Everyone should know a few basic plumbing terms. Knowing the lingo helps you speak with a plumber and describe your problem. There’s no need to become an expert in pipe repair or clog removal. A little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to communicating with a plumber. Here are the top 10 plumbing terms you should know.

1: Gray water

This is water that drains from showers, bathtubs and sinks. Water that drains from the toilet to the sewer is called “black water.”

2: Flapper valve

This is the rubber plug at the bottom of the toilet tank. It opens to allow water from the tank to fill the bowl while flushing.

3: Dripping fixtures

This is a another name for a leaky faucet. If you have a dripping fixture, you’ll see an increase in your water bill. If your fixture is turned off but still leaking, you may need to contact a plumber to investigate the problem.

4: Shutoff valve

These are the valves under toilets and sinks. They shut off the water during repairs or failures.

5: Main

This is the primary channel of the drain and supply system. All other pipes are connected to the main.

6: Plumbing snake

This is a long, flexible tool that can be inserted in a drain to break up clogs. Basic plumbing snakes are sold at home improvement stores. Professional snakes are longer, sturdier and used for bigger jobs. A basic snake is useful to have on hand.

7: O-Ring

This is a round, rubber washer that makes watertight seals on valves.

8: Trap

A trap is the s-shaped part of the drain pipe under a sink. The trap holds water in the pipe, forming a barrier that prevents sewer gases from venting into living areas. If the trap becomes clogged, it’s often best to call a professional to fix it.

9: Flow control valve

This valve reduces water flow into a fixture. It improves efficiency and cuts down on water use and bills.

10: Access panel:

This covered opening provides access your plumbing system. It is usually close to a fixture, either on a ceiling or wall.

You don’t have to be a professional to spot a problem. Be proactive about maintaining your home’s plumbing. Regularly look at the pipes in your house.  If you see something that seems out of place, such as a small puddle of water or a cracked pipe, contact Meticulous Plumbing before significant damage occurs. 

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