10 Plumbing Terms You Need to Know

plumbing terms, plumbing service in Charlotte area

Take a look at the pipes and water sources in your home, add to that the list of services we offer, and multiply that by the number of blog posts on our site. What do you get? Mathwise, we’re not sure...but you do get some insight into just how much there is to learn about plumbing!

We’ll be doing a series of posts on Understanding Your Home’s Plumbing in the coming months. For this post, we’ll introduce you to some plumbing terms and an overview of things to know.

Plumbing Terms to Know

We could go on for pages about this, but we’ve distilled (get it?) dozens of terms into a few helpful ones. Some you may know, some may be refreshers, and some may be new to you:

Alkalinity is the measurement of elements that determine alkaline conditions in a water supply. Alkaline neutralizes acids. Alkalinity for drinking water should be between 20 and 200 milligrams per liter.

Keep the swim suits in the drawer—you don’t want to dive into a cesspool. That’s the lined excavation in the ground where the drainage system discharge goes. It’s designed to permit liquids to seep through the sides and bottom while retaining organic matter and solids.

The FTC requires an Energy Guide Label is required on water heaters. This label displays two things important to homeowners: 1) an estimated annual cost of operation, and 2) the unit's efficiency compared to similar models.

You’ve heard of people “blowing a gasket” when they’re upset. A gasket is a fiber or rubber device that provides a watertight seal between metal joints—and you can visualize the explosiveness of a blown gasket!

Hard water has to do with the proportion of impurities. Chemically, hardness is a measure of calcium or dissolved solids in a solution, measured in parts per million (ppm). Hard water ranges from 100 to 250 ppm.

You know that round washer used to create a watertight seal around valve stems? That’s an O Ring.

Nature has snakes, and so do plumbers. A plumber’s snake (or auger) is a stiff steel cable used to clear drains of obstructions and clogs.

Soft water has a low calcium and magnesium content—less than 17.1 ppm.

Here’s an important one if you spot a leak: the stop valve. This is the shutoff valve under sinks and toilets that cuts off the water supply to a particular fixture (so you can turn water off to the kitchen sink without affecting the bathroom sink).

A water pressure reducing valve cuts down the amount of water that passes through a pipe. Water that’s being forced through the pipes at high pressure before the valve will be slowed down after the valve. This can help to ensure that the pipes experience less wear and tear and keep fittings or joints from being over-pressured, which can lead them to leak or come loose.

Expert Plumbing Services in Charlotte

If you live within a 30-mile radius of Charlotte, we've got you covered. Plumbing installation, repair, maintenance, emergencies—you name it, we do it. Call us at (704) 846-5371 or use our online contact form. We’re available 24/7 every day of the year.

plumbing terms, plumbing service in Charlotte area

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: What are the most important plumbing terms I should know?

There are 10 important plumbing terms you should know. Alkalinity is the measurement of elements that determine alkaline conditions in a water supply. A cesspool is the lined excavation in the ground where drainage system discharge goes. An Energy Guide Label displays an estimated annual cost of operation and the unit’s efficiency compared to similar models.

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