Plumbing Terminology:
A Comprehensive Glossary


Understanding plumbing can often feel like learning a new language. At Community Plumbing Solutions, we believe in empowering our clients with knowledge. This glossary of plumbing terminology is designed to help you navigate the complex world of plumbing with greater ease and understanding.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene): A type of black plastic pipe used for waste, vent, and drain lines.

Aerator: A device added to the end of a faucet that introduces air into the water flow to reduce splashing and increase efficiency.

Backflow: The unwanted reverse flow of liquids in a piping system, potentially contaminating the water supply.

Ball Valve: A valve controlled by a lever and ball mechanism, used to control the flow of water.

CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride): A type of plastic pipe suitable for hot and cold water lines.

Drain-Waste-Vent (DWV) System: The system of pipes that carries waste water and sewer gases out of a building and regulates air pressure in the waste-system pipes to aid free flow.

Fixture: Any device that provides a supply of water and/or its disposal. E.g., sinks, toilets, showers.

Flapper: A rubber valve in the bottom of the toilet tank that lifts to allow water to flow from the tank into the bowl when the toilet is flushed and seals the tank for refilling.

GPM (Gallons Per Minute): A measurement of the flow rate of faucets and showers.

Hydro Jetting: A process that uses high-pressure water to clear blockages in pipe systems.

P-Trap: A curved, “P”-shaped pipe under a sink that traps debris and prevents gases from the sewer from entering the home.

PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene): A type of plastic tubing used for water supply lines, known for its flexibility and resistance to scale and chlorine.

Sump Pump: A pump used to remove accumulated water from a sump pit, commonly found in the basements of homes.

T&P Valve (Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve): A safety device used on water heaters to relieve pressure and prevent explosion if the water temperature or pressure becomes too high.

Vent Pipe: A vertical pipe that allows air to enter the plumbing system to ensure proper drainage and prevent vacuum conditions that could hinder water flow.

Waste Line: Pipes in a plumbing system that carry waste water away from fixtures to the sewer or septic system.

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