F.E. Moran Plumbing Glossary
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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"

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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"

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