General Plumbing

The ABCs of Common Plumbing Terms

black female plumber in kitchen

If you're not a plumber, the terminology we use might sound pretty funny.

What the heck is a valve seat? What does flow rate mean?

We break down the ABCs of some common plumbing terms here -- read on and get ready to impress your local plumber with your newfound knowledge!

Auger: A flexible rod with a curved end used to pull clogs from toilet traps.

Ball Check Valve: A valve with a ball used to stop liquid flowing in one direction.

Closet Flange: Ring used to connect to closet bend and anchor a toilet.

Dope: Lubricant used for plumbing pipe threads.

Effluent: Liquid waste found in a septic system.

Flow Rate: The amount of water that flows through a plumbing system. It can be measured in gallons per hour (GPH) or gallons per minute (GPM).

Gray Water: Water waste produced from plumbing fixtures that aren’t toilets.

Hose Bibb: An outdoor faucet.

Interceptor: Device in drain systems that separates oil and grease.

Jet: The feature of a toilet designed to send water into the trapway.

KiloPascal (kPa): Unit of pressure in the metric system equaling 1/100th of an atmosphere.

Leach line: Pipes from septic tank to absorption/leach field that carry liquid waste.

Main: All branches connect to this main pipeline in a drain system or supply.

Non-potable: Not suitable for drinking.

O-Ring: Makes valve stems watertight via a round rubber washer.

Pressure Head: The vertical pressure force caused by water at a depth of one foot; pressure in a plumbing system; unit of measure

Quick Closing Valve: A valve or faucet that closes automatically when released manually or that is controlled by mechanical means for quick closing.

Riser: Vertical pipes that bring water to a fixture or higher floor from the branch pipe.

Shutoff Valve: A valve used for repairs to stop water supply, generally under the toilet or sink.

Trap: Part of a plumbing pipe that is curved and made to hold enough water that will seal or block the pipe from odors, pests, and gases.

Ultra Low Flush: A toilet that delivers 1.6 gallons per flush or less.

Valve Seat: The section of a valve that is stationary.

Water Hammer: Hydraulic shock caused when the water supply is cut off suddenly.

Xeriscaping: Landscaping your yard so it needs little or no water to thrive -- “xeros” is Greek for dry.

Y-Strainer: A device that filters out solids and other particles from liquid, gas, or steam by passing them through a mesh metal or wedge wire element.

Zone of Saturation: The layer in the ground where all available space is filled with water.

Are you having a plumbing problem at your house? Give us a call at 1-877-BEN-1776 or contact us online!

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