Home & Garden

Plumbing Terms You Need To Know

You have a minor plumbing repair or you’re trying your hand at a small DIY project. You hit up your local home improvement store but are bombarded by all these different plumbing supplies.


You have a plumbing job that you can’t handle so you call your local Frisco plumbing expert. However, you feel a little embarrassed as he explains the problem with all these plumbing terms and you are unsure of what they mean.

Sound familiar? No worries, it happens to the best of us, but this is certainly not an unsolvable problem. No matter which situation you find yourself in, it is super easy to brush up on your plumbing lingo so that, next time, you know exactly what you need to look for or you can feel more comfortable talking with your local plumbing expert while he is helping you.

To help get you started, here are some of the terms that plumbers use like toilet terms, piping terms, and other general plumbing terms. Once we’re done, you’ll be on your way to becoming an up-and-coming plumber (probably not your thing but it helps).

Toilet Plumbing Terms

If you open up the back of your toilet, you will most likely find some levers, plugs, and rubber bits behind there.

What are they? Well, check out these toilet terms.

1. Black water –– this is water that drains from the toilet to the sewer.

2. Ballcock (also known as a flapper valve) –– a rubber float attached to a metal arm that is found in the tank of the toilet. It controls the water flow between tank and toilet by refilling the bowl from water in the tank after flushing.

3. Shutoff valve -– a valve under your toilet that turns off water to the fixture during repairs or breaks.

4. GPF –– stands for gallons per flush which measures the water flow in toilets *current standard is 1.6 gpf*

5. Auger (or plumbing snake) –– metal, flexible tools used to break up and/or remove clogs in toilets.

6. Septic tank –– found underground and is used to store wastewater (once solid particles settle, the water is removed). Septic tank pump out is required to clean it.

What Terms Do You Use For Piping?

Ever wondered how all that plumbing stuff works? Well, we won’t explain it here but will give you a rundown of some common plumbing pipe terms.

● Overflow –– when there is a blockage that prevents water from draining into plumbing.

● Backflow –– when wastewater travels back up into the main plumbing system which can cause significant damage (also with overflow too).

● Burst pressure –– this happens when there is too much pressure in the pipes causing them to burst or break (plumbers establish burst pressure levels for homeowner and plumber education).

● Branch drain –– leads to the main drainage line.

● Wet vent –– a pipe that vents air into drains as well as drains wastewater.

● Fitting –– a part that joins two pieces of pipe together.

● Water main –– the primary pipe that feeds a drainage system.

● Access panel –– a covered fixture that provides access to your plumbing system.

Other Plumbing Related Terms

Lastly, we have some terms for you all to learn about some common procedures done on plumbing systems and other interesting plumbing terms.

1. Hydro-jetting –– used to clear up blockage or build up in slow sewage lines by using blasts of high pressure water.

2. Aeration –– the process of mixing water with air using an aerator to eliminate gases and foul odors.

3. Cleanout -– an opening placed in a drain line so that plumbers can easily place plumbing equipment inside the pipe.

4. Plumber’s putty –– a clay-like substance used to fix joints and fixture bases.

5. House bibb –– an outdoor faucet.

6. Dip tube –– this is found in the water heater and sends cold water to the bottom of the tank.

7. Gray water -– water that drains from showers, sinks, and tubs.

Leaving Your Plumbing Job To Frisco Plumbing Experts

Well, that was pretty thorough and we hope you enjoyed our big list of plumbing terms that are certainly useful to know –– especially if you are a homeowner (but, still useful for everyone to know). Now, the next time you call a plumber in frisco, tx, tx for your next plumbing mishap, you will be fully prepared to discuss the problem and be a part of the solution (which is always a plus on your end).


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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