Plumbing Terms Everyone Should Know

Most of us know when it’s time to call a plumber. From busted water heaters to sewage issues, plumbers help tackle home emergencies with skill and expertise. However, it can feel like they are speaking a different language. Here are the top plumbing terms you should know.

Auger

A tool used to remove clogs from drains, toilets and underground lines. Some individuals also refer to it as a plumber’s snake, according to Fox Valley plumbing. It can be hand-powered or machine powered depending on the size of the clog to tackle.

Flapper

Not a reference to the roaring 20s, a flapper is a hinged part in a shut-off valve. Its job is to stop the flow of water. You can find a great example of this in your toilet water tank. As the tank refills, the flapper floats up engaging the shut-off valve when it reaches the appropriate level.

P-Trap

Part of your sink’s drain piping, a p-trap is named for the shape it takes. Its curved shape is designed to trap water in the pipe to prevent sewer odors from rising through the pipe. If you notice strange smells in your bathroom, your p-trap might be to blame.

Shut-Off Valve

Your home has multiple shut-off valves. These valves are usually places near exits in the plumbing system and will limit the flow of water if you are doing minor repairs. If a big water leak occurs in your home, head for the main shut-off valve to turn off all water to your home and prevent more damage.

Vent Stack

These pipes are installed to prevent vacuums from forming within drainage piping. They open to the atmosphere and equalize the pressure, letting the normal flow take place.

You don’t need to be a master plumber to speak the language. Familiarizing yourself with these plumbing terms will help you navigate your next conversation with the local plumber with ease.

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