Glossary

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

A type of black plastic pipe used primarily for vent and drain lines.

Aerator

A device added to the open end of a faucet that mixes air with water to create a more even flow. In homes, it also serves to reduce water usage.

Angle Stop

A shut-off valve designed to control the water flow to household fixtures like toilets and sinks. Typically located under the sink or behind the toilet.

Backflow

The undesirable reversal of water flow in a system due to a change in pressure, potentially contaminating potable water supplies with pollutants or contaminants.

Ball Valve

A valve controlled by a lever that houses a ball with a hole through it, which when open allows water to flow and when closed stops the flow.

Cistern

A tank for storing water, especially one that supplies taps or as part of a flushing toilet.

DWV (Drain-Waste-Vent) System

A system that removes sewage and greywater from a building and regulates air pressure in the waste-system pipes to aid free flow.

Elbow

A pipe fitting installed between two lengths of pipe or tubing to allow a change of direction, usually a 90° or 45° angle.

Flapper Valve

The part on the bottom of the toilet tank that opens to allow water to flow from the tank into the bowl when the toilet is flushed and then closes to allow the tank to refill.

GPM (Gallons Per Minute)

A measurement of the flow rate of faucets and showers.

Hydro Jetting

A method of cleaning drains and sewer lines using high-pressure water streams to remove blockages and build-up.

Main

The primary artery of supply or drainage in a system. In plumbing, it refers to the main water supply line or the primary sewer line.

Nipple

A short piece of pipe installed between couplings or other fittings.

O-Ring

A rubber gasket used to create a watertight seal, typically in faucets and valves.

PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene)

A type of plastic tubing widely used for water supply piping due to its flexibility, resistance to scale and chlorine, and easy installation

Plunger

A tool used to clear blockages in drains and pipes through suction and pressure.

Pressure Balancing Valve

A valve that maintains water temperature and pressure by adjusting the flow of hot and cold water in response to changes in water line pressure.

Reducer

A fitting used to connect pipes of different sizes.

S Trap

A type of trap used in drain connections that is shaped like an “S” and designed to trap debris and prevent gasses from the sewer from entering the building.

Shutoff Valve

A valve that cuts off water flow to a fixture or to the entire house.

Sleeve

A pipe inserted into a hole before installing a screw or similar fixing device, to allow for the attachment of pipes through walls.

Snake

A long, flexible metal cable used in plumbing to clear obstructions in pipes.

T&P Valve (Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve)

A safety device used on water heaters to relieve pressure and prevent explosion if the water temperature or pressure becomes too high.

Tee

A T-shaped fitting used to split or combine fluid flow, commonly used in pipe systems.

Trap

A device that provides a water seal to prevent sewer gasses from entering the home, typically found below or within a plumbing fixture.

Union

A fitting designed to unite two pipes, which can be easily removed for maintenance.

Vent Stack

A vertical pipe that provides ventilation for the plumbing system, allowing sewer gasses to escape and air to enter to ensure proper drainage flow.

Waste Line

A pipe that carries waste water or sewage from fixtures to the sewer or septic system.

Water Hammer

A loud noise that occurs in pipes after a tap is suddenly closed, caused by a surge of water that bangs against the sides of the pipes.

Water Pressure

The force of water supplied from the water supply system to your plumbing fixtures, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI).

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