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Plumbing Terms 101: Understanding the Lingo

At some point in our lives, we all need a plumber for repairs. Plumbing issues that impact your plumbing pipes or sewage system are inevitable. If you’ve ever experienced a plumbing issue, you have probably heard a few terms that you don’t understand. The average homeowner does not know much about plumbing. That’s why it’s easy to get confused when your plumber starts mentioning terminology commonly used in the industry.

 

If you’ve heard terms like blackwater, check valve, or trap seal, you might be wondering what they mean. It’s essential to hire a professional plumber anytime you have a plumbing issue. However, this article can help you catch up on the everyday slang, so you know what parts of your system your plumber is discussing.

 

10 Common Plumbing Terms

 

Here are some standard plumbing terms you might hear when your plumber explains your problem:

 

1.   Blackwater

 

Blackwater refers to sewage, notably the sewage that runs from your toilet or sewage line. It might also refer to wastewater that has become trapped in your blocked toilet.

 

2. Dope

 

Dope is a binder that plumbers apply when they use thread connectors. It reinforces the connection to make a tighter, more secure grip. It is like a thick glue that helps establish leak-proof connections.

 

3. Branch Drain

 

The pipe attached directly to sinks, bathtubs, bathrooms, and other drains are called a branch drain. It drains into your main drain pipe, which links to your primary municipal or septic sewage system.

 

4. Check valve

 

Plumbers install a check valve in pipes so that water flows in only one direction. The check valve has one intake and one output to prevent the backflow of water. When the pressure or direction of water changes, most check valves used in the plumbing system shut off automatically.

 

5. Blow Bag

 

One of the most widely used equipment in the plumbing profession is a blow bag. This uses bursts of pressurized water to clear a clogged drain. It consists of a nozzle and a bladder that can attach to an ordinary garden hose.

 

6. Trap Seal

 

The curved pipe used to connect drains to the sewer is called a trap seal. It prevents unpleasant odors from escaping from leaks into your home or business. The water inside the trap keeps harmful gases out and creates what plumbers refer to as a trap seal.

 

7. Hard Water

 

Hard water is fresh water with a high mineral content of magnesium and calcium. It is not dangerous for your health but can damage your plumbing pipes and reduce their efficiency over time. Hard water leaves spots on dishes and scales buildup on showerheads and other plumbing fixtures. It can also create hair and skin problems as buildup accumulates.

 

8. Water Softener

 

As mentioned above, hard water is not suitable for pipelines. That’s where a water softener comes in to reduce the impact of hard water.  A water softener removes unwanted minerals from hard water so that your pipelines and other appliances remain efficient and last longer.

 

9. Water Hammer

 

Water Hammer is a phenomenon that occurs when water is switched on and off suddenly, creating a loud and intrusive noise. This is most commonly found with water pressure issues and can cause your pipes to collapse if it’s not resolved.

 

10. Friction Clamps

 

Friction clamps support vertical pipes. The hanger device is wrapped around the pipe and bolted to the wall to keep your pipes from sliding. These are used when pipes need to run along vertical walls.

If you need a reliable plumbing company, contact The Original Plumbing Company for help. Our reliable Riverside plumber company provides fast and affordable service.

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