Plumbing Speak: Common Terms Explained
Wondering what your plumber is saying when he is talking about the plumbing, sewer or other water related systems in your home? We have simple definitions for a few of the more commonly used home plumbing terms:
ABS is the type of rigid black plastic pipe that is used for vent lines, drain lines and waste lines in your home.
Is the opening in the ceiling or wall near a plumbing fixture where you can access the system for inspection or repair.
A valve in the sewer line that prevents the contents of the sewer pipe from flowing back into the house.
BallcockThe valve in the toilet cistern of gravity toilets that control when and how much the cistern refills.
The network of pipes and other elements that make up the sewage disposal system operated by an urban or semi urban municipality.
A plug in a drainpipe or trap that allows access to drain and clear the line of any obstructions or blockages.
A system of pipes and equipment operated by the city or municipal area that takes sewage away from homes.
A diaphragm is a flexible membrane inside a valve that helps to regulate the flow of liquid and helps to reduce build up.
The decorative metal flange on a faucet that covers the stem and the hole in the sink, tub or wall.
The slope or pitch of a pipe, designed to ensure that the flow of liquid or waste in the pipe is adequate.
The parts of the plumbing system in a home that we use: sinks, tubs, toilets etc.
The fitting that connects the toilet to the sewer pipes.
Gravity Operated Toilet
A type of toilet hat uses gravity to operate the toilet tank and flush the toilet bowl. One of the most common types of toilet.
Wastewater from dishes, laundry, showers etc. Does not include toilet water. Can be captured and used to water gardens etc.
Instantaneous Water Heater
A water heater that uses a heat exchanger coil to instantly heat water as it flows through the device. Common brand name includes Insta Hot.
PRV or Pressure Reducing Valve
Valve that constricts water flow from mains to reduce overall water pressure from a municipal supply line.
Polyvinyl chloride. The most common type of rigid plastic pipe and fittings used in modern plumbing systems.
A large tank, often underground, that stores waste generated by homes that are not connected to a sewer system.
The type of pump installed to ensure that basements are free of flooding and ‘backing up.’
S or P shaped bend in a pipe that helps to prevent sewer odor from coming back into a home.
Pipe that allows air into drains to balance air pressure.
The sound created when water pipes are not properly secured, and then vibrates when water passes through them, knocking on beams etc.
That should cover some of the more common items you will find in your home and your bathroom.