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Terminology

ABS - ABS is the acronym for Aristocraft Bristone Styrine material. A black, rigid type of plastic piping used for the removal of wastewater and for drain lines as well as for vents.

Access Panel - Plumbing or electrical systems may be reached through an access panel in a wall or ceiling next to a fixture.

Adaptor - An adaptor is a feature that allows pipes of different sizes or materials to fit together.

Aerator - An aerator is found near the tip of a faucet; it allows air to mix with water to ensure that the running water doesn't splash.

Angle Stop - An angle stop is a shutoff valve which is located between the supply line and the faucet or toilet. It should be turned off during a plumbing emergency; it is perpendicular to the outlet, by the fixture.

Backflow - Backflow is the flowing of liquid in the direction other than the one intended.

Backflow Preventer - A device that prevents backflow.

Ballcock - A ballcock is a device which controls the flow of water from the supply line to the toilet. Located in the tank water, the apparatus is controlled by a float. The float drops once the water is flushed, opening the ballcock and releasing water into the tank. After the tank is refilled, the float comes back up to shut off the ballcock.

Clarity – Indicating how clear the water is.

Closet Auger - It is a kind of bar with top end curved up; as it is flexible, it is used to clean out clogs in the toilet traps.

Coupling - A coupling is a fitting that joins together any two fittings or pipes.

Diverter - Diverters are used in bathtubs, bidets, showers and sinks to guide water into many different outlets.

Drain - Pipe/channel system used to draw liquids away.

DWV - DWV stands for Drain, Waste, and Vent - the primary components of any plumbing drainage system.

Elbow – A type of pipe fitting with two openings that can alter the direction of the line. Available in a variety of angles.

Female Fitting - It's a fitting which allows another fitting to be placed within it.

Fitting - Fitting is a general term for piping features, faucets, and shower valves.

Fixture – A general term used to refer to items such as sinks, tubs, toilets, etc. Fixtures generally have piping systems that both provide fresh water to them, and remove wastewater away.

Flapper Valve - The flapper valve, which is normally at the base of the toilet tank, lets water flow into the bowl from the tank when it is opened.

Flushometer - A flushometer is a valve for a toilet that closes after a predetermined amount of water has passed through.

GPM - GPM stands for Gallons Per Minute of water flow. This unit of measurement is used to rate showerheads and faucets.

GPF - GPF stands for Gallons Per Flush. This is a measure of the average flow rates for commodes.

Hot Water Main - Hot water is supplied to the various household fixtures by this pipe.

ID – Abbreviation for Inside Diameter - a measurement of the diameter of a pipe's interior.

IPS - IPS is short for Iron Pipe Size, which is the most common measurement used for pipe threading, based on the external size of the pipe.

Lid – Cover for the toilet tank.

Main - A main is the primary pipe into which drain and water supply branches flow.

Manifold - A molded fitting that constitutes a distribution point, allowing water from the main to be directed throughout the system.

Mixing Valve - A valve found on a faucet which allows for the combining of hot and cold water in order to achieve a desired water temperature.

Nipple - A short pipe for connecting two other fittings. Useful when the need to extend a pipe's connection arises.

Pipe Wrench - A pipe wrench holds and turns pipes and has two jaws, one fixed and one movable.

Plumber's Putty - It is a common material used by plumbers, spread between the surface of a pipe and fixture to seal joints properly.

Plumbing Code - Legal guidelines governing the work of plumbers.

Plunger - Plungers are tools that use suction pressure to remove clogs from drains and toilet traps.

PVC - PVC is Polyvinyl Chloride, a tough white plastic from which water supply lines are made.

Riser - A pipe that runs vertically to carry water to a fixture.

Shutoff Valve - The term shutoff valve generally means the angle stop under a fixture; however, it may be used for a branch line valve or the large valve typically found next to the water meter. These are turned off in plumbing emergencies.

Sleeve - A sleeve is a pipe that goes through a wall as a guide for another pipe, either for insulation or to protect the wall and pipe.

Strainer - Found in sinks and bathtubs, a strainer allows liquids to pass through and drain out while preventing solid materials from entering and potentially clogging drains.

Supply Lines - Supply lines are the pipes that carry water to a fixture.

Trap - A trap is a curved piece of drainage pipe that keeps noxious gases from escaping up through the drain; every fixture has one. "P" traps are installed in all fixtures with drains except in toilets. Instead, toilets have "S" traps installed.

Valve – This mechanism regulates liquid or gas flow to or from a pipe.

Vent - A vent protrudes from the roof of a building to let air into drainpipes; this lets wastewater flow unimpeded.

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