When it comes to plumbing, you nearly need a degree just to know what you’re looking at! Thankfully, Eyman’s techs, plumbers, and all service providers are experts in the field so you don’t have to be! If you’ve ever been curious about what’s going on in your pipes, here is a brief explanation of some common plumbing terms.
Adjustable Hot Limit Stop: Restricts the amount of hot water released by your system at a time to prevent scalding.
Aerator: Oxygenates water to enable flow adjustment. Provides a steady stream to a light spray.
Air Gap: Connects to the drain line between the dishwasher and garbage disposal to allow debris to discharge into the disposal and prevent dirty water from returning to the dishwasher.
Apprentice plumber: Our plumbers are intensely vetted, requiring extensive training and an apprenticeship. This entails working with a journeyman under the super vision of a Master Plumber.
Auger: A flexible rod, usually constructed of a metal spring. A cutting implement is usually attached at one end, and is used to clear away clogs in your drain. Underground drain lines require a larger auger, which will often be motorized to power through bigger, more problematic blockages.
Back Flow Preventer: Required on handheld showers, kitchen sprayers, and sprinkler systems, this prevents water from flowing back into your drinking supply.
Ball Check Valve: This mechanism uses a ball to create a seal, allowing for one-way water delivery.
Ballcock: In a gravity-operated toilet, the ballcock is connected to float with a metal arm. As water is flushed from the tank, the toilet refills until the float has risen high enough to activate the shut off.
Connecting Rod: Also known as lift rod. The rod that causes the drain to close when lifted.
Copper Piping: A preferred material for bringing drinking water to your faucet is copper. The metal does not rust, and lasts longer than many other metals without leaching into your water supply. It is susceptible to corrosion at the solder joints, however, and should be well maintained to avoid leaks.
CWT: Copper Water Tube
Dip Tube: In a water heater, this sends cold water to the bottom of the tank.
Diverter: A valve used to redirect water to various outlets and fixtures.
Drain: The opening that leads to your piping system, removing wastewater.
Drain Valve: On a water heater, allows the removal of stored water.
Faucet screen: A small, fine mesh screen designed to filter debris from your water supply.
Faucet: The fixture that controls the flow of water.
Flapper: A hinged disc made of rubber, it raises to empty your toilet tank, and falls back into place, creating a seal and allowing the tank to refill.
Float Valve: Often comprised of a hollow ball or bladder, this controls the level to which the water in your tank is allowed to rise. When the ball rises to a predetermined level or capacity, the water is automatically shut-off.
Flow Control Valve: Used to limit the velocity of water. Aids in reducing waste.
Flow Rate: This will be measured in Gallons Per Minute [GPM] or Gallons Per Hour [GPH]
Galvanized steel: This is a type of steel which is often coated with zinc. The zinc is a sacrificial compound, which allows itself to be eaten away by the water, slowing down the corrosion of your pipes.
Garbage Disposal: Can be installed in most kitchen sinks, the disposal grinds food into fine particles which can then be washed away without causing a blockage.
GPM: Gallons per minute.
Gasket: Usually made of rubber or fiber, it creates a water-tight seal between joints.
Journeyman: Once a potential plumber has completed his apprenticeship, he will become a Journeyman. Additional training is required, and maintaining a journeyman’s license for 4-5 years is required to become a Master Plumber.
Licensed, Insured and Bonded: These three certifications are required by most states to legally operate as a plumber. Licensing ensures that your plumber has passed necessary testing and regulatory instruction. Insured guarantees that any injuries or damage incurred on a jobsite will be properly covered, and bonding is additional insurance against extenuating circumstances. This includes everything from employee neglect to the sudden closure of the business.
Low-flow: A water fixture equipped with a regulator that slows the flow of water. This is a waste-conscience and environmentally friendly option.
Main Drainpipe: Access to the septic system.
Master Plumber: Once a potential plumber has completed his apprenticeship and Journeyman phase, they have accumulated 10 to 15 years of experience in the field and must then pass rigorous state plumbing examination. This includes extensive testing on plumbing codes and practices. The Master Plumber is responsible for bidding on jobs, planning, and business operations.
Mixing Valve: Located in the faucet, this controls the flow of hot or cold into your tap.
Overflow: A drain located near the top of the basin. Usually a small hole or screen, it is designed to catch water before it overflows.
P-trap: So named for its shape, a P-trap is a drain pipe that runs from your sink to the main drain pipe. The shape traps a small amount of water in the pipe, which prevents sewer odors from backing into your home.
pH: Potential of hydrogen. This is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline your water is.
Pilot Light: The small flame used to ignite the burner that allows your water to be heated.
Pipe Threads: Complimentary ridges cut into the joining ends of two pipes. This allows pipes to be coupled.
Potable: Water that is safe to drink.
PPM: Parts per million. Measures concentration in your water.
Pressure gauge: Measures the amount of pressure in your piping sytem.
Pressure tank: Used in a well pump, the pressure tank forces water through a pipe when a spigot or faucet is opened. Gauges monitor water pressure, activating the water pump when the tank becomes empty.
PSI: Pounds per square inch. This unit of measurement is used to gauge pressure.
Sanitary sewer system: Piping system designated to remove waste water from toilets, tubs, and sinks into the sewer system.
Septic field: Once waste water has been treated, this system of pipes returns water into the soil, where it undergoes natures filtration and decontamination process.
Septic System: The combination of septic field, septic tank, and all involved piping.
Septic Tank: Water is driven into this underground tank, where it undergoes an anaerobic bacterial process to break down sewage.
Shutoff Valve: Most water access points in your home will be equipped with a shut off valve, which cuts the water supply to that fixture.
Storm Water Sewer System: A drainage system that moves rain and runoff water back into its natural source. This system is separate from any drains that remove waste water from your home, as water from these natural sources do not require treatment, and need only to be moved away from your home.
Sump Pump: This pump moves rain and runoff water out of a collection pit and away from your home, preventing flooding and foundation damage.
Tank: Holds water for future use.
Tankless Water Heater: A relatively new innovation, rather than holding hot water in a tank, tankless heaters utilize a natural gas burner to heat water on demand.
Vent Stack: Sometimes referred to as vent pipes, they allow water pressure to equalize with atmospheric pressure. This prevents a vacuum from forming, which would interfere with the natural and proper flow intended.
Wastewater: Once water has become used in your home, through a shower, washing machine, toilet, or any other application, it becomes wastewater. This must be treated before it can be released back into the water supply.
Water Heater Gauge: Indicated pressure and temperature in your water heater.
Water Heater: A tank that heats and holds water to supply your home.
Water Meter: Measures the amount of water flow [in gallons] in your home.
Water Pressure: Measured in pounds per square inch [ppsi], this is the measure of force your water system produces.
Water Softener: A system that utilizes salt and filters to remove minerals from your drinking and wash water.