A-Z Common Plumbing Terms (I-R)

Plumbing Tools and Blue Print

Here we have it: Part 2 of the A-Z Common Plumbing Term blog series. It’s our goal to help you make sense of terms you may hear from a professional plumber who comes to your home to solve problems or install shiny new fixtures. Continuing from where we left off with Common Plumbing Terms A-H, here are more insider plumbing buzzwords you’ll want to know, from I-R:

  • Inlet Temperature: Average temperature of municipal water entering your house through the main supply line. Some city water is downright chilly—Chicago and Detroit water, for example, is in the mid-40 degree range—while here in San Diego we have fairly lukewarm water supply at an average of 72 degrees. Inlet temperature affects issues such as the performance and energy efficiency of your water heater.
  • Joints: Where two pipes connect. Joints between galvanized steel water supply lines are usually threaded. Copper supply line joints are soldered. Flexible polyethylene PEX pipes are crimped to fittings using a specialized tool. Drain pipes in most homes today are PVC and the connecting joints are glued.
  • Kitchen Trap: That u-shaped bend in the drain pipe beneath the kitchen sink. Water contained in the trap keeps noxious gasses from wafting up out of the sewer. The trap also prevents clogs by trapping stuff that shouldn’t be washed down the drain in the first place.
  • Low-Flow: Water-conserving showerheads and faucets. By going low-flow, the average family could reduce annual water usage—and the costs associated with it—by as much as 3,600 gallons. A water-efficient toilet saves even greater amounts.
  • Mixing Valve: The valve in a single-handle faucet or shower that blends cold and hot water flow to produce desired output temperature. Many mixing valves incorporate adjustable stops and pressure balancing design to reduce the risk of accidental scalding.
  • Non-potable: Water that is not suitable for drinking but may be used for other purposes such as watering landscape.
  • Overflow Tube: The vertical tube inside the toilet tank that prevents catastrophic overflow if the fill valve or float gets stuck. Aren’t you glad it’s there?
  • Plumber’s Helper: Either an entry-level employee or (more likely) old-school slang for a sink or toilet plunger.
  • Quantum Physics: Your plumber will be happy to discuss the latest theories.
  • Recovery Rate: Amount of water, expressed in gallons, that a water heater can heat to a specific temperature in one hour. More is better.

If you found this blog helpful, be sure to read “A-Z Common Plumbing Terms (A-H).”

North County Plumbing is located in Oceanside, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services with no overtime charges! Contact us today!

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