Plumbing Terms That You Should Know
By Jon Ching on November 08, 2018
When you don’t speak the same language as your plumber it can be very difficult to understand what’s going on. You might have trouble describing the problem you’re having or you might not be aware of what your plumber is doing, which can cause a lot of confusion down the line. At J2 Plumbing & Heating, we try to make your service as easy as possible. Our plumbers and HVAC technicians are well versed in customer service, but it’s always helps to know the terms when explaining to your plumber the issue that you’re having.
Access Panel - The access panel is the covered opening that closes off your plumbing system. Having one allows for easy inspection and routine plumbing maintenance because your plumber will not have to cut into drywall or tile to get to your plumbing system. You might hear this term when your plumber arrives and he asks where the access panel or plumbing system is.
Main / Main line - The main or main line is the primary water supply or drain system. This is how the water company’s water supply on your street gets to your house. The main line branches off to each house. You’ll hear this term when your plumber says there isn’t anything wrong in your house, it has to do with the main and you’ll have to contact your water company.
Plumbing snake - A plumbing snake is a long, flexible tool that’s used to break up clogs in your drains. Before calling a plumber, you might want to try snaking your drain and seeing if that fixes the issue. You can find a plumbing snake at any home improvement store. It’s a good idea to keep one in your home in case of an emergency.
Valve - Valves are a part of your plumbing system to regulate water flow. You can cut down on water flow or completely turn it off with valves. There are a few different valves in your plumbing system that operate different fixtures, but they all have the same function of regulating water flow. A shutoff valve is located under a sink or toilet to turn off the water supply during repair or in the case of an emergency. A relief valve opens to release pressure and temperature into the system. Your toilet has a flapper valve, which is the rubber plug at the bottom of the tank that allows the water from the tank to the bowl.
Dripping fixtures - This is just another name for a leaking faucet or pipe. This will cause an increase in your water bill, and can even cause water damage to the affected area. If you are unable to do this repair yourself, definitely call a plumber and say that you have a dripping fixture or faucet leak.
Gray water - This is the water that drains for your shower, bathtub, and sinks. The water that drains from your toilet to the sewer is called black water. Gray water might include soaps, oils from cooking, and other additions that come in contact with it. Some households reuse gray water, if you choose to do that you must regulate what goes into it so it is safe to do. White water does not contain any of these additives.
O-Ring - An o-ring is a rubber washer used to make watertight seals on valves. Often, this is the reason for a leak, so you might hear this term when you plumber says that all they needed to do was replace the o-ring.
Now that you are caught up in some basic plumbing lingo, don’t be afraid to speak to you plumber about someone you might be worried about or confused about in your home. If you need to schedule maintenance, a repair, or are experiencing an emergency, use these terms to better explain the situation to your plumber. That way, they can come prepared with the right tools and the right team to help you out.
J2 Plumbing & Heating will make a call to the plumber as painless as possible. Reach out to us at 1-833-523-4948 if you have any questions about your home’s plumbing system, and we will be happy to help!