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When you call in plumbers to work on your house, you may notice them throwing around terms that sound foreign to you. Here’s a look at some plumbing jargon to help you better understand your technicians and the plumbing work they are performing.

Plumbing Jargon

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  • ABS – Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, the tough, plastic piping used in drain lines.
  • Adapter – A fitting that joins two disparate sizes of pipes together.
  • Auger – A bendable metal rod, made of spring material, with a clearing or cutting device on one end. An auger is used to remove clogs in drains.
  • Coupling – A fitting that connects two pipes of the same size.
  • CVCP – Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. This is a hard plastic pipe used in the water supply system.
  • Copper piping – Water line made of copper or copper alloy.
  • Drain – Aperture of a piping network to remove wastewater from a system or fixture.
  • Elbow – A pipe fitting with two openings, usually at 90°.
  • Flapper – The part of a shut-off valve that moves in order to stop the flow of water.
  • Faucet – A fixture in a sink that controls water output, usually with a mixing valve to adjust the water temperature.
  • Fixture – Anything that allows a supply of water in or out, such as sink or toilet.
  • Float valve – A control valve that stops water at a desired volume.
  • Galvanized steel – A type of water piping that is coated with a zinc compound to arrest the corrosion process.
  • GPM – Gallons per minute to describe the amount of water used to operate a fixture.
  • Hose – A bendable tube, either plastic or rubber, that transports water.
  • Low-flow – Any water fixture that facilitates a release of water at a lower flow rate.
  • Overflow – A type of drain that prevents overfilling of a fixture.
  • P-trap – A drainpipe shaped like a “p” to trap a small quantity of water in the pipe in order to prevent sewer smells from entering the house.
  • PEX – A recently developed type of flexible tubing that uses barb connections and compression rings.
  • Plunger – A suction device, shaped like a bowl, that assists in opening up clogged drains.
  • PVC – Polyvinyl chloride is the white plastic pipe used for home sprinkler systems.
  • Shutoff valve – A valve that stops water flow in pipes.
  • Sump pump – A pump for removing water from the collection pit.

These are only samples of common plumbing verbiage. The more you know about plumbing lingo, the better you will be able to understand plumbing processes at work in your home and converse with the specialists who establish and repair them.