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Plumbing Terms for Every Homeowner

Updated: 7 days ago



Plumbing Terms for Every Homeowner |  | Long Island's Plumbing Blog

So you want to know about plumbing? Perhaps because you are a do-it-yourself person and nothing will make you more happy than fixing that annoying leak in your kitchen faucet with your own hands or maybe it's because you want to understand better what your plumber is talking about.


Whatever your goals are, there are some essential concepts you'll need to master.

Think about it, when you are learning a new language, there's always a set of words that you need to understand before moving to the practice part.


Plumbing is no different, actually, it might be even more important given the risks that a bad handling of a plumbing emergency has.

So where to start?



We've made it easy and collected 30 basic plumbing terms everyone needs to know.


  • Access panel: This can be understood as the opening found close to a fixture, it's essential to be able to solve plumbing issues.

  • Angle stop: You or the plumber are repairing something and suddenly water spreads everywhere, what to do? Run to the angle stop, as it's the valve that cancels the flow of water.

  • Aerator: Ever wondered how water flows in an orderly manner from your faucet? It's thanks to this mesh piece that's collected right onto the tip of your faucet.

  • Backwater valve: The job of this fella is pretty straightforward, to act as a barrier so disposed sewage doesn't come back.

  • Bleed: No, don't worry, it has nothing to do with blood. It's just a way of saying that your pipes need to let out excess water or air contained.

  • Blowbag: They work attached to the garden hose and rely on water pressure.

  • Branch: In plumbing, we call branch to all the secondary parts of the drain system.

  • Brass: Of all the materials used in plumbing, brass is the most common. It's metal and it's widely used.

  • Cleanout plug: Located in a trap or drain pipe, allows you to access the drain line.

  • Closet: The easiest of the group, it's a synonym for toilet.

  • CPVC: Say it with me: Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. It's a distant relative of PVC, but it's not widely recommended.

  • Diaphragm: It's essential to regulate water flow within a valve.

  • Drip leg: You can also call it a sediment trap. It's installed as part of your gas line and works to collect debris.

  • Effluent: It takes away the wastewater from the tank and directs it to the drain.

  • Fittings: This is going to be useful for connecting various straight pipes

  • Fixtures: We call fixtures to all the devices that work with water, like your toilet, bathtub, sinks, and even your dishwasher.

  • Flapper valve: It connects the water tank with the toilet bowl. It allows water to flow to the toilet bowl.

  • Gas cock: This comes in handy to shut off the gas supply

  • Gasket: Useful for sealing purposes in plumbing

  • Gray water: Non-potable water

  • Interceptor: This device works within your sanitary drainage to catch oils and grease.

  • Main line: In charge of bringing water to your home.

  • Manifold: Allows the flow of hot and cold water using your piping system.

  • Non-ferrous: A general term that refers to metals like aluminum, copper, zinc, and iron.

  • O-ring: Important piece to prevent leakages in your pipes.

  • PRV: Pressure-reducing valve, is located on the main water line.

  • Sump pump: Very essential for houses in areas where heavy rains are common, it’s found in basements and accumulates water that later is pushed to the exterior.

  • Trap: Easy to recognize due to its curved shape, is part of the drain line, and is responsible for blocking sewer odors.

  • Vent: Brings in the air to the drain system.


Feeling more confident now? Great! While it's empowering to understand basic plumbing terms, some projects or emergencies are best handled by professionals. For expert assistance, trust Keith Renick Plumbing. Visit keithrenickplumbing.com and let us take care of your plumbing needs. Follow us for more tips and updates!

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