Essential Plumbing Terms – A Plumbing Terminology Dictionary for You

The world of plumbing systems can seem overwhelming to people who don’t have much experience with them. If something is wrong with your pipes, you may find describing the problem to plumbers frustrating. Fortunately, learning plumbing terminology may make things a lot simpler for you. Learning a bit of plumbing lingo and even plumbing slang terms can go a long way.

The Ins and Outs of Plumbing Vocabulary

Understanding plumbing words can do so much for people who need to make service appointments. Understanding plumbing terms and definitions can do just as much for people who want to purchase tools and tackle D.I.Y. repair and replacement jobs.

Main Line

plumbing termsThe main line handles the supply of water that comes from the meter that’s associated with the water company. It’s at street level and travels to branch pipes that surround residential properties.

Hard Water

This is natural water that includes impurities like calcium and solids that have been dissolved. It has significant mineral content.


What is a lavatory in plumbing? It is a permanent basin that has running water. It is a bathroom washbasin, too. A lavatory is made of porcelain, enameled iron or marble. It’s equipped with a waste pipe, cold and hot water pipes and a handful of different fixtures. It’s sometimes mounted onto walls.

Gray Water

Gray water refers to any kind of wastewater that comes straight from common fixtures. This wastewater never comes from toilets.

Flapper Valve

The flapper valve links toilets and water valves. Once this valve opens, the water that’s inside of the tank travels directly into toilet bowls.

Ball Check Valve

A ball check valve is a kind of backflow prevention device. This preventer is situated on a water line in order to guide the flow of water into a single direction.

Power Flush System

The goal behind a power flush system is to compress water as a means of offering a flush that’s pressurized. Systems like these are more common in commercial restrooms than they are in residential ones.

Gate Valve

A gate valve or sluice valve takes charge of liquid flow within pipes. It does this by elevating gates or barriers from the fluids’ paths. This makes the flow go a lot more smoothly. The valve also drops gates for flow obstruction purposes.

Potable Water

Water that’s classified as being potable is appropriate for domestic applications including food preparation and drinking. It’s safe and originates in ground and surface locations. People often call this treated water simply “drinking water.”

Floor Flange

The floor flange or the closeted flange links sewer lines and toilets together. This pipe fitting attaches toilets to the drain pipes that are part of floors in bathrooms.

Access Panel

The access panel is a ceiling or wall opening that is close to plumbing fixtures. It offers access to enable individuals to manage plumbing system servicing tasks. It tends to be a smaller door.

Cycle Time

Cycle time describes how much time a toilet requires to finish its designated flushing cycle. This time starts the second flushing takes place. It ends as soon as the water supply switches off as well.

Black Water

Black water is the kind of wastewater that comes out of toilets. It in many cases consists of pathogens. Other names for this type of water are sewage or brown water. Purification is necessary for the reuse of black water.

Pressure-Balancing Valve

A pressure-balancing valve is called a pressure-compensating valve, too. It’s a device that was made to minimize the possibility of thermal shock when people take showers. It’s a valve that detects cold and hot water pressures that arrive from supply lines. It makes up for inconsistencies in order to keep the temperature of water stable. Numerous things can bring on inconsistencies. One example is switching on a washer while another individual is in the midst of a shower.

Thermal Shock

Thermal shock is a fast, significant water temperature shift. It can be especially problematic in showers that are prone to scalding as the result of speedy water temperature changes. Numerous technological advancements can keep this kind of shock at bay. Thermostatic shower valves and pressure-balance valves are two devices that can help considerably.

Mixing Valve

A mixing valve is a valve that enables cold and hot water to blend together. The aim behind this is to attain a designated temperature.

Thermostatic Valve

A thermostatic valve is a valve that’s equipped with a feature that offers automatic temperature controls. As water temperatures change, thermal actuators tweak cold and hot water ratios. The objective behind this tweaking is to keep the earlier temperature settings in place.

Overflow Tube

If a ballcock ceases to work in the correct manner, this tube that’s in the tank of the toilet will push water straight into the bowl. This is precisely what occasionally leads to toilets that seem like they’re running nonstop. This incessant running may point to ballcock issues.


ballcockBallcocks are called float valves as well. A ballcock is in charge of water flow that goes into toilet tanks that are gravity-operated. Once someone flushes a toilet, the float ball moves in conjunction with the level of water. This action makes the ballcock open up. It enables water to go back into the tank again, too. When the level of water goes back up, it raises the float ball. This raising makes the ballcock shut after the tank fills up entirely.


A diverter is a kind of valve that moves water into numerous different outlets. This valve is a staple in shower and bathtub combinations, showers, kitchen faucet sprayers and even bidets.

Pressure-Assisted Toilet

A pressure-assisted toilet utilizes a compressed-air device as a means of strengthening the force of gravity that’s employed for bowl cleaning purposes. This cleaning is necessary any time someone flushes a toilet. This kind of toilet forces more water into corresponding bowls. That’s exactly how it paves the way for a much stronger flush.


Let us fix your plumbing issue quickly & easily today!

Touch to Call!