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