Plumbing Terms

A

“A” Valve
A manual gas shut-off valve

ABS
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene. Rigid black plastic pipe used for Drain, waste, and vent lines

AC
Alternating current. Electrical supply in which polarity of wire. Reverses at 60 cycles per second.

ADA
Americans with Disabilities Act

AGA
American Gas Association

AIA
American Institute of Architects

ANSI
American National Standards Act

A P I
American Petroleum Institute

ASA
American Supply Association

ASME
American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASRAE
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Engineers.

ASSE
American Society of Sanitation Engineers

ASTM
American Society for Testing Materials

AWWA
American Water Works Association

AWG
American wire gauge. Identifies gauges of electric wire from 46 to 4.0

Absolute pressure
Atmospheric pressure added to gauge pressure.

Absorption Field
A leeching or seeping field engineered to receive septic tank effluent.

Acid
A substance that increases the concentration of hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. Most acids dissolve common metals and will react with a base to form a salt.

Acidity
The level of concentration of acid in water. Acid will neutralize an alkali or base. It is usually expressed in terms of its calcium carbonate equivalent

Acceptance Factor
Bladder tank drawdown expressed in percentage.

Access Panel
Covered opening in a wall or ceiling near a fixture that allows access for servicing a plumbing or electric system.

Acrylic
Thermoplastic used on surface of bathtubs and whirlpools. Usually comes in sheets and backed by fiberglass to form shower walls

Adaptor
A fitting that joins two different types of pipes together, such as ABS to cast-iron, or threaded to non-threaded

Adjusting link
An adjustable strap or bar forming a connection between the lift rod of a faucet and the ball lever assembly of the drain.

Adsorbent
A material, usually solid, capable of holding gases, liquids and/or suspended matter at its surface and in exposed pores. Activated carbon is a common adsorbent used in water treatment.

Adsorption
The process in which matter adheres to the surface of an adsorbent

Aeration
The mixing or turbulent exposure of water to air and oxygen to dissipate volatile contaminants and other pollutants into the air

Aerator
A device screwed into the end of a faucet spout that mixes air into flowing water, and controls flow to reduce splashing. It sometimes contains a baffle to reduce flow to 2.5 gpm.

Aerobic
An action or process conducted in the presence of air, such as aerobic digestion of organic matter by bacteria

Air Admittance Valve
A device that replaces a traditional vent to allow air to enter the pipe and equalize pressure, preserving the seal of water in the fixture trap.

Air Chamber
Vertical, air-filled pipe or spring coil, set above the water line to absorb pressure when water is turned off at the faucet. Pressure absorbing devices to eliminate water hammer.

Air Check
A device that allows water, but not air, to pass through it. An air check is a typical component of a treatment system using a regenerate eductor.

Air Elimination Vent
A device which automatically eliminates trapped air in the “closed-loop” hydronic system

Air Gap
A device mounted at the back of a kitchen sink, connecting to the drain line between a dishwasher and disposer to allow the dishwasher to discharge freely into the disposer while preventing contaminated water from siphoning back into the dishwasher. Can be any unobstructed vertical opening between the lowest opening of a waste line and the flood level of the device into which it empties to relieve pressure and prevent backflow contamination

Air-Gas-Ratio
The ratio of combustion air supply flow rate to the fuel gas supply flow rate.

Air Lock
Blockage in the flow of liquid, esp. on the suction side of a pump caused by an air bubble in the line.

Air Volume Control
Maintains the air charge in a standard water storage tank. Pre-charged tanks do not require an air volume control.

Alarm Check Valve
A check valve located in the riser of a wet pipe fire sprinkler system that sounds an alarm when water begins to pass through it.

Alkali
Water-soluble mineral compound, usually a moderate strength base (as opposed to caustic hydroxide), such as a bicarbonate and carbonate compound when it is present in the water.

Alkalinity
The measurement of constituents in a water supply which determine alkaline conditions. The alkalinity of water is a measure of its capacity to neutralize acids See pH.

Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate
Sulfonate A chemical compound formerly used as detergent. Sometimes called “hard” detergent, because of its resistance to biological degradation, largely replaced with linear alkyl sulfonate (LAS), which is more readily biodegradable.

Aluminum Rail Fittings
Rail fittings made of aluminum. Used to hold pipes used for hand rails.

Ambient heat/pressure
The heat or pressure in the area where the equipment is located.

Ambient Temperature
The average temperature of the atmosphere in the vicinity of an appliance.

Americast
A patented process that uses a porcelain surface, an enameling grade steel material and a structural composite backing bonded together to create a sink or bathtub that is similar to cast iron in durability but weighs considerably less.

Ampere
A unit of measure of current flow.

Anaerobic
Able to live and grow without air or free oxygen, such as some types of bacteria that break down waste in a septic system

Angle Discharge Tube
Discharge tube that changes direction of the flow 90 degrees.

Angle Seat Wrench
Valve seat wrench with a handle that includes a 90 degree bend.

Angle Stop
A shutoff valve between the water pipes and a faucet. Its inlet connects to the water supply pipe in a wall, and its outlet angles up 90 degrees toward the faucet. These are usually used to shut off water to a fixture in case of an emergency repair rather than daily usage.

Anion
A negatively charged ion in solution, such as bicarbonate, chloride, or sulfate. An anion [such as chloride (Cl-)] may result from the dissociation of a salt, acid, or alkali.

Annealing
A softening treatment consisting of heating carbon or alloy steel to an appropriate temperature, holding at the temperature for a proper period of time and slowly cooling to room temperature.

Anode Rod
A sacrificial rod installed in a water heater, composed of one or more metals that protects the tank from corrosion, helping to extend the life of the tank.

Anti-clog suction
Whirlpool water recirculating system mechanism which prevents clogging without restricting water flow.

Anti-Scald Valve
See pressure-balanced valve.

Anti-Siphon
Preventive device for the backflow of liquid into a system. Used on sprinkler systems to prevent water from trickling back into the supply that is feeding it.

A P I Specifications
American Petroleum Institute Specifications

Apron
The apron, or skirting, a decorating portion of a bathtub that covers the rough-in area from the floor to the top rim of the tub. It is sometimes sold separately from the tub.

Aquastat
A thermostat that is submerged in water and is used to control the operation of a specific device.

Aqueous
Containing water. Formed by the action of water.

Aquifer
A layer or zone below the surface of the earth which is capable of yielding a significant volume of water. The upper level of the aquifer is called the water table.

Arrestor Plate
A perforated plate of steel that controls the burning of vapors and prevents flames from backflashing into the room.

Arrow Head
A heavy duty auger cable tip.

Arsenic
A natural element of the earth’s crust, which enters water supplies either through natural deposition or agricultural and industrial pollution. It is said to be carcinogenic and to be harmful to the skin and
circulatory system.

Aspiration
The result of mixing air with discharging water for the purpose of enhancing the hydro-massage effect of the whirlpool.

Atmospheric Combustion
Burning which takes place when gaseous, liquid, or solid fuels react at an elevated temperature with oxygen, thus releasing heat.

Auto Pilot
A gas pilot device which automatically shuts off the gas supply to the appliance burner if the pilot flame is extinguished.

Avonite
A solid surface material resembling granite, used for countertops, can be worked and polished using woodworking tools.

B

B Tank
Acetylene tank holding 40 cu.ft. of gas, used for plumbing soldering, once used to fuel Boats, thus the name.

BC
Brushed Chrome finish used on faucets.

BHP
Brake horse power. The actual amount of horsepower being consumed by a pump as measured on a dynamometer.

BN
Brushed Nickel finish used on faucets.

BTU
British Thermal Unit – A unit of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water 1 degree Fahrenheit

BX Cable
Metallic sheathed cable containing A/C electrical wiring. Typically used when wiring would otherwise be exposed.

Backfire
Flashback of flame through the burner venturi causing the gas to burn at the orifice.

Back Flow
The circumstance of water traveling from one system back into any part of the main distribution system, usually by siphoning.

Back Flow Preventer
A device to prevent backflow, especially into a potable water supply. This is generally required for sprinkler systems, handheld showers, pullout faucet spouts, kitchen sprayers, etc.

Back Pressure
Pressure that resists the flow of fluid in a piping system.

Back Siphonage
The negative pressure that causes backflow.

Backjet
Whirlpool jets located on the fixture wall behind a reclining bather.

Backjet pulse canister
A serviceable water-controlling device responsible for backjet pulsing action.

Back vent
Plumbing fixtures separate vent in a building drainage system

Back Wash
The process of cleaning a filter by reversing the flow of water through it. Dirt is sent to waste.

Backup
Overflow of a plumbing fixture due to drain stoppage

Backwater Valve
Sewer line valve that prevents sewage from flowing back into the house

Baffle
An object placed in an appliance to change the direction of, or retard the flow of air, air-gas mixtures, or flue gases.

Balancing Valve
A water heater valve that controls water flow and balances heat distribution to different locations.

Ball Check Valve
A valve that uses a ball to seal against a seat to stop flow in one direction.

Ball joint
Spherical assembly allowing pivot rotations for showerheads.

Ball Passage
This refers to the size of the ball that can pass through the trapway of a toilet. This also relates to trapway size. In general, the trap size will be 1/8″ larger than the maximum size ball that can pass through it

Ball Valve
A valve that uses a ball to seal against the seat.

Ballcock
The fill valve that controls the flow of water from the water supply line into a gravity-operated toilet tank. It is controlled by a float mechanism that floats in the tank water. When the toilet is flushed, the float drops and opens the ballcock, releasing water into the tank and/or bowl. As the water in the tank is restored, the float rises and shuts off the ballcock when the tank is full.

Balloon Bag
Device that attaches to a garden hose & used to loosen a blockage in a clogged drain

Band Clamp
A flexible band made of a variety of materials that has a cinching device used to secure pipes.

Band Hanger
Type of pipe hanger that supports the pipe on a continuous strap of metal whose ends are joined at the top by a supporting rod. This rod bots through the strap and is adjustable as to height.

Barlow’s Formula
An equation which shows the relationship of internal pressure to allowable stress, nominal thickness and diameter.

Barrier-Free
Relating to handicap access, e.g. a shower enclosure system having minimal or no bottom track and openings that are wheelchair-accessible.

Base
A substance that releases hydroxyl ions when dissolved in water. Bases react with acids to form salt and water.

Basin
A circular vessel with sloping or curved sides that holds water for washing. A bathroom lavatory or sink.

Basin Wrench
A wrench with a long handle with jaws mounted on a swivel that allows the jaws to reach and handle nuts to fasten faucets to a previously installed sink.

Basket Strainer
Basket-shaped strainer with holes and a slot that fits the sink drain to allow water to run out but to catch food or other solids before they can enter the sewage system.

Beam Clamp
A device to attach a pipe hanger to an overhead I-beam. These may be malleable, carbon steel, or galvanized, and may be primed or painted.

Bed Depth
The height of the ion exchange or filter media in the vessel after preparation for service.

Beehive Strainer
A strainer inserted into a urinal to prevent foreign matter from falling into the drain.

Bernoulli’s law
The principle that a stream of liquid or gas exerts less sideways pressure while in motion than while at rest. As a result, fluids seem to be drawn into the stream, but are really pushed in by higher outside pressure.

Bicarbonate Alkalinity
Alkalinity of a water due to the presence of bicarbonate ions.

Bidet
A personal hygiene plumbing fixture similar in appearance to a toilet bowl used for washing genitals and posterior areas of the body. It is mounted on the floor next to a toilet and consists of a washing basin, a hot and cold faucet, and sprayer.

Biochemical Oxygen Demand
Amount of oxygen consumed in the oxidation of organic matter by biological action under standard test conditions; often used as a measure of the strength of sewage and waste water.
Biodegradable Subject to degradation to simpler substances by biological action, such as the bacterial breakdown of detergents, sewage wastes and other organic matter.

Bisque
The rough, unpolished finish found in unglazed areas of vitreous china fixtures, such as inside the tank or the bottom of the bowl.

Black Oiled
Term associated with pipe surface whereby material ordered in this manner is protected with a varnish-type oil on the O.D. for temporary corrosion protection during transit and in short-term storage.

Black Pipe
Lacquer-finish cast iron pipe.

Blackwater
Wastewater from toilets or latrines and sinks used for food preparation or disposal, or for the disposal of chemicals.

Bleed
To drain a pipe of excess air by opening a valve at the end of the pipe

Blind Plug
Plug used on No Hub pipe.

Block sensor mode
For Touchless faucets, a system mode that occurs when the faucet continually senses an object, causing the faucet to stop functioning normally. The faucet will appear to be “OFF”, and will self-actuate every two hours to alert you to its condition.

Blow Torch
A torch used to solder pipes, activated by pressurized fuel and air to generate its flame.

Blowbag
A drain-cleaning device consisting of a rubber bladder with a hose fitting one end and a nozzle on the other. The device attaches to a water hose and is inserted into a clogged drainpipe. As water is introduced, it expands to grip the pipe, and releases pulsating bursts of water through the nozzle, forcing water through the pipe to clear the obstruction.

Blowfish
another name for blowbag

Blowdown
Partial venting or draining, under pressure, of the water side of a boiler to reduce or remove unwanted contaminants. Also the pressure drop after releasing a pressure-relief valve.

Blown-Out Water Closet
A water closet bowl having a non-siphoning trapway at the rear of the bowl, and an integral flushing rim and jet.

Bodyspray
Shower component used in conjunction with a showerhead to deliver flow of water. It is commonly used in multiples to create a custom showering space.

Boiler
A sealed tank where water is turned to steam for heating or power.

Boiler Feed
A check valve controlling inlet water flow to a boiler.

Boiling Point
The temperature at which liquid changes to vapor by the addition of heat.

Bonnet
The top portion of a compression valve assembly, it holds the valve in place as it is tightened against the valve seat at the other end of the assembly.

Bowl
Water-containing receptacle that receives liquid and solid body waste; usually classified as round or elongated

Box
Internal (female) threaded end of pipe.

Box Flange
Flange containing internal (female) threaded pipe fitting

Brackish Water
Water containing bacteria between 1.000 and 15,000 ppm of dissolved solids

Braided Tubing
A flexible pressure tubing of synthetic material encased in braided threads of steel, usually chrome plated or stainless. The braiding protects the tube from damage due to abrasion or crimping. Often used in water supply lines.

Branch
Any part of a drain system other than the main, riser, or stack.

Branch Vent
A vent connecting one or more individual vents with a vent stack

Brass
Slang for faucets and fittings regardless of materials used.

Brine
A strong solution of sodium chloride (salt) used in the regeneration of ion exchange water softeners

Bubbler
Drinking faucet with flow-regulated push-button self-closing valve. Also called a water fountain.

Building Drain
The lowest point in a drainage system where the interior drainage pipes meet and are conveyed it to the sewer.

Built-ins
Shelves or storage units recessed flush with surrounding walls

Burner
A heat producing device where the flame or heat is produced.

Burst Pressure
The internal pressure that will cause piece of tubing to fail

Bushing
A pipe fitting used to join two pipes of different sizes. A bushing is threaded inside and out. Also a cylindrical part used as a lining or guide

Butterfly Valve
A valve made of a square, rectangular, or round disk attached to a shaft inside a body of the same shape. Rotating the shaft 90 degrees opens or closes the valve.

Buttress (Tile Rise)
The raised portion of a shower curb that is on more than one level.

Bypass
Type of shower door that consists of two or more panels running in parallel tracks.

C

CAD
Computer Aided Design

CBD
Certified Bathroom Designer

CC
Copper to copper soldered.

CFM
Cubic feet per minute

CFT
Hundred feet. A selling unit of measure for pipe.

CGR
Certified Graduate Remodeler

CI
Cast Iron

CMPA
Cincinnati Master Plumbers Association

CO
Cleanout

CP
Polished Chrome finish used on faucets

CPE Solvent
Chlorinated polyethylene. A melting agent to form seams in shower pan liners

CPVC
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. Rigid plastic pipe, cream or tan in color, used in water supply systems, where code permits. Withstands high temperatures. Available in straight lengths or in rolls.

CR
Certified Remodeler

CSST
Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing. Also known as TracPipe, GasTite, and WardFlex. It has a yellow polyethylene jacket.

CTS
Copper Tube Size. Refers to outside diameter; Used to size certain fittings and hangers

CW
Continuous Weld. A method of producing a small diameter pipe.

Calcium Carbonate
CACO3 – a white precipitate that forms in water lines, water heaters and boilers in hard water areas; also known as scale.

Calcium Hypochlorite Extract
The matter adsorbed from a stream of water by activated carbon, and then extracted from the activated carbon with chloroform, using a specific standardized procedure; a measure of the organic matter in a water.

Calcium/ Magnesium
Two of the principal elements that, when dissolved, make water hard. Their presence contributes to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds.

Capacity
(1) Pumps: The flow rate in gallons per minute or liters per minute
(2) water softeners/conditioners: Quantity of undesirable matter that can be removed by a water conditioner under standard test conditions. For ion exchange water softeners, this is expressed in grains of hardness removal between regeneration’s and is related to a pound of salt used.
(3) water filters: For filters, capacity may be expressed in the length of time or total gallons delivered between servicing.
(4) water heaters: The size in gallons of water of the storage tank (e.g. 40 gal, 75 gal, etc)

Carbon Dioxide
A gas present in the atmosphere, formed by the decay of organic matter; the gas in carbonated beverages; dissolved in water it forms carbonic acid.

Carbonate Alkalinity
Alkalinity due to the presence of the carbonate ion (CO32).

Carbonate Hardness
Water hardness due to the presence of calcium and magnesium carbonates and bicarbonates in water; the smaller of the total hardness and the total alkalinity.

Carbonizing
In a pump, where a reduction of hydrocarbons results in the formation of carbon residue that will interfere with the movement of a mechanical seal. Often called coking.

Carved glass
An artistic form of sandblasting that creates a multi-dimensional effect through the varying depth of the design pattern.

Casing
A tubular structure intended to be watertight installed in the excavated or drilled hole to maintain the well opening and to prevent ground water from entering the well.

Cast Iron
Heavy metal made of casting on molds to make fixtures such as sinks, tubs and lavatories, covered with a porcelain enamel coating. Casting is made of a series of alloys primarily of iron, carbon, and silicon.

Catch Basin
Large underground container, with a grate on the top, for collection of storm water run-off. It catches or collects dirt and other debris and prevents them from polluting streams and lakes.

Cathode
A negatively charged electrode.

Cation
A positively charged ion in an electrolyte solution, attracted to the cathode by a difference in electrical potential.

Caustic
The tendency of any substance to burn or destroy animal flesh or tissue. The term is usually applied to strong bases.

Caustic Soda
The common name for sodium hydroxide.

Cavitation
The vacuum created when the discharge capacity of the pump exceeds the replacement in the suction line. This causes bubbling and vibrations that can damage the pump if they occur over an extended period.

Celcon nut
Connectors used to hand-tighten faucets to lavatory from underside of lavatory

Centerset
Style of bathroom faucet having combined spout and handles, with handles 4 inches apart, center-to-center. Also a single-handle faucet installed on 4 inches center-to-center faucet holes.

Centrifugal pump
A pump that moves water by centrifugal force developed by rapid rotation of an impeller. As the rotating impeller whirls the water around, centrifugal force builds up pressure forcing the water through the discharge outlet.

Chain Wrench
An adjustable wrench in which a chain is used for gripping. Commonly used on large pipes.

Chamfer
Beveled end, usually done on pipe prior to threading

Check Valve
A type of backflow preventer installed in a pipe run that allows water to flow in only one direction.
China A material made from a clay and water mixture, coated with liquid glaze and fired under extremely high temperature to form a hard, scratch and stain-resistant surface.

Chlorine
A gas, C2, widely used in the disinfection of water and an oxidizing agent for organic matter, iron, etc.

Circuit Vent
Plumbing drainage system vertical vent which is run from the last two traps on a horizontal drain line to the main vent stack of a building drainage system.
Cistern Rainwater storage tank, often underground.

Clamp Straps
Straps used to hold or support pipes.

Cleanout Plug
A plug in a trap or drain pipe that provides access for the purpose of clearing an obstruction.

Clevis
A U-shaped piece of metal with holes in the ends through which a pin is run to attach to pipes.

Clevis Hanger
A type of pipe hanger with a swivel yoke supported at the top by an adjustable vertical rod. This yoke bolts to pin holding a U-strap of metal (clevis) that supports the pipe.

Clevis Insulator
A clevis hanger with an insulating bushing where the vertical rod bolts to the yoke. Most often used with roller hangers and electrical conduit.

Close Coupled
A toilet with a separate tank and bowl, secured to each other, and with a separate tank cover. Also known as a two-piece toilet.

Close Nipple
Short lengths of pipe that are threaded on both ends. The threads that are so close together they almost join in the center.

Closed System
A system where the incoming cold water supply has a device that will not allow water to expand when heated. (i.e. check valve, backflow preventer, pressure reducing valve, etc.)

Closet
Toilet.

Closet Auger
A flexible rod with a curved end used to access the toilet’s built-in trap and remove clogs.

Closet Bend
A curved fitting mounted immediately below the toilet that connects the closet flange to the toilet drain

Closet Flange
An anchoring ring that attaches to the closet bend and secured to the floor. The heads of closet bolts, used to secure the toilet in place, insert into slots in the closet flange.

Closet Tube
A water supply tube used for toilets.

Coagulant
A material, such as alum, which will form a gelatinous precipitate in water, and cause the agglomeration of finely divided particles into larger particles which can then be removed by settling and/or filtration.

Coagulant Aid
A material which is not a coagulant, but which improves the effectiveness of a coagulant, often by forming larger or heavier particles, speeding the reactions, or permitting reduced coagulant dosage.

Coagulation
The process in which very small, finely divided solid particles, often colloidal in nature, are agglomerated (lumped) into larger particles.

Cock
A faucet or valve for regulating the flow of water.

Cockhole Cover
A round cover-plate or disk installed on a sink to cover an unused faucet hole.
Coil Spring Tube Bender A flexible heavy-wire coil, which, when slipped over copper tubing, allows it to be bent without crimping.

Coking
In a pump, where a reduction of hydrocarbons results in the formation of carbon residue that will interfere with the movement of a mechanical seal. Also referred to as Carbonizing.

Cold drawn
Pipe or tubing that’s pulled through a die to reduce diameter and wall Produces closer tolerances and higher strength

Cold Vapor
Method to test water for the presence of mercury.

Coli form Bacteria
Non-pathogenic microorganisms used in testing water to indicate the presence of pathogenic bacteria

Collar
A galvanized sheet metal restricting device used in conjunction with plastic pipe. Its function is to direct and control the intumescent action of the fire stopping material

Colloid
Very finely divided solid particles that remain suspended in a solution; the removal of colloidal particles usually requires coagulation.

Combined Sewer
A sewer system that carries both sanitary waste and storm water runoff.

Combustion Chamber
The location where combustion takes place.

Combustion Gases
Gases released when a gaseous, liquid, or solid fuel reacts at an elevated level that needs to be vented with gas or oil-fired water heaters.

Commercial Heater
Water heaters used for more than a single-family dwelling.
Commercial water use Water for motels, hotels, restaurants, office buildings, other commercial facilities, and institutions

Commode
Toilet.

Common Vent
Building drain system vertical vent which connects two or more fixture branches on the same level.

Compensated Hardness
A calculated value based on the total hardness, the magnesium to calcium ratio, and the sodium concentration of a water. It is used to correct for the reductions in hardness removal capacity caused by these factors in cation exchange water

Composite
Composite sinks made from high-tech, high-strength, color- impregnated that resists shipping and scratching.

Composting Toilet
A self-contained toilet that use the process of aerobic decomposition (composting) to break down feces into humus and odorless gases

Compression Fitting
A kind of tubing or pipe connection where a nut, and then a sleeve or ferrule is placed over a copper or plastic tube and is compressed tightly around the tube as the nut is tightened, forming a positive grip and seal without soldering. Also a flexible connector that has a nut and gasket designed to attach directly to an SAE standard compression thread, without the use of a sleeve or ferrule.

Compression Valve
A type of valve that is often used for water faucets. It is opened or closed by raising or lowering a horizontal disk by a threaded stem.

Concealed Arm Carrier
One of a variety of common mechanisms to securely mount a wall-mount lavatory. Unlike a hanger which only supports the lavatory where it meets the wall, the carrier has long arms onto which the lavatory slides.

Condensation
Water vapor that separates from products of combustion due to a reduction in heating surface temperatures to below the dew point of surrounding air. Water formed when water vapor formed in gas combustion loses heat before it passed out of the venting system.

Conductance
In water conditioning, the readiness of water to carry electricity. The unit of measure for conductance is the mho (reciprocal ohm); it is used to approximate the dissolved solids content of water.

Conductivity
The quality or power to carry electrical current; in water, the conductivity is related to the concentration of ions capable of carrying electrical current.

Conduit Tube
that houses electrical wiring.

Conduit Clamp
A screw-down, U-shaped spring clamp formed out of a band of metal used to hold conduit pipe

Console Lav
A table-like fixture with an integral lavatory. The back is fixed to a wall and the front is supported by brackets or legs.

Console Table
Same as console lav.

Consumptive water use
Total amount of water used by vegetation, man’s activities, and evaporation of surface water
Continuous hinge door A shower door that has a full-length continuous metal hinge on the side of the door.

Conventional Vent
Atmospheric venting that utilizes the natural convective rise of hot flue gases through the system to release the products of combustion.

Corporation Cock
A stopcock screwed into the street water main to provide the house service connection

Corporation Stop
The stop connected to the water main, usually made of brass and can be connected to the main with a special tool without shutting off the municipal supply.

Corrosion
The disintegration of a metal by electrochemical means.

Corrosive Water
A water condition of low pH (acid condition) that can corrode metal pipes, pool fixtures and pumps. (Unbalanced water)

Cowl
A short fitting used to join two pieces of pipe.

Coupling
Vent pipe hood, which protects it from the elements.

Crocus Cloth
Finer than sandpaper grit on a cloth backing

Cross-connection
Any connection or situation that may allow wastewater to enter the supply system.

Crow’s Foot
A PVC tee with twin outlets at right angles off the main.

Crown-vented Trap
An air admittance valve attached to a drainpipe, protected by a check valve, designed to equalize pressure in the drain line and to protect the trap seal.

Crown Weir
The interior projection in the outlet side of a P-trap to aid in maintaining the water seal in the trap.

Cubic Foot of Gas
The amount of gas that will occupy one cubic foot at a temperature of 60 degrees F, and under a pressure equivalent to that of 30 inches of mercury.

Culvert
A pipe-like construction of concrete that passes under a road to allow drainage.

Curb
A raised edge or border of a shower, usually made of tile, marble, or fiberglass.

Curb Cock
Shutoff valve normally used with water meters set between the meter and the building.
Current The movement of electrons through a conductor, measured in amperes

Curtain Drain
A ditch sometimes filled with gravel or drainage tile which diverts storm water away from a structure

Cut Lengths
Pipe cut to a specific length as ordered

Cycle
The number of times per second that a conductor of alternating current reverses polarity. (e.g. 60 cps A.C.)

Cycle Time
The time beginning at the instant a toilet flush lever is actuated until the instant the water supply shuts off, completing the flush cycle.

D

DC
Direct Current. Electrical supply in which the polarity of the two wires does not change.

DI
Abbreviation for “deionization”

DWV
Drainage, waste, and vent systems, which remove wastewater. Not for drinking water.

Dam
The barrier built into a trapway of a toilet that controls the water level in the toilet bowl.

Deck Mount
Describes a faucet that is mounted on the deck of the bathtub enclosure, rather than on the rim of the bathtub or on the wall. Also referred to as a Roman spout faucet. Also known as a sunken tub, the deck-mount tub is usually mounted on a platform and has no apron or decorative side.

Deep Well
A well more than 25 ft. deep

Degree Rise
Difference between the starting water temperature and the ending temperature after heating is complete.

Deionization
Process of reducing water to a non-mineral state by passing it over a bed of resins

Deionized Water
Water free of inorganic materials.

Desanco Fitting
A type of compression adapter that connects tubular brass fittings to PVC pipe

Dew Point
Temperature at which water vapor condenses to a liquid

Dial Plate
Trim piece found behind a single-control wall-mount faucet handle. Also known as a face plate.

Diaphragm
Flexible membrane in a valve that deflects down onto a rigid area of the valve body to regulate water flow from the supply lines. This eliminates the possibility of debris build-up within the valve.

Die
Cutting device used to thread pipe. A set of these attach to die heads, and mounted on a threader

Dielectric
A nonconductor of direct electric current.

Diffuser Device
for reducing the velocity and increasing the static pressure of a fluid passing through a system

Dilution Air
Air that enters a draft hood or draft regulator and mixes with the flue gasses.

Dip Tube
Tube inside the water heater that sends cold water to the bottom of the tank.

Direct Tap
Clamping device that allows a branch line to be drilled and tapped off a main line.

Direct Vent
A system that pulls outside air for combustion and vents combustion gases directly outside without using a chimney.

Directional Jet
Whirlpool air discharge unit with pivot allowing discharge path to be adjusted by the user.

Directional Tee
Tee fitting that allows direct flow in one direction by use of an internal baffle.
Discharge Head Difference in elevation between the liquid level of the discharge tank and the centerline of the pump. Also includes any additional pressure head that may be present at the discharge tank fluid surface.

Discharge Tube Outlet
tube that connects a disposer or sump pump to the drain line.

Disposal Field
A series of trenches conveying the effluent from the septic tank laid in such a manner that the flow will be distributed with reasonable uniformity into natural soil.

Dishwasher Tailpiece
A flanged adapter connecting a basket strainer to the drainpipe with a dishwasher inlet.

Diverter
Valves which direct water to various outlets. They are used in showers, tubs, bidets, and sinks.

Domestic Hot Water
Water heated for residential washing, bathing, etc.

Dope
Pasty lubricant used on seal pipe threads prior to making a threaded pipe connection.

Double Extra Strong
Standard pipe weight designation (XXS). Sometimes described as XXH (double extra heavy).

Double Horizontal Tee
A PVC tee with twin outlets of a smaller diameter than the inlet.

Double Threshold
A shower base used in a corner application where one threshold is used as an entrance and the other has a glass wall.

Double suction pump
A pump where the rotor is suspended between two bearings with the fluid entering on either side of the impeller. Used at higher capacities

Double Wye Fixture
A fitting that has branches coming in at an angle from each side of the main to join the main run.

Down Head Boring Gimlet
A flexible cutting tip for an auger cable

Draft Diverter
A device fitted in the flue way of a gas appliance to prevent updraft, downdraft, or the secondary flue blockage from obstructing the escape of combustion gases.

Draft Inducer
See Flue Exhauster

Drain
Any pipe that carries wastewater or water-borne waste.

Drain Hub
Floor drain used with hubbed soil pipe. The bell (hub) section is countersunk vertically in the floor and is covered by a flush-mounted grill.

Drain Seal Gasket
Gasket used to seal a drain to a sink to prevent leaks.

Drain Valve
Device designed to allow drainage of stored contents from a water heater.

Drainage Tile
Historically, pipe shaped clay tiles installed in below-grade trenches for gravity-rated drainage. PVC pipe is now commonly used for this purpose.

Drawdown
The distance the water level drops below the standing water level while the pump is operating.
Drip Channel A metal channel that is designed to prevent water running down a shower door from dripping onto the floor when the door is opened.

Drip Leg
A stub end pipe placed at a low point in the gas piping to collect condensate and permit its removal.

Drum Trap
An obsolete, non-vented drain lead or cast iron canister trap formerly used in sewer lines.

Dual Element Heater
An electric water heater with an upper and lower element for heating water.

Duostrainer
Sink drain fitting consisting of a strainer body attached to the drain opening and a removable basket. Also called a strainer

Duo Valve
A twin valve (hot & cold) with a single on/off lever used for washing machine boxes

Duplex Basin
An ejector pump container, usually 30″ x 36″ or 36″ x 36″ large enough for two pumps, used in multi-family buildings

Duraflow
A process patented by Ace Duraflow Company to rejuvenate old corroded plumbing by cleaning and lining with an Epoxy coating.

Dynamic Pressure
The pressure when the water is flowing.

E

E. Coli
The common abbreviation of Escherichia Coli. One of the members of the coli form groups of bacteria indicating fecal contamination.

ECO
Energy Cut Off. A safety device designed to shut power off to the water heater and prevent high temperature.

EF
Energy Factor. A measure of the overall efficiency rating of the water heater based on the model’s recovery, efficiency, stand-by loss and energy input.

EMT
Electrical Metal Tubing; a thin wall galvanized steel pipe used to carry electrical or other types of conductors

EPA
Environmental Protection Agency

ERW
Electric Resistance Weld. Most common form of manufacture for pipes 2 3/8″ to 22″ in diameter.

Earthquake Strap
A metal strap used to secure a water heater to the house frame or foundation.

Eccentric shank
A shank or the fitting with a shank in which the centerline is offset to allow minor compensation for supply lines that would be difficult to precisely position.

Eductor
A device utilizing a nozzle and throat, installed in a stream of water to create a partial vacuum to draw air or liquid into the stream; commonly used to draw regeneration chemicals into an ion exchange water treatment system, such a softener or deionizer.

Efficiency
A product’s ability to utilize input energy, expressed as a percentage.
Effluent Septic system liquid waste
Ejector A mechanical device for pumping sewage from below the sewer line.
Elbow A fitting with two openings that changes the direction of the line. Also known as an ell. It comes in various angles from 22 ½ degrees to 90 degrees; often referred to by their angles (i.e. 45, 90)
Electric Resistance Weld Pipe (ERW) Cold finished pipe made by a series of operations in which the flat rolled material is cold shaped into tubular form and welded at the seam. The heat for the weld is generated at the seam by the resistance to the flow of electric current applied through electrical contacts or an induction coil.

Electrodialysys
A process which uses an electrical current and an arrangement of permeable membranes to separate soluble minerals from water. It is often used to desalinate salt or brackish water .

Electrolysis
A process involving chemical change caused by the passage of an electric current through a liquid.

Electrolyte
A nonmetallic substance that carries an electric current, or a substance which, when dissolved in water, separates into ions which can carry an electric current.

Element
Heating unit in an electric water heater

Elevation
The vertical distance between the level where fluid enters a pipe and the level where it leaves. It must be added to the Total Discharge Head if the inlet is lower than the outlet and subtracted if the inlet is higher.

Elongated
The shape of a some toilet bowls, where the bowl is about 2 inches longer than the standard round front bowl, usually 14 inches wide by 18 ½ inches long.

Enamel
An opaque vitreous composition applied by fusion to the surface of metal fixtures such as cast iron and pressed steel tubs, lavs, and sinks. Enameled steel is less durable than enameled cast-iron.

Enclosure
Panels of glass or other material used to form shower or tub stalls.

End Body
A faucet valve body configuration in which both the inlet and outlet are at the end of the valve body.

End Drain
The side of a tub where the drain is found. When facing a tub, if the drain is on the right, this is a Right-Hand tub (RH). If on the left, it is a Left Hand tub (LH). On whirlpools, the pump is located opposite the drain.

Endpoint
(1) The point at which a process is stopped because a predetermined condition is met;
(2) in an ion exchange water softener service run, this is where the hardness of the softener effluent increases to a predefined concentration, often 1.0 grain per gallon;
(3) in a filter service this may be where the pressure drop across the filter reaches a predetermined value.

Energy Guide Label
Label required by the FTC on water heaters that show 1) an estimated annual cost of operation and 2) how that unit’s efficiency compares to all other comparable models.

Escutcheon
A decorative metal flange or trim shield beneath a faucet handle that covers the faucet stem and the hole in the fixture or wall.

Expansion Tank
A tank designed to absorb excess pressure due to thermal expansion. (e.g. closed system)

Expansion Valve
Thermostatically controlled valve that controls liquid refrigerant.

Extinction Pop
A flashback occurring when a burner is turned off

Extra Strong
A standard pipe weight designation (XS). Sometimes called XH (Extra Heavy)

Extrusion
Refers to the result of forcing molten metal or plastic through a die or mold to form a specific shape. Commonly refers to shower door components such as jambs and headers that were created by extrusion.

Eye of the impeller
The center of the impeller, where the fluid enters.

F

F Rating
Ratings of effectiveness of fire stop material, measuring its resistance to flames and water.

FHT
Female Hose Thread. (e.g. end of garden hose)

FIP
Female Iron Pipe connection. Standard internal threads on pipe fittings.

FMA
Abbreviation for free mineral acidity.

FMPX
Female pipe swivel connection

FNPT
This refers to the female pipe thread, in which the threads are on the inner side of the connection fitting

FVI
Flammable Vapor Ignition

Facultative Bacteria
Bacteria that can live under Aerobic or Anaerobic conditions

Fall/Flow
The proper slope or pitch of a pipe for adequate drainage.

Fascia
A decorative apron or front face. A wooden enclosure holding the main pump assembly for whirlpool and master baths.

Faucet Threads
Special thread size for fittings that connect to faucets. A cone seal or gasket is usually included because straight threads will not have a complete seal without a gasket.

Fecal Coli form
The portion of the coli form bacteria group which is present in the intestinal tracts and feces of warm-blooded animals. A common pollutant in water

Fecal Material
Solid waste produced by humans and other animals and discharged from the gastrointestinal tract.

Feed Pump
A pump that supplies water to a boiler.

Feed water
Water introduced into a boiler during operation. It includes make-up and return condensate.

Female Fitting
A fitting that receives a pipe or fitting. A fitting into which another fitting is inserted.

Female Threads
Faucet threads that are in place on the inside of a fitting.

Ferrous Material
containing or derived from iron.

Ferrule Metal
cover piece for the lavatory overflow opening.

Fiberglass
Glass in a fibrous form used in the making of products such as shower stalls.

Filter Element
A device within a filter tank designed to trap suspended solids as water flows through it.

Filtrate
Liquid that has been passed through a filter

Filtration Rate
The rate at which the water is traveling through the filter, measured as GPM (gallons per minute) per sq. ft.
Finish Plumbing Installation of plumbing fixtures to make the system usable.
Finished Water Water that has completed a purification or treatment process
Finishes See BC, BN, CP, PB, SN, WH
Fire Hose Closet Usually a compartment built into an interior wall, covered by a glass door, holding a coiled fire hose connected to a water line, ready for immediate use in case of fire.
Fire Stand Pipe A main water line that feels water sprinkling system or fire hose connections. This is separate from the lines feeding restrooms or other fixtures.
Fire stop Materials that fill the opening around penetrating items such as cables, cable trays, conduits, ducts, and pipes and their means of support through the wall or floor to prevent spread of fire.
First Draw Water that has been sitting in pipes or plumbing fixtures overnight and is first drawn when taps are opened in the morning. For instance, where lead is present in plumbing, this water would have the highest levels of lead contamination.
First Hour Delivery Rating based on the combination of the usable stored volume of hot water in a tank plus the recovery capacity for the first hour of operations.
Fitting Any pipe part used to join together two sections of pipe, such as elbows, couplings, bushings, bends, wyes, etc.
Fixed Cone Valve A cylinder gate mounted with the axis horizontal. Also known as Howell Bunger valve.
Fixture A device that provides a supply of water or its disposal, e.g. sinks, tubs, toilets.
Fixture Unit An arbitrary unit assigned to different types of plumbing fixtures, and used to estimate flow rate requirements and drain capacity requirements.
Flame Stability Flames on a burner tend to stabilize at a point where flow velocity out and burning back are equal. It changes when primary air or gas rate is adjusted.
Flange Extending rim or edge at one end of a pipe shaft that gives support or a finished appearance.
Flapper Flush ball; the moving part of the flush valve that seals the water into the tank or allows water to exit the tank for the flush cycle. The most common replacement part used on conventional toilets.
Flapper Valve The part on the bottom of the toilet tank that opens to allow water to flow from the tank into the bowl.
Flare Fitting A fitting used to connect flex copper pipe, usually gas pipe
Flaring Tool Tool used to create a cone-shaped enlargement at the end of a piece of tubing to accept a flare fitting.
Flex Coupling Rubber coupling used to join DWV Pipe. Can be used to connect PVC to Clay or Cast Iron above or below ground. Also used for repairs, and attach by used of steel band clamps.
Flexible Connector A braided hose that connects a faucet or toilet to the water supply stop valve. Serves as a riser but is much more flexible and easier to install. Usually stainless steel or PVC/Polyester reinforced hose.
Float Ball The floating ball connected to the ballcock inside the tank that rises or falls with changing water levels in the tank, and actuates or shuts off the ballcock as needed.
Floating Flames (Lifting Flames) – An undesirable burner operating condition, usually indicating incomplete combustion in which flames leave the burner port to “reach” for combustion air.
Flocculent A chemical substance that promotes the aggregation or coagulation of suspended particles in the water
Flood Level Rim The top edge of a receptacle from which water overflows.
Floor Drain Drainage fitting that sits flush with the floor, used in basements and showers.
Floor Flange A fitting that connects a toilet to a floor drain.
Floor Sink Receptacle usually made of enameled cast iron located at floor level and connected to a trap to receive the discharge from indirect waste and floor drainage. Cleaner and more sanitary than regular floor drains. Usually used in hospitals & restaurants.
Flow Control Valve Device designed to reduce water flow to a plumbing fixture. Often used to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. Also a check valve that prevents flow reversal when heater is turned off.
Flow Rate Rating in gallons per minute(GPM) or gallons per hour.(GPH)
Flue A passageway for combustion by-products.
Flue Baffle A device to deflect, check, or regulate flow through a pipe.
Flue Damper A device to minimize heat loss through a venting system
Flue Exhauster A fan installed in the vent pipe which will provide a positive induced draft. Sometimes called a draft inducer.
Flume Spout An open spout design that is also referred to as a waterfall spout.
Flush Ball Flapper
Flush Bushing For whirlpools, a variable valve regulating the amount of water delivered to the jets. For faucets, a valve connector device controlling water flow rate.
Flush Joint A Connection with both male and female threads cut into the pipe
Flush-mount Lavatory Sink that sits flush and even with the countertop and is supported by a metal ring.
Flush Valve Flapper Valve
Flushing Surface The interior surface of the bowl and all other surfaces which may come into contact with water during flushing.
Flushometer Toilet valve that automatically shuts off after it meters a certain amount of water flow.
Flushometer Tank System Toilet flushing system that uses supply water pressure to compress water to provide a pressurized flush as opposed to a gravity flush.
Flushometer Valve The valve located at the bottom of a gravity-operated toilet flush tank, which opens when the trip lever is actuated, and closes when the tank has drained to the desired level. Usually also contains an overflow tube.
Flux Paste applied to copper pipes and fittings before soldering to help the fusion process and prevent oxidation.
Foam Insulation Insulation surrounding the surface of a water heater tank.
Foot Valve A special type of check valve located at the bottom end of the suction pipe on a pump; it opens when the pump operates to allow water to enter the suction pipe but closes when the pump shuts off to prevent water from flowing out.
Footprint The area of floor space taken up by a water heater or other appliance.
Framed A bath enclosure system that mounts all glass or plastic panels in a metal frame.
Frameless A bath enclosure system that minimizes the amount of metal used to hold the system panels and door in place.
Free-standing Term used to describe a bathtub that is free of walls on all sides.
Free Available Chlorine The concentration of residual chlorine present as dissolved gas, hypochlorous acid or hypochlorite, not combined with ammonia or in other less readily available form.
Freeboard The vertical distance between a bed of filter media or ion exchange material and the overflow or collector for backwash water; the height above the bed of granular media available for bed expansion during backwashing; may be expressed either as a linear distance or a percentage of bed depth.
French Drain A covered ditch containing a layer of fitted or loose stone or other pervious material
Friction head difference The difference in head required to move a mass of fluid from one position to another at a certain flow rate within a piping system. It is also the specific energy required to overcome friction in the system.
Friction Loss The loss of pressure caused by the turbulence created in water while traveling through the pipe.
Frost Line The depth to which frost penetrates the earth
Full Finished Refers to tubular products in which the weld has been processed to produce uniform strength and dimensions, and subsequently annealed to obtain proper corrosion resistance
Full Hydraulic Capacity The designed capacity of a pipe or conduit
G
Ga. Abbreviation for gauge, the wall thickness of tubing
GAMA Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association
GFCI Ground fault circuit interrupter. A device to cut off the flow of electricity if a short circuit is detected.
GPF Gallons per flush used in toilets. Current law requires maximum of 1.6 gpf. Older styles were usually 3.5 gpf.
GPG Grains per Gallon. A measurement of the amount of dissolved material in water. One grain per gallon equals 17.1 ppm
GPH Gallons per hour. A measure of flow rates.
GPM Gallons per minute. The rate of flow by which faucets and showerheads are measured and regulated.
.gr Grain – A unit of weight equal to 1/7000th of a pound, or 0.0648 gram.
Galvanic Action The phenomenon of corrosion of an anode (positive terminal – like on a battery). When two dissimilar metals are immersed in an electrolyte, an electrical potential will exist between them. If the two are in an electrical contact, a current will flow. The metal that becomes the anode (negative) of this cell will corrode and dissolve while the cathode (positive) will be protected from corrosion.
Galvanic series A list of metals with those on the top of the list being attacked by those lower down in the list. The father apart on the list, the faster the attack.
Galvanizing The process of applying a coating of zinc to the finished product to provide corrosion protection. The coating can be applied by hot dipping or electrolytic deposition.
Galvanometer Laboratory instrument that detects and measures small electric current.
Gas Cock Plug valve installed the main gas line and an appliance.
Gas Control Device used to regulate gas pressure on a water heater.
Gasket
Flat device usually made of fiber or rubber used to provide a watertight seal between metal joints.
Gate A device that controls the flow in a conduit, pipe, or tunnel.
Gate Diverter The pop-up lever on a tub faucet that activates the diverter valve
Gauge (gage) Device for registering water level, discharge, velocity, pressure, etc. A number that defines the thickness of the sheet used to make steel pipe. The larger the number, the thinner the pipe wall
Gel/Grease Cap Waterproof wire connector
Gland In a pump, the part that holds one half of the mechanical seal and attaches to the stuffing box.
Glaze Glossy water-resistant, colored finish on vitreous china fixtures
Globe Valve A gate valve with a curved chamber
Grab Bar Safety bar installed in a bathtub or shower for use when bathing.
Grain (gr.) A unit of weight equal to 1/7000th of a pound, or 0.0648 gram.
Gravity Operated Toilet A toilet that relies on the natural downward pressure of water in a toilet tank to flush the toilet effectively.
Grain Per Gallon (gpg) A common basis for reporting water analyses in the United States and Canada; one grain per U.S. gallon equals 17.12 milligrams per liter (mg/1) or parts per million (ppm). One grain per British (Imperial) gallon equals 14.3 milligrams per liter or parts per million.
Gray Water Waste water from sinks, showers, and bathtubs, but not toilets.
Grease Trap A device that captures grease entering a system before it reaches the sewer lines. Usually used in commercial applications such as restaurants or cafeterias.
Greensand A natural mineral, primarily composed of complex silicates, which possesses ion exchange properties.
Grip Fitting A compression-type fitting used on PB pipe
Grooved Fitting A gasketed mechanical pipe fitting made of ductile iron that is clamped onto a groove in a pipe rather than screwed onto threads. It is mostly used in commercial applications on pipes larger than 1 1/2″ in diameter.
Ground Joint A joint which consists of pressing two smooth mating surfaces together without a gasket or supplemental sealant
Ground Joint Union Pipe union that has a brass grounding section between the two halves.
Ground Water Naturally occurring water rising from the water table of the surrounding land.
Grounding Connecting a piece of electrical equipment to a “ground wire” which is connected to the electrical system ground at the circuit breaker box. This helps to ensure that the circuit breaker will trip and cut off power in the event of a short circuit or damage to insulation.
Guide Arm Valve which controls water flow into the toilet tank.
H
HBA Home Builders Association
HC Handicapped
HD Head
HP Horsepower
HT Hose threads. Note: Garden hose threads are different from standard pipe threads.
HVAC Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
Handles Faucet handles typically come in 3 styles: knob, lever, and cross. Some manufacturers allow a customer to mix and match components to create a custom handle consisting of handle bases and handle inserts.
Hand shower A showerhead designed with a handle that’s connected to a water supply and a flexible hose.
Hanger A device used to support pipes.
Hard Water Natural water containing impurities in various proportions. Traditional hardness is a measure of calcium or dissolved solids in a solution, measured in parts per million. Hard water generally ranges from 100 to 250 ppm.
Hardness The amount of dissolved minerals in water measured in grains per gallon (GPG). The most common minerals are calcium and magnesium
Hardness Leakage The presence of a consistent concentration of hardness in the effluent from an ion exchange water softener, often due to high concentrations of hardness or sodium in the water being treated (see Leakage).
Head (1) The pressure of water (or steam) in a closed system (see Pressure Head). It represents the differential in the gravitational force exerted by a liquid at two different depths.
(2) Nautical slang term for toilet
Head Loss The pressure of water as measured at a stated point, either in feet or in pounds per square inch (PSI).
Heat Exchanger A heat transfer system.
Heat Sensors Heat-triggered devices on sprinkler systems that release the flow of water.
Heat Trap Restriction of heat loss through water connections to a tank.
Hermetic Completely sealed, especially against the escape or entry of air.
Hertz A measure of frequency; one Hertz equals one cycle per second.
Hex Key Allen Wrench
Hold Down A type of pipe anchor consisting of a U-strap bolted at either end onto a horizontal plate.
Hole Saw A small, cylindrical attachment for a power drill consisting of a circular saw blade for cutting holes.
Hollow-jet Valve A valve having a closing member that moves upstream to shut off the flow. The hollow-jet valve discharges a hollow or annular jet dispersed over a wide area.
Horizontal Branch Lateral drain pipes that run from plumbing fixtures to the waste stack in a building or in the soil.
Horizontal Run The horizontal distance between the point where fluid enters a pipe and the point at which it leaves.
Hose Bibb An outdoor faucet, also used to supply washing machines.
House Trap U-shaped fitting with two adjacent cleanout plugs visible at floor level if main drain runs under floor.
Hub & Spigot Piping Gravity rated DWV or pressure pipe that has a bell-shaped section at one end and a straight section at the other. As lengths are assembled, the straight end of one fits into the bell of the next.
Hubless Same as no-hub. Cast iron drainage pipe with neoprene gaskets and clamps
Hydration The chemical combination of water into a substance.
Hydraulic Pressure Pressure that exists in a system containing non-compressible liquid.
Hydrolysis The reaction of a salt with water to form an acid and a base.
Hydronic System of forced hot water.
Hydro jet Cold inlet tube designed to reduce sediment build-up and increase efficiency in a water heater.
Hydrostatic Pressure Pressure exerted by or existing within a liquid at rest with respect to adjacent bodies
Hydrostatic Test Test using non-compressible liquid under pressure at a level equal to or greater than the maximum pressure that will be utilized when in use, such as in steam boilers.
Hydrous Containing water, water of crystallization or hydration, as certain minerals or chemical compounds.
Hydroxyl The chemical group or ion (OH) which is neutral or positively charged.
Hygroscopic Attracting or absorbing moisture from the air; changed or altered by this absorption.
Hypochlorite The OCL anion; calcium and sodium hypochlorite are commonly used as bleaches and disinfecting agents.
I
ID Inside diameter. All pipes are sized according to their inside diameter.
IPS Iron Pipe Size (OD). Same as NPS. Standard pipe threads. Also Internal Pipe Swivel connection (female)
ISO International\ Organization for Standardization based in Geneva Switzerland. Among the many standards it issues are pump and seal standards for the metric community
ISO 9000 A series of five standards for developing a total quality management system. Developed by the International\ Organization for Standardization.
Immersion A term referring to something submerged in water.
Impeller Rotating wheel with vanes found inside a centrifugal pump. As it spins at high speed it draws fluids in and thrusts them under pressure to the discharge outlet.
Incomplete Combustion A product of inadequate ventilation which restricts the flow of air into an appliance. This may lower oxygen content in the surrounding air.
Incoming Inlet Temp. Temperature of water entering the tank.
Indirect Wastes waste pipe used to convey gray water by discharging it into a plumbing fixture such as a floor drain.
Induction motor The most common type used in industry. Has a slippage of 2 to 5 percent compared to synchronous motors.
Influent The stream entering a unit, stream or process, such as the hard water entering an ion exchange water softener.
Injection The drawing of primary air into a gas burner by means of a flow of fuel gas.
Inlet An entrance, opening, or aperture for the intake of fluid or gas.
In-line Pump Small pump which pumps fluid through a line on which it is supported and mounted.
Input The amount of fuel used by a water heater in a given period of time, usually 1 hr.
Input Rate The quantity of heat or fuel supplied to an appliance, expressed in volume of heat units per volume of time (BTUs/hour).
Input Rating The gas burning capacity of an appliance in BTU’s per hour as specified by the manufacturer.
Insanitary So unclean as to be a likely cause of disease; Contrary to sanitary principles injurious to health.
Inserts Faucet handles
Insert Fittings Fittings equipped with external, annular rings fir gripping, which are inserted into flexible rubber or plastic tubing as a connection.
Ion An atom or group of atoms which function as a unit, and have a positive (cation) or negative (anion) electrical charge, due to the gain or loss of one or more electrons.
Ion Exchange A reversible process in which ions are released from an insoluble permanent material in exchange for other ions in a surrounding solution; the direction of the exchange depends upon the affinities of the ion exchanger for the ions present, and the concentrations of the ions in the solution.
Ionization The process in which atoms gain or lose electrons; sometimes used as synonymous with dissociation, the separation of molecules into charged ions in solution.
Island Vent An air admittance valve
Isolation Mount The four small rubber feet located beneath a whirlpool’s pump base, or attached to the pulse canister assemblies, designed to reduce noise and vibration when the whirlpool is running.
Instantaneous Water Heater A type of water heater that heats water as it flows through a heat exchanger coil.
Insular Kohler’s registered trade name for factory-installed insulation, which minimizes condensation on the outside of the tank when exposed to high humidity.
Insuliner® Kohler’s Registered trade name for factory-installed tank insulation, which minimizes condensation on the outside of the tank (also known as tank sweating) when exposed to high humidity
Integral Stops Stops that allow the owner to shut off water supply at the faucet for maintenance without shutting off the water supply to the entire house.
Integral Vacuum Breaker A device typically used in a sink or shower sprayer to keep water from backflowing into the fresh water supply.
Interceptor Device for separating grease and oil from drainage system. See grease trap.
Isothermal Action that takes place with no change in temperature.
J
JTU see: Jackson Turbidity Unit
J Bend The trap section, with a 180-degree bend, or a multi-piece P-trap. Also called a return bend.
J Hook A pipe hanger in the shape of a J
Jacket Usually refers to the heating/ cooling jacket surrounding the stuffing box on some pumps; The outer casing (shell) of a water heater.
Jackson Turbidity Unit (JTU) A quantitative unit of turbidity originally based on the comparison of a liquid (such as water) with a suspension of a specify type of silica, using the turbidity measure in a Jackson Candle Turbidimeter.
Jet An orifice or other feature of a toilet that is designed to direct water into the trapway quickly to start the siphon action.
Jetport Hydrojet dip tube, which creates turbulence in the tank.
Johnni-bolts Closet bolts, used to mount toilet bowls to the closet flange
Joint One length of pipe
Joint Runner Collar like device that keeps molten lead in place while sealing a joint in cast iron pipe.
Junction Box Utility area where incoming current is connected in an electrical appliance.
K
kPa A metric unit for pressure. 100 kPa = one atmosphere.
KW Kilowatt. A measure of the rate of supply of energy or power, equal to 1000 watts or 3412 BTU per hour.
Kafer Fitting Cast iron drainage pipe fitting with threaded-on hub used to attach to existing cast iron lines
Kilowatt One thousand watts.
Knockout Plug PVC test plug
Kollar Kap Styrofoam forms used to protect floor drains while concrete is being poured around them.
L
“L” Tubing An industry standard for copper tubing defined by the tube wall thickness and identified by a “blue” strip. Type “L” copper tube wall is approximately 50% greater thickness than Type “M”
LDO Lint, Dust, and Oil
LH Left Hand
LP Liquid propane. A fuel for gas water heaters.
Laminar Flow Streamline flow in a fluid near a solid boundary
Laminated glass Glass that has been made by uniting layers of glass in order to strengthen the glass.
Langelier’s Index A calculated number used to predict whether or not a water will precipitate, be in equilibrium with, or dissolve calcium carbonate. It is sometimes erroneously assumed that any water that tends to dissolve calcium carbonate is automatically corrosive.
Lateral Sewage Line A sewage line that connects one sewage pipe with another.
Laundry Tray Laundry Tub
Laundry Tub Very deep sink used in a laundry room for soaking or washing clothing.
Lav Lavatory
Lav Tube Water supply tube for lavatory
Lavatory A fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainage for washing. Bathroom sink
Leach Field Porous soil area, through which septic tank leach lines run, emptying the treated waste
Leach Lines Pipes that carry effluent from the septic system out to the leach field.
Lean Mixture An air-gas mixture that contains more air than needed for complete combustion of the gas.
Leader Pipe carrying rainwater to the ground or sewer.
Lien A legal right to hold another’s property, or to have it sold, or applied for payment of a claim, especially to satisfy a debt.
Lien Release A written document from the contractor to the owner that releases the Lien, Mechanic’s or Material following its satisfaction. (see Mechanic’s lien)
Lien Waiver A written document from a contractor or material supplier having lien rights against an owner’s property that relinquishes all or part of those rights.
Lifting Flame See Floating Flame
Length A unit of linear measure for pipes, such as 10 or 20 ft.
Life Cycle Labs A place where water heaters are tested at an accelerated rate to simulate life expectancies.
Light Duty Small commercial applications
Lime See sediment.
Limit stop Faucet control unit used to adjust maximum water temperature
Lock Nut Nut fitted into a piece of pipe and screwed onto another pipe to join the two pieces
Low Consumption Toilet A class of toilet designed to flush using 1.6 gallons of water or less. Also known as “Water-saving” toilets.
M
“M” Tubing An industry standard for copper tubing defined by the tube wall thickness, identified by a “red” stripe
MC Tank Acetylene tank holding 10 cu.ft. of gas, used for plumbing, once used to fuel motorcycles.
MCL Maximum Contaminant Level The maximum level of a contaminant allowed in water by federal law. Based on health effects and currently available treatment methods
MHT Male Hose Threads (threads on outside of connection)
MIP Male Iron Pipe Connection. Standard external threads on pipe and fittings.
MNPT This refers to the male pipe thread, in which the threads are on the outer side on the connection fitting
MPN see: Most Probable Number
MPX Male Pipe Swivel Connection.
Macerator A device installed in a drain line between a toilet and the soil stack to reduce solids to liquid form.
Magnesium One of the elements in the earth’s crust, the compounds of which when dissolved in water make the water hard. The presence of magnesium in water is a factor contributing to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds.
Main The primary artery of supply of the water supply or drain system in which all the branches connect. In the case of drains, known as the Main Vent.
Male Fitting Fitting that is inserted into another fitting
Male Threads Threads on the outside of pipes and fittings
Malleable Fittings Fittings made of cast iron. Metal which is soft and pliable.
Manganese An element sometimes found dissolved in ground water, usually with dissolved iron but in lower concentration; causes black stains and other problems similar to iron. It can be removed by a water softener or it can be precipitated by chlorine at a pH of 9.5 or above.
Manganese Greensand Greensand which has been processed to incorporate in its pores and on its surface the higher oxides of manganese. The product has a mild oxidizing power, and is often used in the oxidation and precipitation of iron, manganese and/or hydrogen sulfide, and in their removal from water.
Manhole Access opening to a hole, usually with a cover, through which a person may enter a sewer, boiler, drain, etc. (usually round to prevent the cover from falling into the opening).
Manifold A fitting that connects a number of branches to the main; serves as a distribution point.
Manifold Pressure The gas pressure in an appliance manifold upstream of the burner orifices.
Manifolded Installation Paralleling of water heaters for large hot water demand applications.
Mapp Gas A colorless, flammable gas made by combining liquified petroleum gas with Methylacetylene-Propadiene. It is a stable, non-toxic fuel used in brazing and soldering.
Mechanic’s Lien A lien obtained by an unpaid subcontractor or supplier through the courts. When enforced, real property – such as your home – can be sold to pay the subcontractor or supplier
Mechanical Controls Dials, slides, switches, knobs, buttons, and so forth used to operate ranges, ovens and cook tops.
Mechanicals The wiring, plumbing and heating and cooling systems in a building; also the components with moving parts such as furnaces, plumbing fixtures, etc.
Metal fatigue A breakage of the metal caused by the bending and flexing or the expansion and contraction of a metal part beyond its endurance limit.
Meter Tailpiece An adapter connecting a water meter to the water supply line.
Meter Tile The cylindrically shaped casing that forms the pit to hold a water meter. It’s usually made of plastic.
Micron A unit of measure, one thousandth of a meter. Used to describe the pore size of filters
Millivolt One thousandth of a volt.
Mini-widespread A special style of bathroom lav faucet having separate spout and handles, but small enough to fit 4 inch center-to-center faucet holes.
Minimum run time The minimum length of time that the pump should run while refilling the pressure tank
Mission Coupling A neoprene flex coupling, connecting PVC to PVC or clay to PVC
Mixer The portion of a burner where air and gas are mixed before delivery to the burner ports.
Mixing valve Mixes hot and cold water to achieve a specified delivery temperature.
Moenstone A blend of ceramic-like quartz (70%) and acrylic polymer (30%) that is impervious to chips or water spots.
Monitor Cover The cast iron lid that fits over a flange casting which is mounted on meter tile in a water meter pit. It consists of an outer lid, an inner lid, and the flange casting in one or two pieces.
Monobloc Faucet A single-handle faucet, usually a lever.
Most Probable Number (MPN) The term used to indicate the number of organisms which, according to statistical theory, would be most likely to produce the results observed in certain bacteriological tests; usually expressed as a number in 100 ml of water
Multiport Valve Rotary type backwash valve. Can replace up to 6 regular gate valves. Serves various functions.
Multi-stage pump A pump that has more than one impeller.
Municipal Water Water supplied by a city for public use; tap water. Usually held in a reservoir
N
NEMA National Electrical Manufacturers Association
NH No Hub
NKBA National Kitchen and Bath Association
NOM Nominal. Usually refers to the Inside diameter of trade sizes of copper pipe and some CPVC pipes. Not for Iron Pipe connections. For example, a ½” NOM Comp. Fitting is actually 5/8″ because ½” pipe has an OD of 5/8″.
NPS National Pipe Straight threads standard, Same as IPS
NPS (Discharge) Nonpoint Source pollution: nutrients,. sediments, toxic substances, and pathogens that degrade waterways. NPS occurs mainly through storm water runoff.
N P S H A Net positive suction head available to prevent cavitation of the pump. It is defined as:
Atmospheric pressure + gage pressure + static pressure – vapor pressure – friction loss in the suction piping.
N P S H R Net positive suction head required to stop a pump from cavitating. This number is provided by the pump manufacturer.
NPT National Pipe Tapered thread standard. The same as IPS
NSF National Sanitation Foundation
Natural Gas A colorless, odorless fuel derived from the earth, consisting primarily of Methane (CH4). Odors are added to aid in leak detection.
Neo Angle Base A shower base designed to allow the shower to fit into a corner using minimal floor space while maintaining an elegant look
Negative pressure Less than atmospheric pressure.
Net Usable BTU That portion of a fuel’s heat energy actually transferred into the water by a heater.
Nipple A short length of pipe installed between couplings or other fittings
Nipple Extractor A tool used to unscrew sections of pipe
No-hub Connector A connector for no-hub iron pipe consisting of a rubber sleeve and a stainless steel band secured by hose clamps. A variation, a neoprene sleeve with two adjustable steel bands, is used for connecting dissimilar materials, as when connecting new plastic pipe to an existing cast-iron drainpipe
Non-CFC Foam insulation that minimizes the use of Chlorofluorocarbons
Non-ferrous Not containing iron
Non-potable Not suitable for drinking
O
O-Ring Round rubber washer used to create a watertight seal, chiefly around valve stems
OD Outside diameter
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer
OHM A unit of electrical resistance
Oakum Loosely woven hemp rope that has been treated with oil or other waterproofing agent; it is used to caulk joints in a bell and spigot pipe and fittings.
Obscure glass A glass that lets light through but is not totally transparent.
Oil Powered A water heater that uses oil as its fuel source
One-piece Toilet A toilet in which the tank and bowl are manufactured as a single vitreous china fixture. One-piece toilets usually have a lower profile than two-piece toilets.
Operating Cost The cost of running a water heater for a given time period
Orbital Weld A circumferential, full fusion weld used to join together two lengths of tubing. It is a GTAW welding process. Usually to join coiled lengths
Organic Matter plant and animal residues, or substances made by living organisms
Orifice An opening through which gas is discharged and whereby the flow of gas is limited and/or controlled.
Outlet/Discharge The opening through which the water exits the pump
Outlet Sewer Pipe section in a septic system which runs between the septic tank and the drainage field
Outside Diameter The diameter of a pipe measured from the outside edge
Overflow hood On a bath drain, the decorative hood concealing the overflow
Overflow Tube The vertical tube inside a toilet tank that directs water into the bowl in case the ballcock malfunctions. It is usually part of the flush valve. It prevents potential water damage caused by a tank overflow. A “constant-running” condition alerts the user to a problem. On most toilets, the overflow tube also has a refill tube flowing into it, which directs water from the ballcock through the overflow tube to the bowl, after a siphon break.
Ozone An unstable form of oxygen (O3 ), which can be generated by an electrical discharge through air or regular oxygen. It is a strong oxidizing agent and has been used in water conditioning as a disinfectant.
P
P Trap See trap
P & T Relief Valve Pressure and Temperature Relief Valve – Same as T & P
PB Polybutylene. A flexible plastic tubing used in water supply systems where allowed by code. Also, polished brass finish on faucets.
PDI Plumbing and Drainage Institute
PE Polyethylene plastic material. Also Plain End pipe.
PEX Cross-linked polyethylene. PEX tubing is commonly used for hydronic radiant floor heat, but increasingly also used for water supply lines. Stronger than PE.
PH Potential Hydrogen. The hydrogen ion concentration of water to denote acidity or alkalinity, measured on a scale of 0 to 14. Below 7 denotes acidity; above 7 denotes alkalinity.
PHCC Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association
P O Plug Lavatory drain with separate removable plug
POS Porcelain on steel. A finish commonly used on sinks and tubs.
PP Polypropylene pipe
PPM Parts per million. A unit of measure for impurities in water.
PR Pressure regulator. Usually required if water pressure ever exceeds 80 PSI on potable water supplies inside a structure.
PSI Pounds per square inch
PSIG Pounds per square inch gauge
PVC Polyvinyl chloride. A rigid white or cream-colored plastic pipe used in non-pressure systems, such as drainage, waste, and vent systems.
PVD Physical Vapor Deposition, a modern plating process used mostly with polished brass or gold finishes on faucets. Vaporized zirconium reacts with nitrogen and other gases to form a very durable surface, which will not tarnish or discolor.
Packing Fibrous material that is used on faucets to prevent leaks.
Packing Nut Nut that holds the stem of a faucet in position & holds the packing material.
Parallel System Two or more identical size heaters piped with water connections, that is, cold water travels equal distance into the inlets of the heaters from a “T” connection and hot water travels equal distance from the outlet of the heaters to a “T” connection.
Peak Hour Demand Time when the largest demand for hot water is needed.
Peak Load Period The period of the day in which the system has the greatest demand.
Penal Valve A commercial flush valve, so-named because of its use in penal institutions
Perfect Vacuum Theoretically, space without matter in it. A perfect vacuum has never been obtained.
Perforated pipe Pipe designed to discharge water through small, multiple, closely spaced orifices or nozzles, placed in a segment of its circumference for irrigation purposes
Petcock A small faucet for draining liquids or relieving air pressure
Phase For ease of production and distribution, A.C. is distributed in what is known as a 3 phase supply using three active wires and one neutral wire.
Phenol A poisonous and carcinogenic chemical often found in municipal water supplies. Also known as carbolic acid, phenol is a benzene derivative
Pickling Pipe immersed into acid bath for removal of scale, oil, dirt, etc
Piezo Switch The electronic switch the bather uses to control the whirlpool and optional heater. This switch, based upon the piezo-electric effect, generates a voltage when pressure is applied to it.
Pilot A small burner used to ignite the main burner
Pin External (male) threaded end.
Pipe Dope Slang for pipe-joint compound. Substance applied to threaded fittings to create a watertight seal.
Pitch Downward slope of a drain pipe in the direction of the water flow.
Plug Male threaded fitting which seals the end run of a pipe when fitted into a female threaded fitting.
Pivot Door A shower door that rotates on two metal pivots at the top and bottom of the door.
Plumb Precisely vertical. Also to test for, or to make vertical. Also to perform plumbing work.
Plumber’s Helper A plunger
Plumber’s Putty Pliable, popular putty used to seal joints between drain pieces and fixture surfaces.
Plumbing Tree Prefabricated set of drain waste, vent, and supply lines
Plunger A rubber suction cup approx 6″ in diameter attached to a wooden dowel handle used to free drain clogs
Pneumatic Pertains to devices using compressed air.
Point of Use Small water heater used for remote locations
Pop-up Assembly The drain mechanism of a faucet installed on a lavatory. The drain stopper “pops” up and down,
Pop-up Drain Type of drain assembly for lavatory and bath. When a lavatory lift rod or bath overflow plate lever is lifted, the pop-up drain closes so the lavatory or tub retains water
Poppet Valve that rises perpendicularly to or from its seat
Porcelain White ceramic ware that consists of quartz, kaolin, and feldspar. It is fired at high temperature on steel or cast iron to make the surface of some bathtubs, kitchen sinks, and bathroom lavatories.
Porcelain Enamel Vitreous enamel. Often refers to pressed steel products with a porcelain glaze.
Porosity A measure of the volume of internal pores, or voids, in ion exchangers and filter media; sometimes expressed as a ratio to the total volume of the medium.
Port An opening in a burner head through which gas or an air-gas mixture is discharged for ignition.
Positive displacement pump Called a PD pump. Gear, sliding vane, progressive cavity, lobe etc. the capacity determined by the pump speed. The maximum head is determined by the horsepower available and the casing strength.
Potable Water suitable for drinking.
Potentiometer An adjustable resistor used to vary the sensing distance of the touchless faucet.
Powdercoat A technique for applying paint to aluminum shower door frames. The aluminum is covered with a powder of dry paint particles and is baked in an oven. This causes the powder to melt and harden into a tough, colorful finish.
Power Venting Mechanical draft exhaust to outside, usually utilizing room air to support combustion.
Pre-Charged Tank A water storage tank pre-charged with air at factory featuring a vinyl bag to separate water from air which prevents water logging. This tank design provides greater drawdown than standard tanks. Pre-charged tanks do not require air volume control.
Preheated Water Water that has been tempered (heated) for inlet supply.
Pressure Balance Valve Shower mixing valve that automatically maintains balance between incoming hot and cold water supplies by immediately regulating fluctuations in pressure. As a result, temperature remains constant, though the outlet pressure may drop. Also known as an anti-scald valve.
Pressure Head Pressure in a plumbing system. The unit of measure which is the vertical force exerted by water at a depth of one foot.
Pressure Loss The term given for the loss of pressure that occurs whenever water moves through a pipe or when water moves uphill against the force of gravity. If the total pressure loss in a piping system exceeds the available static water pressure the water will not flow.
Pressure Reducing Valve A valve that automatically reduces inlet water pressure to a specified value at its outlet under static cold water conditions.
Pressure Regulator A device for controlling and maintaining a uniform outlet gas pressure.
Pressure Tank Device used to pump water from a well
Pressure Tubing Tubing used to conduct fluids under pressure or at elevated temperatures or both, and produced to stricter tolerances than pipe.
Primary Air Air which is mixed with gas before the gas leaves a burner port to burn. Ideal burning condition generally is 10 cubic feet of air per one cubic foot of gas.
Primary Air Inlet The opening(s) through which primary air is admitted into a burner.
Priming Jet Opening in bowl through which tank-supplied water flows, designed to propel waste up into the trapway.
Pull-out Spray Single-control kitchen faucet which offers a retractable hose and spray head to be used for food preparation and cleaning
Public Sewer A common sewer directly controlled by public authority.
Pumping Level The lowest water level reached during pumping operation.
Purged Line A plumbing line in which the faucet has been opened and allowed to run for a specified length of time, usually1-5 minutes
Q
R
R & D Reamed and Drifted. Pipe commonly used in water wells having a special, heavy-duty coupling and a guaranteed I.D. clearance
RF Recovery Factor – Rating based on the efficiency of the product which is input required to raise 1 gallon of water 1 degree Fahrenheit
RH Right Hand
Rail Fittings Fittings with setscrews rather than threads, which hold pipes used for hand railings. Available in various sizes and configurations to suit a number of applications. Not used for plumbing or conduit.
Rated Storage Volume Quantity of water stored in a tank.
Raw Water Water supplied to the plant before any treatment.
Reamer A grinding tool used to level or remove burrs from valve seats in faucets so that the valve stem will fit properly.
Recessed Tub A tub that has a decorative finish on one side only, and surrounded by three walls. The apron, or skirting, may not be included and must be ordered separately. The most popular style.
Recirculating Harness PVC tubing setup that circulates water throughout a whirlpool system, delivering water to the jets
Recovery The amount of water in gallons that can be heated in one hour. (gph)
Recovery Capacity The amount of water in gallons per hour raised 100 degrees F at a given thermal efficiency and BTU per hour input.
Red Water Water which has a reddish or brownish appearance due to the presence of precipitated iron and/or iron bacteria
Reducer A fitting that connects pipes of different sizes together.
Reed Switch A serviceable, magnetic sensing switch that triggers the water flow to stop when the neck jet pillow (with magnet) is removed from the whirlpool
Refill Tube The tube that directs water from a ballcock into the overflow tube to refill the bowl after a siphon break
Reflective glass glass that bounces back at least some of the light that strikes it.
Relief Valve A valve that opens to relieve excess temperature.
Repair Clamp Sleeve type clamp used to repair a split pipe, held in place by bolts
Residential Water heaters for single family dwellings.
Return Circulation System Tempered water from or near the point of usage which eliminates waste of hot water used for long runs and adds storage to the system.
Re-vent Pipe installed specifically to vent a fixture trap. Connects with the vent system above the fixture.
Reverse Osmosis A water treatment method whereby water is forced through a semi permeable membrane which filters out impurities.
Reverse Trap Water Closet A water closet having a siphonic trapway at the rear of the bowl, and integral flushing rim and jet. Min. dimensions are 9″ x 8″ water spot and 1 ½” ball pass.
Rich Mixture A mixture of gas and air containing too much fuel or too little air for complete combustion of the gas.
Rigid Pipe Pipe designed to transmit the backfill load to the foundation beneath the pipe. Rigid pipe must be supported on the bottom portion of the pipe
Rim Holes A series of small holes in the underside of a toilet rim, around the circumference of the bowl. Incoming water flows down into the bowl through these holes, creating a rinse effect or wash over the entire inner surface of the bowl.
Riser A vertical metal or plastic tube or assembly that connects a faucet to the water supply stop valve. Usually made of copper. Metal Flex Risers are corrugated to facilitate bending. Also a supply line that rises from one story to the next.
Residual Chlorine Chlorine remaining in treated water after a specified period of contact time to provide continuing protection throughout a distribution system; the difference between the total chlorine added, and that consumed by oxidizable matter.
Roller Hanger A pipe hanger similar to a clevis hanger except that the yoke bolts to a roller rod instead of a metal strap. This roller rod supports the pipe and permits horizontal movement.
Roman Spout Deck-mounted faucet spout.
Roof Drain A drain installed at the low spot in a roof that channels water into a drainpipe to prevent pooling
Roof Flashing Sheet metal installed at any break in a shingled roofline to prevent leaks. Also around sewer vents, fluepipes.
Root Valve A multi-port valve commonly used on gauges or switches in high pressure, high temperature, or under otherwise severe process conditions. Typically built with non-rotating and non-threaded stems.
Rough-in Installation of the drain, waste, vent, and supply lines in a structure to the proposed location of each fixture.
Rough-in Dimensions The distance from a finished wall or floor to the center of the waste or supply opening or mounting holes on a plumbing fixture.
Round Front Bowl Standard shape of the front of a toilet bowl, having dimensions of 14″ wide by 16 ½” long from center of seat hinge holes to front outside rim edge.
Run A complete or secondary section of pipe that extends from supply to fixture or drain to stack.
Running Trap An in-line trap mounted in a horizontal drainpipe, where the inlet and outlet are parallel.
S
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers standard; a thread size used on nuts and bolts but not pipe connections.
SJ Slip Joint
SMLS Seamless pipe
SN Satin nickel finish
SS Stainless Steel
STD Standard
SV Service Victory. A designation for service weight cast iron drainage pipe.
Saddle Tee Fitting that taps into the side of a pipe, used to make quick connection to an existing line
Saddle Valve A valve mounted on a pipe run by a clamping device, or saddle tee to provide a water supply for a low-demand device.
Safe Drinking Water Act An amendment to the Public Health Service Act, which was passed in 1976 to protect public health by establishing uniform drinking water standards for the nation. In 1986 SDWA Amendments were passed that mandated the EPA establish standards for 83 drinking water contaminants by 1992 and identify an additional 25 contaminants for regulation every 3 years thereafter.
Safety Shutoff Valve A device on a gas appliance that shuts off the gas supply to prevent a hazardous situation. A flame safety shutoff operates when the actuating flame becomes extinguished.
Sag Pipe A section of a sewer line that is placed deeper in the ground than normal in order to pass under utility piping, waterways, rail lines, highways, or other obstacles. The sewer line is raised again after passing under the obstacle.
Sanitary Fitting Fitting that joins the assorted pipes in a drain, waste, and vent system, designed to allow solid material to pass through without clogging.
Saponification The process in which a fatty acid is neutralized with an alkali or base to form a soap.
Sanitary Sewer House drain that carries wastewater away from the house to a sewer system or septic tank.
Scale A thin coating or layer, usually calcium on the bottom of a tank or interior parts that may prevent heat transfer.
Schedule Numbers assigned to different wall thicknesses of pipe (e.g. Sch 40)
Scupper Drain, normally located on a roof or deck that allows rain water to drain off.
Seal-Off Fitting Fitting which prevents gas leakage from moving from one section of pipe to another.
Sealed Combustion Sealing of combustion chamber to prevent spillage of combustion products.
Sealed Combustion Heater A heater which pulls combustion air from outside the structure and vents combustion by-products to the outside.
Seamless Pipe Pipe with no weld in the circumference
Secondary Air The remaining air needed for complete combustion besides primary air. This is the air surrounding the flames outside the burner ports.
Sediment The substance that settles on the bottom of a water tank. Also known as lime.
Self-rimming Sink Sink with no metal ring that has a built-in lip of the same material which supports it in the vanity top.
Sequestering Agent A chemical compound sometimes fed into water to tie up undesirable ions, keep them in solution, and reduce their effects. For example, polyphosphate can sequester hardness and prevent reactions with soap.
Series System System where a primary heater preheats water to a given desired general purpose temperature and feeds into another heater.
Self-Rimming A style of bathroom sink with a rolled and finished edge
Serial/Model/Rating Plate A permanent information plate attached to major home appliances. The plate includes product model and serial numbers, plus information about wattage or BTU requirements.
Service Entrance Pipe connecting the water company piping to the water meter.
Service Pressure The range of pressure in the pressure tank during the pumping cycle, usually expressed in pounds per square inch gauge (P.S.I.G.).
Service Sink Deep fixed basin, supplied with hot and cold water, which is used for rinsing of mops, disposal of cleaning water, or washing clothes and other household items.
Service Tee Tee fitting with male threads on one run opening and female threads on the other two.
Setting Pumps: vertical distance in feet from the top of the well to the top of the pump.
Sewer Ejector See ejector.
Sewer Gas Gases, esp. methane, which may be combustible and poisonous from the decay of organic materials in the sewer system
Shallow Well A well with a pumping head of 25 feet or less, permitting use of a suction pump
Shroud Color-matched component under a wall-mount lavatory that covers the drain outlet for aesthetic purposes
Shower Receptor A one-piece base (floor) unit used as a shower, for example, to catch water and direct it to a center drain.
Shutoff Valve Most commonly refers to angle stops installed under sinks and toilets, but also valves installed on branch lines and alongside the meter.
Side Cutter A heavy duty auger tip for large diameter pipes
Sight Hole Generally a window on oil-fired products that allows the viewing of burner and flame patterns.
Sillcock Hose bib
Simplex Basin An ejector pump container usually 18″ x 30″ for single family homes.
Single Threshold Type of shower base used in a three wall installation with the threshold being the side with the door.
Sink A stationary basin connected with a drain and water supply for washing and drainage.
Siphon A pipe connecting two canals. A tube or pipe through which water flows over a high point by gravity.
Siphon Break The point in a toilet flush cycle when air is re-introduced into the trapway, breaking the siphonic action. This is characterized by the deep gurgling sound heard at the end of a flush.
Siphon-Jet Water Closet A toilet having a siphonic trapway at the rear of the bowl and an integral flushing rim and jet.
Siphon-Vortex Water Closet A toilet having a trapway at the rear of the bowl integral flushing rim and a water supply system with or without a jet, which does not feed directly into the trap.
Siphon Wash Closet A toilet having a trapway at the rear of the bowl and integral flushing rim, and minimum dimensions of 5″ x 4″ water spot and 1 ½” ball pass.
Siphoning The suction or pulling effect that takes place in the trapway of a toilet as it is filled with outgoing water and waste.
Sleeve Pipe which is passed through a wall for the purpose of inserting another pipe through it.
Slide Bar Type of shower component designed for the attachment of a hand shower. The mounting bracket can be adjusted at different heights to accommodate individual preference.
Sliding Inner Door A door that slides along the combustion chamber radius for easy access to the burner and pilot.
Sliding panels the moving panels in a bypass door. (as in shower doors)
Slip Gasket Elastomer (natural occurring elastic substance) gasket, usable with a hub and spigot pipe because it has a tapered cross section
Slip Joint A connection made with compression fittings.
Soda Ash the common name for sodium carbonate, Na2CO3 a chemical compound used sometimes used in soap and detergents to neutralize acid water.
Soft Flame A flame partially deprived of primary air such that the combustion zone is extended and the inner cone of the flame is ill-defined.
Soft Water Water that has a low calcium and magnesium content
Soil Cutter A device used to cut No Hub pipe, consisting of a handle and a cutting chain, similar to a chain wrench in appearance
Soil Pipe A sewer pipe for carrying off waste from toilets.
Soil Stack Largest vertical drain line to which all branch waste lines connect. This line carries waste to the sewer line.
Solder A metal alloy that is melted to create a fused joint between metal pieces. Also the act of melting solder into the joint.
Solenoid A coil of wire in the form of a cylinder that, when carrying a current, resembles a bar magnet.
Solute The substance which is dissolved in and by a solvent. Dissolved solids, such as the minerals found in water, are solutes.
Solvent Weld Any of the types of PVC pipe and fittings that are fastened together with solvent-based cement
Soot A black substance, mostly consisting of small particles of carbon, which can result from incomplete combustion and appear as smoke.
Spark Ignition Intermittent ignition devices that utilizes a spark to light a flame.
Spark Test A test procedure to evaluate the integrity of the glass lining.
Specific Gravity The ratio of the weight of a specific volume of a substance compared to the weight of the same volume of pure water at 4oC.
Specific Heat Amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a kilogram of a substance one degree Celsius.
Spigot The plain end of a cast-iron pipe. The spigot is inserted into the bell end of the next pipe to make a water tight joint.
Spigot Soil Adapter Hub adapter to connect PVC with soil pipe.
Spline adapter Device sometimes required to form a mating connection between the splines of a valve stem and the splines inside a faucet handle.
Spore Specialized reproductive bodies or resting cells that resist adverse conditions which would readily destroy the parent organism.
Spud A threaded opening on the water heater tank. Also a tool for digging having characteristics of a shade and chisel.
Stack The vertical main in the drain, waste, and vent system, extending one or more stories.
Stacking The ability of hot water to form layers of different temperatures in the tank stratification.
Stainless Steel Steel sinks made of solid stainless material, durable, and immune to rust and corrosion. The gauge measures the thickness of the steel, with a lower number indicating thicker steel. Their underside is often sprayed with a rubberized undercoating to provide a sound-deadening barrier, eliminate condensation, and reduce heat transfer.
Stand Pipe Open vertical pipe that receives water from a washing machine. Also the vertical pipe run supplying water to a fire sprinkler system; also large vertical pipe into which water is pumped in order to produce a desired pressure; a high vertical pipe or reservoir that is used to secure a uniform pressure in a water-supply system
Standing Pilot see pilot
Static Discharge Head The vertical distance from the pump to the highest outlet in the water system Stand By Loss. The amount of heat lost while a unit is in standby mode.
Static Lift The vertical distance between source and discharge water levels in a pump installation
Static Pressure The pressure when no water is flowing.
Static Water Level The undisturbed level of water in the well before pumping.
Stem Part of the faucet that holds the handle on one end and the washer on the other.
Stiffener A galvanized bushing used to strengthen tubing to fit in a leadpak coupling
Stillson Wrench Pipe wrench
Stop The shutoff valve under sinks and toilets. Allows water supply to be cut off to one fixture without affecting the water supply to other fixtures.
Stop and Drain Fitting Plug-type valve used to tap into a water main to control the flow to a branch line, which has a side opening to shut off the water and allow it to drain out so the pipe won’t freeze.
Stop Valve same as stop
Storage Tank A tank used to hold a specific volume of water
Storm Drain Drain used to receive and convey rain water, surface water, and ground water away from buildings.
Straight Cross Fitting that connects four pipes of the same diameter.
Straight Pipe Threads A special kind of straight thread used only on iron pipe, toilet, and faucet fittings. A cone seal or gasket is usually included because straight threads will not form a complete seal without a gasket of some kind.
Straight Stop An emergency stop valve that is usually installed before the water supply line to toilets and faucets. Similar to angle stops but the line does not change direction.
Strainer Pot A housing on the influent side of a pump that serves as a priming chamber and a receptacle for the strainer basket.
Strap Wrench Tool with metal body and heavy cloth or metal mesh belt used for turning pipe
Street Ell An 90 degree elbow joint with a hub on one end and male threads on the other. Used to make an angled connection between pipe or tubing and a fitting with a hub.
Stub-Out Short lengths of pipe installed during rough-in to which fixtures and drains will eventually be installed.
Stud Guard Short band of metal attached to wall studs to prevent nails from penetrating and damaging pipes
Stuffing box That portion of the pump that held the packing and now holds the mechanical seal.
Submergence The distance the ejector, foot valve or submersible pump is installed below the pumping level
Suction head The head on the suction side of the pump. This is subtracted from the discharge head to determine the head being produced by the pump. It is a sum of the static, pressure and friction heads.
Suction Static Lift Same as Suction Static head. This term is only used when the pump centerline is above the suction tank fluid surface
Sulfate A chemical compound that can cause laxative effects and give off a medicinal taste in concentrations around 30 gpg. In high concentration with high calcium hardness, it forms a white insoluble compound that is difficult to remove.
Sulfur A yellowish solid element. The term also commonly describes to water containing hydrogen sulfide gas. The presence of Sulfur is marked by a smell like rotten eggs.
Sump A pit or pool for draining, collecting, or storing water. A chamber which provides water to the pump
Supply Kit Usually a kit of all parts needed to connect a faucet or toilet to the pipes coming out of the wall. Usually includes stop valves, water connectors, and escutcheons.
Supply Stop The valve controlling water supply to a toilet.
Surface Mount Typically refers to thermostats mounted on the outside of the tank that senses temperature through the steel tank.
Surface Pump A mechanism for removing water or wastewater from a sump or wet well.
Suspended Solids Solid particles in water which are not in solution.
Sweating Slang term for soldering. Also formation of condensation on the outside of pipes or toilet tanks.
Sweep A drain ell fitting with a long radius that allows for smooth passage of waste. Fittings with abrupt changes of direction, such as a vent tee, may only be used for vents.
Swing Joint A flexible sprinkler connection made by connecting three threaded elbows fittings together
T
TBE Threaded both ends
T & C Threaded and Coupled. Some cast iron pipe is sold threaded with a coupling attached.
TDS Total dissolved solids
TO Threads Only
T & P Valve Temperature & pressure relief valve. A safety device used to expel excess pressure or heat from inside a tank.
TPI Threads per inch
T & S Tub and Shower
Tailpiece Section of pipe that runs between a fixture outlet and the trap
Tail Pipe The pipe added below the jet assembly, in a weak well application.
Tank Fixture reservoir for flush water. On a conventional toilet, the ballcock, flush valve, and trip lever are installed in the tank. A tank lid closes the top tank opening
Tank Cross A double-tee-shaped fitting installed between a shallow well pump and the bladder tank with integrated valve and gauge fittings, and an outlet for a pressure-relief valve.
Tankless Water Heater Instantaneous water heater
Tannin (Tannic acid) A substance occurring naturally in well water. It is produced by decaying vegetation, and causes the water to have a yellow of light brown color and can provide a bitter taste. There is currently no EPA regulatory level for tannin in water.
Tap Adapter Fitting with one plain end and one threaded female end
Tap Tee Cast iron tee with a threaded female side inlet
Tap Water Water provided by a water company by way of the home’s plumbing system.
Tapered Pipe Standard type of threads used on iron pipe and pipe fittings.
Tee T-shaped fitting with three openings that allow another pipe to be joined at a 90 degree angle, used to create branch lines.
Teflon Tape A fluorocarbon polymer with non-sticking properties used to wrap pipe threads to seal a joint
Temperature Rise The number of degrees Fahrenheit that incoming water must be raised to reach the desired water temperature.
Tempered glass glass that has been annealed or strengthened by a process of gradually healing and cooling. Once a piece of glass has been tempered, it cannot be cut. If it breaks, it breaks into many small pieces. By code, all shower doors must be made of tempered glass.
Tempering Valve A in-line hot/cold mixing valve
Test Plug A rubber plug that is used to seal off sections of pipe to allow testing for leakage.
Test Tee A tee with a removable plug for permitting access to a drainage line
Therm Measurement of 100,000 BTU’s.
Thermal Efficiency Ability to transfer and absorb heat from fuel sources into the water.
Thermal Expansion The effect of water expanding when heated.
Thermal Stratification see stacking
Thermocouple Small electric generator. Electron flow between the hot junction of 1200 degrees F and cold junction of 600 degrees F creates millivoltage.
Thermopile Apparatus that consists of a number of thermocouples combined so as to multiply the effect and is used for generating electrical current.
Thermostat (Lower) Device which automatically maintains a predetermined temperature in an appliance.
Thermostat (Upper) Device which automatically maintains a predetermined temperature in an appliance, usually equipped with a safety shutoff.
Thermostatic Valve Pressure-balancing shower mixing valve with automatic temperature control. When temperature or pressure fluctuations occur at the water inlets, a thermal actuator adjusts the hot and cold ratio to maintain the original temperature setting.
Throat plate The underside portion of some faucet spouts which also use a top shroud to cover an assembled faucet waterway. The throat plate is only visible when viewed from a very low angle.
Threaded A helical or spiral ridge on a screw, nut, or bolt.
Tile Rise
(Buttress) The raised portion of a shower curb that is on more than one level.
Total Dissolved Solids A measure of the total amount of dissolved matter in water
Total Head The difference between the head at the discharge and suction flange of the pump ( syn Total Dynamic Head, pump head, system head).
Touchless Faucet Commercially installed faucet or urinal valve that function using infrared sensor system
Total Discharge Head The total pressure or head the pump must develop. It is the sum of the depth to pumping level, elevation, service pressure, and friction loss.
Toxicity Test Test to determine the toxicity of a chemical or an effluent using living organisms. It measures the degree of response of an exposed test organism to a specified chemical or effluent
Transite Pipe Pipe manufactured from asbestos and concrete, commonly found in water mains.
Transom Panel a panel usually located above the door of an enclosure. It can be used to keep steam inside of a steam-shower unit. Some open to vent steam.
Trap Curved section of drain line that prevents sewer odors from escaping into the atmosphere. All fixtures that have drains must have a “P” trap installed. A toilet is the only plumbing fixture with an “S” trap.
Trap Arm The waste arm portion of a drainage trap.
Trap Dip The U-bend portion of a drainage trap.
Trap Drain A flex adapter to connect 1 ¼” to 1 ½” drain pipe
Trap Primer A small feeder line connecting the cold water line directly to the drainage trap, which releases a small amount of water to the trap should it run dry to maintain the water seal.
Trap Seal Height of water in a toilet bowl “at rest.”. It provides the water seal which prevents sewer gases from entering the home. It is measured from the top of the dam down to the inlet of the trapway. Also referred to as deep seal.
Trap Weir See Crown Weir. An interior projection in the outlet side of a trap to aid in maintaining a water seal.
Trapway Channel in a toilet that connects the bowl to the waste outlet. It is where the siphonic action takes place. The trapway is measured in terms of the largest diameter ball which can pass through it. Also called the passageway.
Trim Any non-vitreous china toilet components, except the seat. Includes such items as ballcock, bolt caps, trip lever.
Trip Lever Flush handle and actuating arm on a toilet tank. Also the lever that opens and closes the drain on the bathtub waste and overflow.
Tube Talon Plastic hanger for mounting copper pipe
Tube Valve A valve which is opened or closed by mechanically moving a tube upstream or downstream by an actuating screw
Tube Washer Replacement washer for one end of a closet tube
Tuberculation The process in which blister-like growths of metal oxides develop in pipes as a result of the corrosion of the pipe metal. Iron oxide tubercles often develop over pits in iron or steel pipe, and can seriously restrict the flow of water.
Turbulent Flow Fluid flow in which the velocity at a given point varies erratically in magnitude and direction.
Turbidity Water cloudiness caused by suspended particles
Two-Piece Toilet Toilet with a separate tank and bowl. Also referred to as a close-coupled toilet.
Type “L” Tube An industry standard for copper tubing defined by the tube wall thickness and identified by a “blue” strip. Type “L” copper tube wall is approximately 50% greater thickness than Type “M.”
Type “M” Tube An industry standard for copper tubing defined by the tube wall thickness and identified by a “red” stripe
Tyseal Gasket Gasket for joining SV cast iron pipe into a hub
U
Underwriters Laboratories
ULF Ultra low flush. Widely used description of 1.6 gpf or less toilets.
UNC Unified National Coarse Thread. A standard kind of coarse straight thread used on fittings, nuts, and bolts. Not for pipes.
UNF Unified National Fine Thread. A standard kind of fine straight thread used on fittings, buts, and bolts. Not for pipes.
USEPA The abbreviation for “United States Environmental Protection Agency”
USPHS The abbreviation for “United States Public Health Service”
Ultracoil True double wall heat exchanger
Uni-flex One piece stop and riser combination. One-piece supply.
Uniformity Coefficient A measure of the variation in particle sizes of ion exchange resins and filter media. It is defined as the ratio of the size of particle that has 60 percent of the material finer than itself, to the size of the particle that has 10 percent finer than itself.
Union Three piece fitting that joins two sections of pipe, but allows them to be disconnected without cutting the pipe. Used primarily with steel pipe; never in a DWV system.
Universal Plumbing Code A system of procedures designed to provide consumers with safe and sanitary plumbing systems and used throughout the United States by local jurisdictions
Urinal A plumbing fixture which receives only liquid body waste and conveys the waste through a trap seal into a gravity drainage system.
Urinal Strainers Refers to a domed metal piece fastened to the bottom of an urinal to prevent debris from plugging the trapway of the unit.
Usable Storage Percentage of hot water that can be drawn from a tank before the temperature drops to a point that it is no longer considered hot.
Utility sink Deep fixed basin, supplied with hot and cold water, which is used for rinsing of mops, disposal of cleaning water
V
V-clip A clip shaped like the letter “V” used on a lavatory drain lift linkage assembly to easily adjust connection of the drain to the lift rod.
Vacuum Breaker An anti-siphon device that prevents the backflow of contaminated water into the water supply system.
Valve A device that regulates the flow of water
Valve Dressing Resurfacing a worn valve seat with a special tool. Stops leaks by providing a smooth sealing surface. Applies only to older compression style faucets.
Valve Seat The non-moving part of a valve. Water flow is stopped when the moveable portion of the valve comes in contact with the valve seat.
Valve Seat Wrench Hexagonal end wrench inserted into the hexagonal opening in a valve seat for installing or removal.
Vanity A bathroom storage cabinet under the wash basin.
Velocity Head The amount of energy required to accelerate water to a given velocity; expressed in feet per head
Vent A pipe that allows air into a drain system to balance the air pressure, preventing water in the traps from being siphoned off.
Vent Header A vent pipe into which several vents connect. The vent pipe leads to the vent stack and out of the building.
Vent Stack Upper portion of the soil stack above the topmost fixture through which gases and odors escape.
Venting Materials Materials used for venting, i.e. PVC, CPVC, ABS, metal.
Venturi A short tube with a tapered constriction in the middle that causes an increase in the velocity of flow of a fluid and a corresponding decrease in fluid pressure and that is used for creating a suction in a vacuum pump
Viscosity The resistance of fluids to flow, due to internal forces and friction between molecules, which increases as its temperature decreases.
Vitreous Surface material on some plumbing fixtures derived from or consisting of glass, translucent, and low on porosity.
Vitreous China Ceramic materials fired at high temperature to form a non-porous body, having exposed surfaces coated with ceramic glaze fused to the body. This is used to form bathroom fixtures such as toilets, bidets, and lavs.
Volatile Capable of vaporization at a relatively low temperature.
Volt Unit of measure of electromotive force
Volumetric Referring to measurement by volume rather than weight.
Volute casing Derives is name from a spiral shaped casing surrounding the pump impeller. It converts velocity energy to pressure energy.
Voral Tube Flexible steel hose used for hand-held shower sprays.
W
WC Water Closet
WH White finish on faucets
Wall Thickness The thickness of the tubing wall.
Washdown Water Closet Water closet having a siphon trapway at the front of the bowl, and integral flushing rim.
Waste Arm Drain extension pipe, usually to extend a sink drain into a wall.
Waste & Overflow Drain assembly for a bathtub. The outlet at the top removes the overflow water during tub filling and the drain at the bottom removes wastewater when the tub is drained.
Waste Plug Drain stopper on a bathtub drain
Waste Shoe Bathtub drain assembly
Waste Stack See Soil Stack. The vertical main pipe in a drainage system, extending one or more stories.
Water Closet A toilet
Water Hammer A loud banging noise caused by the hydraulic shock of suddenly shutting off a water supply, where water moves against the side of containing pipe or vessel.
Water Hammer Arrestor A device installed near a fixture to absorb the hydraulic shock caused by a sudden shutoff of water.
Water Horse Power (W H P) The calculated horse power produced by the pump using the formula WHP = head x gpm/3960
Water Service Pipe The pipe from the water main or other sources of potable water supply to the water-distributing system of the building served.
Water Spot Water surface in the toilet bowl once the flush is completed.
Water Table Level below the earth’s surface at which the ground becomes saturated with water.
Waterway Fitting A channel through which water can flow; connects water heater to inlet and outlet lines.
Watt A unit of electrical energy or power. One ampere x one volt equals one watt.
Watt Density Amount of watts concentrated per square inch of element blade surface area.
Wave Washer A washer, common in drain linkages, which provides pressure against a ball or other mechanism even when the opposing nut is not fully tightened
Weak Well Weak well application occurs when the pump lowers the water level in the well faster than the well can replenish itself.
Weir A long notch with a horizontal edge, as in the top of a vertical plate or plank, through which water flows, used in measuring the quantity of flowing water.
Well Casing A steel or plastic pipe inserted into a drilled well to prevent dirt and debris from contaminating the water
Wellpoint A pipe fitted with a driving point and a fine mesh screen used to remove underground water. A complete set of equipment for drying up ground including wellpoints, connecting pipes and pumps.
Wet Vent Drain or waste pipe that also acts for one or more fixtures on the same line.
Whirlpool Tub A bathtub with circulation jets in various spots throughout the tub that provide therapeutic massaging action.
Widespread A style of bathroom lavatory faucet having separate spout and handles, usually 8″ from center of handle to handle.
Working pressure Maximum pressure of the operating system permissible.
Working Water Water used in a home for most general purposes including bathing and laundering
Wrought Copper Fittings Plumbing fittings used to connect copper tubes made of mechanically worked and toughened copper as opposed to an as-cast brittle copper.
Wye A Y-shaped fitting with three openings used to create branch lines. Allows one pipe to be joined to another at a 45 degree angle.
X
XH Extra Heavy
XL Extra Large
XLG Extra Long
XS Extra Small
Y
Yellow Tipping A flame condition caused by too severe a reduction in primary air. The yellow color is caused by glowing carbon particles in the flame. It can be corrected by the injection of more primary air.
Yoke Usually a brass casting that holds both the hot and cold valves and the mixing chamber for the water. May also refer to an assembly of copper or other metal which serves the same function.
Yoke Vent A pipe connecting upward from a soil or waste stack to a vent stack for the purpose of preventing pressure changes in the stacks.
Z
Zeolite A group of hydrated sodium aluminosilicates, either natural or synthetic, with ion exchange properties.
Zero Soft Water with a total hardness less than 1.0 grain per U.S. gallon, as calcium carbonate.
Zone of Aeration The layer in the ground above the water table where the available voids are filled with air. Water falling on the ground percolates through this zone on its way to the aquifer.
Zone of Saturation The layer in the ground in which all of the available voids are filled with water.
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2 comments so far

  1. aboutplumbing on

    Yes, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about plumbing. Visit us online to set up your appointment http://www.1800plumber.com or call 1-800-758-6237 today for a FREE ESTIMATES!

  2. Andy Parks on

    I have found more terms here about plumbing than I ever need to know. How about Dual Flush?
    Has anyone else tried the MJSI HydroRight Dual Flush Converter? I installed one and it works great. Genius… low flow flush for liquids and full flush for solids. End result, water conservation and savings on the water bill.


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