Torrance Plumbing Terms You Should Know (A-H)

Plumbing Terms
Whether you dabble in DIY plumbing for your home or you’re preparing for plumbing services in Torrance, there are common terms that can help you better understand what’s going on, especially if it’s local lingo.

Plumbing Dictionary A – H

Access Panel

An opening in the wall or ceiling near a fixture that provides access to plumbing systems for working on tasks.

Angle Stop

A valve that shuts the water supply off to a plumbing fixture.

Anode Rod

A rod inside a water heater tank that provides protection from minerals that will cause corrosion within the tank.

Air Gaps

Not all states require air gaps for dishwashers, but the California plumbing code does. An air gap is a small fitting that physically separates the space between a freshwater fixture and a wastewater collection to prevent backflow.

Automatic Compensating Valve

A valve that holds both hot and cold water, automatically maintaining the temperature for each water outlet to avoid scalding and thermal shock.


A device that attaches to a faucet, mixing air into the flowing water and controlling the flow to minimize splashing.

Backwater Valve

A device that prevents sewage from reentering the property.

Ball Check Valve

A valve that goes on a water line to push water flow in one direction and avoid backwater flow.


This device controls the water flow in a gravity-operated toilet tank by opening to distribute water into the tank upon flushing.


Also known as the lateral line, a branch is any secondary part of the drain system.

Branch Vent

This connects vents within a vent stack.


To release air in a pipe by opening a valve at the end.


A generic term for a faucet or fixture of any kind.


A reversal of the normal direction wastewater flows from buildings.

Backflow Prevention Device

Any mechanical device which is used to automatically prevent backflow.


A building or product that permits access to all users, including those in wheelchairs.

Balancing Valve

A valve in the water heater that controls water flow to distribute heat correctly.

Ball Passage

This term refers to the size of ball that can pass through a toilet.

Beehive Strainer

A strainer within a urinal to stop debris from entering the drain.


A tank for boiling water to use the steam for heat or power.

Burst Pressure

The amount of pressure that a pipe or tube can withstand before bursting or rupturing.

Check Valve

A type of backflow installed on a pipe to direct the water.

Cleanout Plug

A plug in a trap or drainpipe that allows access to the drain line.


A synonym for a toilet, which is also referred to as a water closet.

Closet Bend

A connector to fit the flange to the toilet drain.


A flexible membrane that helps regulate water flow and buildup within a valve.

Dip Tube

A device to send cold water to the bottom of a water heater tank.

Drip Leg

Also known as a sediment trap, this is a pipe at the lower segment of a gas line. There is a capped-off section that collects condensation and debris.

Energy Factor

The efficiency rating of a water heater that includes recovery, stand-by loss, and energy input.


A cover or protective flange under a faucet handle that covers the hole.

Expansion Tank

A water heater tank that absorbs excess pressure from thermal expansion.


Also known as flow or pitch, the fall refers to the slope necessary for proper pipe drainage.


The plumbing device that provides water and/or disposal, such as sinks or toilets.

Flapper Valve

The connection from the water tank to the toilet bowl that opens to allow water flow from the tank to the bowl.

Floor Flange

Also known as a closet flange, the floor flange connects a toilet to a sewer line.

Gas Cock

A device that allows the gas to be shut off.

Gate Valve

A valve that controls the flow of liquids in pipes.

Gravity Operated Toilet

A toilet that uses downward pressure of water in a toilet tank to flush.

Gray Water

Also known as Category 2, gray water is wastewater from common fixtures but not toilets.

Hard Water

Natural water that has a higher level of impurities, such as calcium.

Horizontal Branch

A lateral drainpipe that runs from a plumbing fixture to a waste stack.

Horizontal Run

The distance liquid travels from the entry and exit points of a pipe.

Hose Bib

A common outdoor faucet.

Hydronic System

A heating or cooling system that uses water as the medium for heat transfer in a circulating loop.

Next week we’ll bring out plumbing terms I – Z. Get in touch with our team for answers to your plumbing questions!