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Plumbing Glossary

Term
Definition

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A Valve
A manual gas shut-off valve.
ABS
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, a stiff black plastic pipe and fittings used for drain, waste, and vent lines.
Absolute Pressure
Atmospheric pressure added to gauge pressure.
Absorption Field
A leech field engineered to receive septic tank sewage.
Acrylic
Thermoplastic used on the surface of bathtubs and whirlpools. Usually comes in sheets and is combined with fiberglass to create shower walls.
Adaptor
A fitting that joins two different types of pipes together.
Adjusting Link
An adjustable strap/ bar, which forms a connection between the lift rod of a faucet and the ball lever of the drain
Aerator
A device screwed into a faucet spout, which mixes air into running water to control flow and reduce splashing
Air Admittance Valve
A mechanical valve used to replace a traditional vent to allow air to enter the waste pipe and equalize pressure. It also preserves the seal of water in the fixture trap.
Air Chamber
A vertical, air-filled pipe or spring coil, set above the water line to absorb pressure when water is turned off at the faucet. Used to eliminate water hammer.
Air Gap
An air-filled space, which allows contaminated water to discharge freely while preventing the contaminated water from siphoning back into the potable water supply
Air Lock
A blockage in the flow of liquid.
Air Volume Control
Maintains the air charge in a standard water storage tank. Note: Pre-charged tanks do not require an air volume control.
Alkalinity
The measurement of elements in a water supply, which determine alkaline conditions; the measure of its capacity to neutralize acids
Ambient Temperature
The average temperature of the atmosphere in the vicinity of an appliance.
Americast
A patented process that uses a porcelain surface, an enameling grade steel material and a structural composite backing bonded together to create a sink that is similar to cast iron in durability but weighs considerably less
Angle Seat Wrench
Valve seat wrench with a handle that includes a 90 degree bend.
Angle Stop
A shutoff valve between the water pipes and a faucet. Usually used to shut off water to a fixture in case of an emergency repair.
Angular Discharge Tube
A discharge tube that changes the direction of water flow to approximately 90 degrees.
Anode Rod
A rod within a water heater, composed of one or more metals to protect the tank from corrosion; it helps prolong the life of the tank
Anti-clog Suction
A whirlpool water recirculating system, which prevents clogging without restricting the water flow
Anti-Siphon
Used to prevent the backflow of liquid into a system.
Apron
The apron, or skirting, a decorating portion of a bathtub that covers the rough-in area from the floor to the top rim of the tub. It is often sold separately from the tub.
Aquastat
A thermostat that is submerged in water.
Aquifer
A layer or zone below the surface of the earth which is capable of yielding a significant volume of water. The upper level of the aquifer is called the water table.
Arrow Head
A heavy duty auger cable tip.
Auger
A flexible rod with a curved end used to access the toilet's built-in trap and remove clogs.

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N

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P

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U

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