Adaptor - A device that fits different types of pipes together.
Air-lock - air that is trapped in pipes. This can cause a reduction or complete stop in the flow of liquid.
Back-siphon - a circumstance where the flow of liquid is reversed and siphons back towards the source. This can cause contamination of the source. i.e. a toilet or sink backs up with waste water
Backflow Preventer - A device used to prevent backflow into the potable water supply. In some areas, plumbing codes require a backflow preventer.
Ballcock - Also known as Float Operated Valve - a floatation device installed into a cistern or water tank which is attached to an arm. When you flush the toilet or use water from your tank it moves down to the lowest level of the water. When the tank is filled with water again it floats up and using pressure stops the water from over filling your cistern or tank.
Bar - the unit that water pressure is measured in.
Bleed Valve - An air release valve found on all water radiators and used to release air from a central heating system. Bleed valves may also be sometimes found at high points in the pipe work.
Boiler - A wall or floor mounted devise which heats water on demand.
Central heating system - all the piping controls, and radiator configuration powered centrally.
Cistern - a small water tank that contains a supply of water for the toilet, and prevents back-siphonage and possible contamination of the water.
Close coupled suite - a toilet where the cistern sits directly on top of the pan.
Cold Water Storage Tank Also known as Header Tank or Cold Water Storage Cistern. A fixed container that is designed to hold water at atmospheric pressure, and is normally used to provide a vented cold water supply to your bathrooms and kitchen. It can also be used for providing a feed to a vented domestic hot water cylinder.
Combination Boiler - Also known as Combi Boiler. A unit that combines a domestic water heater and a central heating water heat exchanger in one compact, self-contained unit. Unlike a vented hot water and heating system, a combi boiler does not store hot water, but heats it as and when required. The water used for heating is either taken directly from the cold mains (for the domestic hot water) or within a pressurized 'sealed' central heating loop.
Coupling - a device that connects two pieces of pipe.
Diverter A valve that directs water from one inlet to one of two outlets. Diverters are normally used with bath and shower combinations, bidets and kitchen tap sprayers.
Fixture - a broad term for apparatus that serve in the supply or disposal of water, e.g. sinks, tubs, basins or toilets.
Flue - this is a pipe which is used as a passage to transport gases from an appliance to the outside air. Commonly seen from a gas boiler.
Gate Valve - A hand operated on/off valve that allows water flow in either direction.
Grey water - waste water from such things as your shower, washing machine etc.
High efficiently boiler - the higher the efficiency of the boiler, the cheaper your utility bills will be simply as you are not wasting as much fuel.
Hot water cylinder - the insulated hot water tank, which supplys you the hot water for your property. Usually stores under pressure.
Immersion heater - an insulated electric resistance heater that sits inside a hot water cylinder and heats the water.
Locksheild valve - the valve at one end of you radiator which you cant turn - used to balance the radiators in the system so that they all heat up at the same time. The further away the radiator is from the boiler, the more the locksheild should be opened.
Megaflow - a system which takes water straight from the mains and heats it up in a pressurized cylinder
Manual or Wheelhead valve - this is the valve at the other end of the radiator that you can turn and is used for turning the radiator on and off.
Mixer - the tap which allows the cold and hot water to combine with one lever as opposed to having two taps.
Main Water Valve The main water shutoff that prevents any water from going into any of the pipes or plumbing. Plumbers may refer to it as the main shutoff valve.
Pan - WC pan - the part of the WC that you sit on.
P-Trap - A form of trap used under basins and baths. Water is trapped in the lowest U-shaped section of the pipe, which prevents sewer gas from coming in. The trap will also catch items that might fall into the drain (e.g. rings and goldfish ! ) before they are swept away.
Power shower - a shower incorporating a device that increases water pressure, thus using more water but creating a more powerful spray.
PVC - PolyVinyl Chloride - plastic used for water supply pipes.
Rad - just short for radiator
Stack or Soil Stack - the large vertical pipe, often outside you house, where all the WC waste goes.
Stock cock Value - to stop mains water flow into property.
Trap - section of the drain which holds water, creating a seal that stops smells from waste travelling back into the house. The U-bend on the toilet is an example.
TRV - Thermostatic Radiator valve - instead of a manual or wheelhead valve this one allows the user to turn to a required setting.
Unvented Domestic Hot Water Cylinder A plumbing system where the cold feed is taken directly from the mains to provide a high pressure hot water supply. There is no open vent to atmosphere.
Vented or gravity heating system - a traditional system where the cold water is stored in a tank ( unusually in the loft and a hot water cylinder elsewhere.
Vent pipe - pipe that allows the release of air or water from hot water system
Venting or bleeding - when air is released from the bleed valve on you radiator
Wall Hung Toilet A toilet where the pan is hung or suspended from a wall rather than fitted to the floor. This makes for a clean, minimal look, as well as for easy cleaning.
Waste - generally the plug hole. It is then attached to the trap.
WC - toilet, lavatory
Zone valve - device to alter or stop the flow of water within a section of the plumbing system. This is so you can isolate part of you plumbing system without having to disable it totally when there is a problem and you need to work on part of it.
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