Dean’s Professional Plumbing Glossary

While we recommend always having an expert on hand to tackle any plumbing or HVAC problems you encounter, we also recommend our customers familiarize themselves with some of the typical plumbing vernacular. That way, you’ll be better equipped to articulate your issue to the pros, and to understand your options when it comes to a solution!

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Backflow Prevention Valve: A portion of your plumbing that works to work against wastewater from homes and buildings flowing back into the system, and potentially contaminating your water.

Dual-Flush: This technology is all about efficiency! Toilets with dual-flush give homeowners the choice of flushing more or less water, depending on the waste they need to wash away.

Fitting: This refers to any device designed to control and guide the flow of water. Some examples might include faucets, shower heads, or shutoff valves

Fixture: Not to be confused with fittings, fixtures include any device that has a drain for water waste, such as toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and shower bases.

Flapper: The movable part of a toilet’s flush valve that releases the water from the tank into the bowl when the toilet is flushed and keeps the water in the tank when the toilet is not in use.

Gallons Per Minute (GPM): This measures how fast or slow water through a fixture or fitting at a certain pressure.

Gallons Per Flush (GPF): Just as you might assume, this measures the total volume of water required to flush toilet.

Gravity-Fed Toilets: These toilets, the most popular kind in the U.S., rely on the force of gravity to flush. The natural force of water dropping down from the tank helps flush the bowl clean and washes away water and waste efficiently.

Low-Flow: Referring to fixtures and fittings, this term denotes that a plumbing product meet the water efficiency standard of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Pressure-Assisted Toilets: Unlike gravity-fed toilets, this kind of fixture uses a compressed-air device to enhance the force of gravity used to clean the bowl when the toilet is flushed.

Trapway: Commonly referred to as an S-trap, a trapway is the waste channel that connects the toilet to the sewer line. It is measured in terms of the largest diameter ball that can pass through it, called a ball-pass or ball-passage.

Valve: This is a specific fitting that has a movable part that opens or closes, giving it the ability to regulate water flow.

Not a professional plumber like the technicians here at Dean’s? No problem! Just call us and we’ll get you connected to one who can help you troubleshoot your home’s plumbing problems today.

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