Glossary of Commonly Used Plumbing Terms: Part 1

I hate going to the car mechanic and having them throw around a bunch of jargon I don’t understand. In the end, I have no idea what I paid for and always leave feeling like I was ripped off. In order to prevent that from happening with Rooter Experts Plumbing in Los Angeles, here is a glossary of common terms.

Apprentice Plumber: An entry-level person working to become certified. An apprentice will often be training under the watch of a professional.

Auger: Used to clear clogs in toilets and drains, this flexible metal rod is a common tool for most plumbers as it can wind deep into pipes.

CPVC: Short for chlorinated poly-vinyl chloride pipe, which is a plastic piping used for both hot and cold water.

Energy Star: The international rating system for measuring energy efficiency; used on washing machines and dishwashers.

Float Valve: This type of valve shuts down water flow at a certain level. The most common example is the hollow ball in the back of a toilet tank.

GPM: Gallons per minute; a measure of how much water a fixture needs to operate.

Hose bibb: The fitting on a hose that connects it to a spigot or faucet.

Journeyman: A plumber who has completed an apprenticeship, but still requires more training to achieve “master” status, typically taking 4-5 years.

Licensed, insured, & bonded: The three certifications that a plumbing company must possess in order to legally operate.

Overflow: An additional drain that prevents a fixture from overfilling and causing flooding. As an example, the small hole located at the top of a sink.

PEX (piping): A new and superior type of plastic piping, made up of hose barb connections and compression rings. It is easier to install around corners because it is flexible.

Pilot light: The small gas flame used to ignite a burner when activated.

Pressure gauge: A device used to measure the pressure in a water system.

Pressure tank: This tank controls water pressure so that you receive water on demand. When a faucet is turned on, the pressure forces out the water and when the water level reaches a predetermined level, the pump is started to raise water pressure.

Next week, we will continue part 2 of this glossary with additional terms you should know when hiring a plumber.