Simple Plumbing Terms Every Homeowner Should Know

Don’t worry; this isn’t going to be a long, boring class on every minute detail of plumbing, that’s our job to know all those things, not yours. However, we frequently get calls about a ‘broken thingy’ or a ‘dripping whatchamacallit’ which can lead to confusion–and in the worst case scenario–an emergency that gets put off until a regularly scheduled appointment, or something minor that could end up costing you an unnecessary emergency fee. That’s where this post comes in; we’re going to go over some basic plumbing terms to avoid potentially costly miscommunications.

Potable – Potable water is water that is fit for human consumption, it is clean and safe coming straight from your well or municipal water supply.

Gray-Water – This is water that has been used, but isn’t contaminated with biological or chemical waste such as the water coming out of your washing machine, dishwasher or bathroom sink drain. When a gray water recycling system is implemented, this water is treated within the home and reused for tasks such as flushing toilets or irrigation.

Sewage/Black-water – Water that is thoroughly contaminated with biological or chemical waste and cannot be used again, it is carried away to a water treatment plant or septic system.

Supply – Pipes and tubes that bring potable water to a sink, toilet or other appliance to be used.

Drain – A pipe or tube for taking sewage and/water away from an appliance.

Backflow – Backflow refers to water flowing in the opposite direction of the normal flow, this can lead to contamination of the potable water supply and other serious issues.

Trap/P-Trap – A 180o turn in a drain that holds water to prevent unpleasant and potentially dangerous sewer gases from flowing up the pipes and into the home.  All drains in a home are legally required to have a trap, if yours doesn’t have one, call a certified Markham plumber immediately.

Faucet – A faucet is made up of a spout and some sort of control or handle to manage water flow and temperature into a sink or basin.

That’s enough for now to get you started in case you have to call us for a consultation in the future. At Preferred Plumbing Solutions, our master Markham plumbers are willing and able to help you through any problem you may be having, but unless we each understand what the other person is saying we’ll never get anywhere.

Do you have any questions about terms you’ve heard or parts you’ve seen in your home? Leave us a comment or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.