We know that in the plumbing and heating world, there's a lot of jargon that homeowners may not understand when we diagnose the problem or offer a solution. However, understanding some of this wordplay can actually make our house calls easier because we know (and you know) exactly what we’re there for. To break it down term-by-term, here is Warner Service’s convenient A to W guide to plumbing and heating jargon:


A: Air filter – A device composed of fibers that removes dust, pollen, mold and bacteria from the air

B: Blowers – A type of fan on an indoor HVAC unit that pushes filtered air into your home

C: Condensing unit – A unit used to condense a substance from its gas to liquid state by cooling

D: Ductwork – A system used to deliver and remove air as a measure of indoor air quality and thermal comfort

E: Exhaust component – A part of an appliance in chimneys, stoves and vents that clear gases away from controlled combustion

F: Furnace – An appliance that provides heat to your home through air, steam, hot water, coal, wood or natural gas

G: GPF – An acronym for “gallons per flush,” which is the rate of water flow by which toilets and flush valves are measured

H: Heat pump – A device that provides heat by absorbing it from a cold area and releasing it into a warmer one

I: ID – An acronym for “inside diameter,” which is the inside width of a pipe

J: (We’ve got nothing.)

K: Kitchen disposal – An electronically-powered device that is installed under the kitchen sink. It is used to shred food waste into small pieces that can pass through plumbing

L: Low consumption toilet – An eco-friendly grade or class of toilet that is designed to flush 1.6 gallons or less

M: Main – The primary place where all of your home’s pipes from the drain system connect. This term can also apply to a part of your home’s ductwork (see above)

N: Nipple – A short piece of pipe that is installed between couplings or other fittings

O: Overflow – The occurrence of a toilet being clogged and proceeding to spill over with water – and hopefully nothing else.

P: Pilot light – A small continuous blue flame that ignites a larger burner on a gas stove, furnace or water heater

Q: (Does anything really start with the letter ‘Q?’)

R: Refrigerant valve – A component in heating and cooling systems that controls the amount of refrigerant flow into the evaporator

S: Snake – A flexible, usually steel auger that is used to dislodge difficult toilet clogs that cannot be loosened with a plunger

T: Thermostat – The part of your HVAC system that controls the temperature of your home by regulating the flow of heat transfer, can be programmable or manual

U: Ultra-low flow – A term that is interchangeable with “high efficiency” when discussing the conservation efforts of water flow

V: Vents – An opening that allows air to pass into and out of a confined space

W: Weather-stripping – A type of insulation made from V strip, felt, foam tape, door sweeps, or tubular rubber for your windows or patio doors

From acronyms about pipe diameter and water flow measurement to the basics of heating and cooling systems, this glossary is a good start to learning the ins and outs of your home’s HVAC and plumbing systems. We hope that you understand a bit more than you did before, but if you need help with your home’s plumbing or heating/cooling, or you would just like to schedule a maintenance check-up, contact Warner Service today.


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