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Plumbing is one of the most important aspects
of your home. You should be as informed as
possible when it comes time to hire a plumber.

1/8 Bend Offset
A plumbing fitting used for positioning a pipe around an

Access Panel
Covered opening in a wall or ceiling near a fixture that
allows access for servicing a plumbing or electric system.

Arconitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

A type of plastic used to make plumbing pipe

Air Gap

Vertical, unobstructed distance, between the flood level in a

plumbing fixture and the lowest water supply inlet, such as the
distance between the rim of the tub and the faucet.

Air Trap

A u-shaped pipe filled with water and located beneath plumbing

fixtures to form a seal against the passage of gases and odors.


Acetylene tank holding 40 cubic feet of gas, used for plumbing, once
used to fuel Boats, thus the name.

Back Vent
Plumbing fixture's separate vent in a building drainage system.

Balancing Ell
Control of water flow through a heat distribution unit using an elbow
plumbing fitting.

Ball Joint
The sphere shaped end of this flexible plumbing joint rests in a

Branch Drain
Plumbing fixture drain to the main drain line.

Circuit Vent

Plumbing drainage system vertical vent which is run from the

last two traps on a horizontal drain line to the main vent stack
of a building drainage system.

Closet Auger

A plumbing tool used for clearing obstructions from toilet

traps to the mouth of the waste pipe.

A type of fitting with two female ends that receive the smaller
ends of piping or tubing, making a connection. A mechanical
device or part for joining parts together to make a joint. A
type of fitting used to join plumbing pipes.

Directional Tee Plumbing

Tee fitting, which directs flow in one direction by use of an
internal baffle.

Drum Trap
Plumbing fixture, which is cylindrical in shape, which retains
water as a seal, with an outlet at its top and an inlet at its
base. Used in plumbing fixtures that are too low to the floor
for installation of a P-trap.



Plumbing fitting, shaped like an elbow, which allows water to flow in

a curve. Also referred to as an elbow, it is designed to use with pipe,
tubing, conduit, or duct and is available in 90 to 45 degrees.

Finish Plumbing

Installation of plumbing fixtures to make the system usable.

First Draw

Water that has been sitting in pipes or plumbing fixtures overnight

and is first drawn when taps are opened in the morning. For
instance, where lead is present in plumbing, this water would have
the highest levels of lead contamination.


Sinks, toilets, tubs. Plumbing fixtures. Electrical devices

connected to electrical current.

Fixture Branch

Pipe that carries wastes from non-toilet plumbing fixtures

directly to the building drain. It is also called a waste pipe,
wet vent, or fixture drain.

Fixture Drain

Pipe that carries wastes from non-toilet plumbing fixtures

directly to the building drain. It is also called a waste pipe,
wet vent, or fixture branch.

Horizontal Branch

Lateral drain pipes which run from the plumbing fixtures to the waste
stack in a building or into the soil.


Plumbing drainage fitting that enlarges the diameter of a straightline run by virtue of its larger size on one end and smaller on the
other. If it is used for the reverse, to make the diameter of a straightline run smaller, it is called a reducer.


Plumbing device, used to prevent sewer gas from entering a

building, by keeping a water seal in the drain.

Pipe Ell

Plumbing fitting, shaped like an elbow, which allows water to

flow in a curve. Also referred to as an ell, it is designed to use
with pipe, tubing, conduit, or duct and is available in 90 to 45


Tradesman who installs and repairs plumbing systems.


Collective term for the pipes and fixtures, etc. involved with
the movement of fluid throughout a building.

Plumbing Bend

Elbow fitting, used in drain and vent lines, to make

a bend at an angle to the main line.

Plumbing Drawing Symbols

Symbols used to denote specific fittings, etc. of


Plumbing Fixture

Mechanism which both receives and discharges

wastes and water into a drainage system.

Plumbing Snake

Thin, flexible length of spiral-wound metal, which is inserted

into a drain and rotated to clear anything that is clogged in
the pipes.

Plumbing Tree

Prefabricated set of drain waste, vent, and supply lines.

Plumbing Y-Branch

Y-shaped fitting, also called a wye, which has one straight

side and a branch joining at an angle and is used to join a
branch line and a main run.

Pressure Head

Pressure in a plumbing system. The unit of measure which is

the vertical force exerted by water at a depth of one foot.


A plumbing fitting with a 180-degree bend.

Rough In Plumbing

Plumbing system installation which prepares for but does not

include the installation of fixtures

A plumbing trap that takes the shape of the letter S and is used

where a waste pipe feeds into the floor instead of the wall, which
uses a P Trap. Disallowed in many parts of the country, they can
create a siphoning situation, pulling water out of the trap.

A system of pipes, containment and treatment facilities for the
disposal of plumbing wastes.

Soil Pipe
A pipe that penetrates a roof and is used to vent a building's

Tap Water


Water provided by a water company by way of the home's

plumbing system.


A plumbing fitting in the shape of the letter "T," used to

connect three sections of pipe.


Curved section of drain line that prevents sewer odors from

escaping into the atmosphere. All fixtures that have drains
must have a "P" trap installed. A toilet is the only plumbing
fixture with an "S" trap.


Surface material on some plumbing fixtures derived

from or consisting of glass, translucent, and low on


Waste Stack

A vertical pipe in a plumbing system that carries

the discharge from any fixture.

Looking For More Information On


Plumbing is a great way to improve the quality of life

in your home. You'll want to make sure you are
choosing the right plumber for your home and your
budget. We offer Plumbing Service Requests from
local, prescreened plumbers. plumber.

Adjustable Pipe
When you think if the
quintessential metal
plumbing tool, this is it.
The adjustable pipe
wrench is an iconic
symbol of plumbing

Adjustable Pipe Wrench

This tool provides tremendous leverage and grip. Once you tighten the
wrench around the pipe by use of the knurled knob, it is designed to grip
round objects (such as pipes) securely by digging its sharp serrated teeth
into the pipe with increasing pressure as the wrench is turned.

As a result this wrench is known for leaving teeth marks behind. I don't
recommend this wrench for removal of trim and if used that way, I
suggest you use duct tape on the serrated teeth to protect the trim
finish. More preferable however is to use anadjustable crescent wrench
for fine work on trim that is visible.








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how to design an efficient distribution system for the

water to flow through,

The main thing is having the water heater as close to

major points of use as possible.
> and any computations that must be made.

Diameter of the pipe needed depends on what the

fixtures consume, how long the run is, and the supply

In general, your options inside a house are 3/4" and 1/2".

Rarely is 1" needed other than the entrance before it splits

to hot and cold.

A general rule of thumb is that 3/4" is used for distribution

and 1/2" for branches to each room.

The theory is that there is less wear and tear on your

plumbing fixtures the slower the water is moving.

The larger the diameter, the slower the water moves.
The trade-off (which I consider to be a big deal) is that a
bigger pipe wastes a lot more energy heating water that
doesn't need to be heated - both hot and cold, and just
plain wastes water when you let the tap run while waiting
for hot or cold water.


If sluggish water flow from your faucet is a problem,
you may find the trouble lies with your faucet aerator.
This device is most often located at the tip of the
faucet andworksby mixing air and water in order to
give you an even flow of water. When mineral deposits
accumulate or if you have a damaged aerator, the best
thing to do is forgo faucet repair and replace the part.
If it's just dirt that is lodged in your faucet aerator,
you can conduct faucet repair in five easy steps:

1. Unscrew the faucet aerator from the spout, using

oil to loosen the connection if necessary.
2. Disassemble the parts, keeping in mind the order of
the components.
3. Use a toothbrush to clean the disk and screen with
soap and water.
4. To clear out debris in the disk, use a pin or
5. Flush the components with water before
reassembling the aerator