5 Odd Plumbing Terms & Issues You Need to Know

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Plumbing issues can be an unexpected and stressful reality for any Vineland homeowner. If you’re new to homeownership, plumbing issues may be in your future, and strange plumbing terms can add another layer of confusion. However, understanding what our local plumbers are talking about is essential to being a responsible homeowner.

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey, our experienced and knowledgeable team specializes in addressing all types of plumbing problems—from common repairs to more obscure solutions associated with odd plumbing terms. To help demystify some common plumbing vernacular, we wanted to provide an overview of five odd terms you might overhear while working with our team.

1. Blue Goo

Show of hands, how many immediately thought of a soft drink aimed at kids when they read the term blue goo? There are many images this phrase conjures, but the actual meaning probably isn’t as interesting as you may have thought, and it’s certainly no fun for your pipes. Blue goo is used to describe the substance left behind from toilet cleaners that hang from the bowl. Often, this goo-like material can get clogged in drains, causing massive stoppages and plumbing damage. So, while your toilet might look and smell pleasant, the effects of blue goo are anything but.

2. Water Hammer

Unfortunately, a water hammer isn’t as fun as it sounds. This plumbing term describes a condition that occurs when water suddenly changes direction and slams into any obstruction or valve. This can happen when the water flow is abruptly stopped, resulting in a pressure shock wave that travels through the piping system. This shock wave can put a strain on the pipes and potentially cause damage if not addressed promptly.

3. Cold Water Sandwich

Hearing the term cold water sandwich likely gets you excited about the prospect of a hardy sub or gourmet sandwich. Actually, it probably doesn’t sound very appetizing on second thought, but it is an important phrase with dual meanings.

The Cold Water Sandwich Effect

Many Vineland homeowners may have already experienced this annoying yet common phenomenon that occurs in tankless water heaters. The cold water sandwich effect is a phrase to describe the fluctuation of water temperatures. This usually happens due to a tankless water heater that may not have the capacity to accommodate high water usage in your Vineland home.

Remedies for a cold water sandwich include:

  • Replacing a tankless water heater with a gas tankless water heater for cost savings
  • Adding a mini tank water heater for extra and faster heating power
  • Installing a recirculating system to heat water waiting in the pipes
  • Installing a tankless water heater with delayed shut-off to preserve operation life

The Cold Water Sandwich Technique

The cold water sandwich technique is also described as a plumbing method that involves connecting two cold water outlets. This technique is often used when connecting washing machines or other appliances to existing cold-water pipes. It helps to ensure that the appliance gets the right amount of water pressure and prevents any water leakage or damage due to incorrect installations.

4. Sweating the Pipes

Has anyone ever told you, “Don’t sweat the pipes?” No? Well, they probably won’t because this saying isn’t common unless you live and breathe professional plumbing. Specifically, sweating the pipes simply describes soldering two fittings together to ensure no leaks. Typically, our Vineland plumbers use this term during pipe repair or replacement. Feel free to use this phrase in everyday life, but don’t be surprised if you get a few strange looks or someone eager to correct what they might perceive as an incorrect saying.

5. Drip Channel

Drip channel probably sounds like a channel you get with a cable package, but it’s actually a bit more interesting than that. A drip channel is a shallow trench, or a specialized channel designed to collect and direct the water that might leak from a pipe. It prevents water damage by collecting the liquid and directing it to an appropriate outlet, such as a drain or another piping system. Drip channels are usually made of plastic or another material that does not rust and requires little maintenance, so you can utilize this component and use the term for years.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey Can Help Provide Clarity and Exceptional Plumbing Support

Do plumbing terms and issues constantly seem like a foreign language to you? It’s understandable — much of our professionals’ lingo can be confusing. But it helps to have at least some familiarity with common plumbing problems and what they are called. Now that you’re a little more familiar, you can relay information to our local technicians so that we can deliver superior quality support when you need it most.

If you live in or around the Vineland area, trust Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey with all your plumbing needs. Call to get started.