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Plumbing Terminology Homeowners Should Know
Plumbing Terminology Homeowners Should Know
August 09/2023

Plumbing Terminology Homeowners Should Know

When you hire a plumber to carry out plumbing installations or repairs in your home, you can feel lost if you don’t understand the terminology your plumber is using. Knowing plumbing terminologies allows you to communicate more effectively with your plumber. You can accurately describe the issues you’re facing, ask questions, and understand the solutions proposed.

Here are some of the plumbing terms that every homeowner should know:

Shut-off Valve

A shut-off valve is a simple device used to control and stop the flow of water within a plumbing system. It allows homeowners and plumbers to easily turn off the water supply to specific fixtures, appliances, or sections of the plumbing system. Shut-off valves come in handy during maintenance, repairs, and emergency situations, as they provide a way to isolate and control the flow of water without affecting the entire building's water supply.

Gallons per Flush (GPF)

This is a metric used to measure the volume of water released when a toilet is flushed. In other words, it’s a measurement of the amount of water required to flush a toilet in gallons.


This is a U-shaped bend typically found beneath sinks and other fixtures that have drains. The main function of a P-trap is to create an airtight seal that prevents sewer gas from backing into your home.

Closet Flange

A closet flange, also known as a toilet flange, is a pipe fitting that attaches the toilet to the floor and connects it to the drainpipe.


This is a flat rubber or fiber ring used to create a watertight or airtight seal between fixtures. Gaskets are typically used in pipe joints, flanges, valves, toilet components, faucets, and fixtures to prevent leaks and maintain the integrity of the components.

Flow Rate

This refers to the amount of water that flows through a pipe or plumbing system per unit of time. It’s often measured in gallons per minute (GPM).


This is a rubber ring used to create a leak-proof seal between connections. O-rings are used in a variety of applications, including faucets, valves, pipe connections, toilets, and pumps.

Hose Bib

Also known as a hose spigot, a hose bib is a water faucet on the outside of your home where you can attach your garden hose, sprinkler, or other outdoor water-related equipment.

Backflow Preventer

As the name suggests, a backflow preventer is a valve that’s installed on water pipes to keep water flowing in one direction. This valve works to prevent any backflow, thereby preventing contamination of clean water.

Vent Stack

Also known as a vent pipe, a vent stack is a vertical pipe that runs from a plumbing fixture up through the roof of the home. The vent pipe provides an entry point for air and an exit for odors and sewer gases. It also helps maintain proper drainage by preventing airlock and negative pressure.

Water Softener

This is a type of filtering appliance designed to remove calcium and magnesium from the water supply coming into the home, thus reducing its hardness. This appliance is installed at the point where water enters a home’s plumbing system.

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If you’re looking for a dependable plumbing company to help you with plumbing installation, repairs, or maintenance, you can trust Mr. Rooter Plumbing to do a great job. We are a trusted plumbing service with decades of industry experience and a team of highly trained plumbers. Whether you’re in need of water heater installation, drain cleaning, toilet installation, or sewer line replacement, we are here to help.