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Common Plumbing Terms You Need To Know

Your local professionals from Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse have the plumbing information and experience to help you out when your plumbing system springs a leak, gets clogged up or otherwise fails to perform as expected. However, in order to do the best job, your licensed plumber from Mr. Rooter Plumbing may need to ask you questions or may need to explain certain concepts to you.

We want you to be aware of the most commonly used plumbing phrases and words so you can communicate effectively. Knowing the following terms allows you to better understand what is happening in your home and allows you to report problems accurately:

  • Shutoff valve: Sometimes known as a "straight stop" or "supply stop," this valve is used to shut off the water supply for your toilet, sink or other area before work is done. This valve is usually under a toilet tank or under a sink.
  • Air gap: The air gap keeps your drinking water safe. It is the space between the flood rim level of a receptacle, such a sink, and the water outlet delivering water to that fixture.
  • Backflow: This issue occurs when water flows the wrong way in a plumbing system or pipe, sometimes because of a blockage or other problem. The concern with backflow is that it can introduce impurities into drinking water.
  • Aeration: This method mixes air and water using an aerator. The goal is to improve the way water tastes and smells by removing dissolved gasses in the water.
  • Check valve: On a pipe, this type of backflow prevention keeps water flowing in one correct direction. It can help prevent contamination of a drinking water supply.
  • Cleanout: In this process, an opening is used in a drainage line so a plumbing professional can use draining cleaning equipment correctly. This is the method used when a blockage occurs in a line or drain.
  • Drainage line: Also known as "drain lines," these are the pipes and tubes which carry unclean or used water from a fixture to a waste or drain system. This is the path water takes as it leaves your home.
  • Closet auger: A closet auger is a flexible rod which is inserted into the toilet to reach the toilet trap to clear clogging.
  • Fixture: A fixture is any device in plumbing which produces or disposes of water. Your bath, shower and sink are all fixtures.
  • Hydro-jetting: In this process, blockages are removed from sewage lines by using high-pressure water.
  • Plumber's Putty: This material has the consistency of clay and is used to seal up joints and other parts of a fixture which need to be waterproofed. It is used in situations where the fixture will not be exposed to pressurized water.
  • Septic tank: In homes where no connection to municipal sewage pipes is available, septic tanks are small, independent sewage systems. Waste is stored inside a tank, where bacteria decomposes the matter.

Are there other plumbing terms you would like to know? If you are not sure how to describe a plumbing problem you are having, request a job estimate from Mr. Rooter Plumbing. Our courteous and helpful team would be pleased to assist you.