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Terminology

ABS - stands for Aristocraft Bristone Styrine. Used for vent, drain, and waste pipes, it is a strong black plastic material.

Access Panel - An opening in a wall or ceiling near a fixture grants you access to its related plumbing or electrical systems.

Adaptor - An adapter links dissimilar kinds of pipes together.

Aerator - Located at the end of a faucet, this fixture mixes air and water to create a water flow that is consistent and splash free.

Angle Stop - An angled valve that is located between the fixture and the water pipes, and works as a shutoff valve. This valve is perpendicular to the pipe, positioned next to the fixture, and designed to be an emergency cutoff for the fixture's water supply.

Backflow - Backflow is the flow of water in the wrong direction, such as waste flowing toward the main water supply.

Backflow Preventer - As the name suggests, a backflow preventer is a device that keeps backflow from occurring.

Ballcock - A device that manages the water flow from the supply pipe to the commode. A tank float controls the ballcock. When the water is flushed, the float falls, which in turn opens the ballcock and releases water into the tank. Once the tank has been filled again, the float goes back up to close off the ballcock.

Clarity - The measure of how clear water is.

Closet Auger - A closet auger is a bendable rod of material with a curved region at the top; it is employed to remove clogs from toilet traps.

Cock - Same as Ballcock.

Coupling - A coupling is a fitting that permits two pipes or other fittings to be connected.

Diverter - Diverters are valves that direct water among multiple outlets in bidets, bathtubs, sinks, and showers.

Drain - Drains direct liquids away from the main system.

DWV - DWV is the acronym for the three main components of the plumbing drainage system (drain, waste, vent).

Elbow - An elbow is a fitting with two openings, used to redirect flow through the pipeline. Elbows are offered in many different angles.

Female Fitting - A fitting into which a second fitting is placed.

Fitting - A broad term, generally identifying faucets, shower valves or other piping features.

Fixture - A fixture is a catch-all term for tubs, sinks, toilets, and other water-using devices. If fresh water comes in and waste water comes out of an appliance or device, it's a fixture.

Flapper Valve - The flapper valve is the part of a toilet that lets water flow to the bowl from the tank; it is located at the tank's bottom.

Flushometer - The flushometer is a valve in a toilet that shuts off water flow after a given amount is let through; it's designed to conserve water.

GPM - "GPM" stands for "gallons per minute". A unit of measurement, relating to flow rates of showerheads and faucets.

GPF - GPF is an abbreviation for Gallons Per Flush. Measure that indicates flow rates of toilets.

Hot Water Main - A hot water main is a pipe that is the principal outlet for carrying hot water to your house's fixtures.

ID - Abbreviation of Inside Diameter - The measurement of the diameter of the inside of a pipe.

IPS - Abbreviation for Iron Pipe Size - A measurement system for standard pipe threading; measurements are taken on the outside diameter of a pipe.

Lid - The commode's tank cover.

Main - Main is defined as the principle channel of a plumbing system which has connections for all major supplies of water and drains.

Manifold - A manifold is a plumbing fitting that allows a main pipe to be connected to multiple branches.

Mixing Valve - A mixing valve in a faucet blends hot and cold water, allowing the user to choose a water temperature.

Nipple - A nipple is placed between fittings; it is a short pipe with threading. Used for connection extensions.

Pipe Wrench – Used for holding and turning pipes, this tool is comprised of two serrated jaws, one of which is adjustable.

Plumber's Putty – There's nothing better than this material for sealing joints between pipes and fixture surfaces.

Plumbing Code - Laws that guide the plumber's work.

Plunger - A tool used to eliminate clogs in toilet traps and drains; it makes use of air and pressure to accomplish this task.

PVC - PVC is the hard white plastic Polyvinyl Chloride, which makes up water supply pipes.

Riser - A Riser is a vertical pipe directing water towards a fixture.

Shutoff Valve - The shut off valve generally means the angle stop beneath each fixture, but may also refer to the main valve by the water meter or valves on the branch lines. In an emergency, the water flow should be stopped at the shutoff valves.

Sleeve - A sleeve is a pipe that runs through a wall, permitting a second pipe to be directed through the sleeve.

Strainer - A strainer is placed in bathtubs and under faucets, to keep solids from flowing into and clogging pipes.

Supply Lines – These pipelines direct water towards a fixture.

Trap - A trap is a curved piece of pipe attached to each fixture; it stops foul-smelling sewage gas from entering your home's air. All fixtures with drains have "P" traps installed, with the exception of toilets. Rather than "P" traps, toilets are equipped with "S" traps.

Valve - A valve is a device that controls the flow of gas or liquid through a pipe.

Vents - Vents typically extend through a building's roof, allowing air into the plumbing system to aid in the flow of wastewater.

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