title - This is a sentence about this item.
Glossary Items starting with "Y"
- Yoke -
A casting with hot and cold valves and the mixing chamber for water.
- Yoke Vent -
A yoke vent prevents pressure changes in the stacks by connecting upward from a soil or waste stack to the vent stack.
Glossary Items starting with "Z"
- Item Title - This is a sentence about this item.