We’ve written an informative glossary of HVAC and plumbing terms that every homeowner should be familiar with. However, with frozen pipe and clogged toilet season upon us, we thought it was best to go over exactly what you should know about residential plumbing:

A: Acrylic – A thermoplastic added to the surface of bathtubs to waterproof shower walls

B: Ballcock – Also known as a fill valve; determines the flow of water from the supply line to a toilet tank

C: Cleanout plug – A cap or lid used to close off a drain cleanout pipe (any branch of plumbing – typically found in basement floor drains or main sewer pipes – used for cleaning or unclogging a system)

D: Dishwasher tailpiece
– An adapter that unites a basket strainer to a drainpipe with a dishwasher inlet

E: Elbow
– A pipe fitting that changes the direction of a line

F: Flushometer – A toilet valve that works like a sump pump and automatically shuts off after reading a pre-set amount of water

G: Gray water
– Unwanted waste from sinks, showers, and bathtubs

H: Hose bib
– Another term for an outdoor faucet

I: Instantaneous water heater
  A water heater that uses a heat exchanger coil to increase the temperature of the water

J: Jet
– A toilet feature that directs water into a trapway to begin drawing off the liquid by means of a siphon

K: Kinetic Water Ram
– A lightweight, compact tool that opens clogged sinks, toilets, and tubs by bursting compressed air through pipes, creating a shockwave of kinetic energy; handles rust, grease, sediment, and scale in lines up to 4 inches in diameter

L: Lock nut
– A nut joining two pipes together

Mixing valve – A plumbing valve that combines hot and cold water for delivery at a specific temperature

N: No-hub connector
– A rubber sleeve and stainless steel band with hose clamps used to connect different materials together

O: O.D.
– An acronym for outside diameter, which is the outside width of a pipe

P: PVC pipe
– An abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride; a white plastic pipe commonly used for plumbing and drainage

Q: Quick connect/disconnect
– A device that permits quick and easy connection of pipes

R: Rim holes
– A number of holes circulated around a toilet rim after incoming water flows into the bowl through the holes, washing the inner surface of the bowl

S: Shut-off valve
– Also known as a stop valve; a small device that connects to copper pipes by compression or sweat fitting and is designed to stop the flow of fluid

T: T&P valve
– An abbreviation for temperature and pressure valve; a piece of safety equipment that expels extra pressure of heat from within a water heater tank

U: Usable storage
– The percentage of hot water that can be taken from a tank without lowering the temperature to the point when it’s not considered hot anymore

V: Valve seat
– A stationary part of the main valve where water flow halts when the moveable portion of the valve meets the valve seat

Water pressure – A measure of the force applied to push water through a set of pipes into a faucet or showerhead

(Like we said before, nothing actually starts with Q)

Y: Yard hydrant
– Mainly used for homes on farmland; a device that provides water during every season, specifically through the winter without auxiliary heat

Z: Zone valve
– A valve used to control the flow of water or steam in a hydronic (transporting heat to circulate water) heating or cooling system

What’s all the fuss about your toilet overflowing, or the kitchen sink stopping up? With Warner Service’s handy glossary, you’ll know exactly which part to call an expert for when your appliance just isn’t cooperating. If you'd like to learn more about plumbing maintenance, check out our handy guide: 

Download Plumbing Maintenance Checklist