Welcome to our plumbing glossary, a comprehensive collection of plumbing terms and definitions to help you better understand the world of plumbing. Whether you're a homeowner, DIY enthusiast, or simply looking to expand your plumbing knowledge, this glossary will serve as a handy reference for understanding common plumbing terminology.
Aerator: A device attached to the end of a faucet that mixes air with water, reducing splashing and conserving water.
Backflow: The reverse flow of water or other substances into the potable water supply system, often caused by a drop in pressure or back-siphonage.
Bleed Valve: A valve used to release excess air or pressure from a plumbing system, typically found on radiators or water heaters.
Check Valve: A valve that only allows fluid to flow in one direction, preventing backflow or reverse flow.
DWV: Abbreviation for Drain-Waste-Vent, referring to a plumbing system that carries wastewater from fixtures, drains, and vents it to the outside.
Flapper: A rubber or plastic component in a toilet tank that lifts when the flush lever is pressed, allowing water to flow from the tank into the bowl for flushing.
GPM: Abbreviation for Gallons Per Minute, a unit of measurement used to indicate the flow rate of water through a plumbing fixture or pipe.
Hose Bib: An outdoor faucet with a threaded spout for attaching hoses, commonly found on the exterior of homes.
Inlet Valve: A valve that controls the flow of water into a plumbing fixture, such as a toilet or sink.
J-Bend: A U-shaped pipe or fitting under a sink that traps water to prevent sewer gases from entering the living space.
Kitchen Sink Trap: A U-shaped pipe under the kitchen sink that traps debris and prevents odors from the sewer system.
Lateral Pipe: A horizontal pipe that connects a plumbing fixture to the main drain or sewer line.
Manifold: A plumbing fitting that distributes water or gas to multiple branches or outlets.
Nipple: A short piece of pipe with male threads on both ends used for connecting fittings or fixtures.
Overflow: An opening or pipe near the top of a fixture, such as a sink or bathtub, that allows excess water to drain away if the main drain is clogged or the fixture is overfilled.
P-Trap: A U-shaped pipe under a sink, shower, or bathtub that traps water to prevent sewer gases from entering the living space.
Rough-In: The initial installation of the plumbing system, including pipes, drains, and fixtures, before the final finishes are applied.
Sump Pump: A pump used to remove water from basements, crawl spaces, or low-lying areas to prevent flooding.
Tee: A plumbing fitting shaped like the letter "T" used to connect pipes at a 90-degree angle.
Union: A type of fitting that joins two pipes together and allows for their easy disconnection or repair.
Vent Pipe: A pipe that allows air to enter or exit a plumbing system, preventing siphoning and maintaining proper pressure.
Water Hammer: The loud banging or knocking noise in plumbing pipes caused by the sudden stoppage or change in flow of water.
Yoke Vent: A plumbing vent pipe that connects two or more vent stacks to allow for proper air circulation in the drainage system.
This glossary provides a glimpse into the wide range of plumbing terms and concepts you may encounter. By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you can better communicate with plumbers, understand plumbing diagrams, and tackle basic plumbing tasks with confidence. If you come across any unfamiliar terms, feel free to refer back to this glossary for clarification.