Please Click here to go back to our main page!
Please Click here to learn more about us!
ABS: Generally, in the plumbing industry (it is used a lot in the auto industry because it is so durable) this is black colored plastic pipe and fittings used in drainage, sewer, waste and vents. ABS (Acrylonitrile
Butadiene Styrene) pipe/fittings and also PVC (see below) plastics have replaced much of the cast iron, lead and steel pipes formerly used for DWV. Important note is that no solvent cement (and primer) can
totally "glue" (solvent weld) ABS to PVC plastic. Under normal conditions, quality ABS (when virgin resins are used) will not crack, chip or peel. ACRYLIC: A thermoplastic used on the surface of bathtubs and
whirlpools. Generally comes in sheets and is formed to the shape of the mold (tubs/showers) in the factory. Generally fiberglass is added to the back for strength. ADA: Governmental guidelines. ADA stands for
Americans with Disability Act. These guidelines do tend to change over time. When related to public plumbing, kitchen and bath the intent of the act/rules is to make restrooms, and other public sanitary
facilities more easily accessible to those who have some disability such as being blind. Braille signs and grab bars are just two examples of products that we sell largely due to ADA rules. ADAPTOR: A fitting that
joins two different types of pipes together. Or/Also a fitting that joins threaded with none threaded pipe (as in: female adaptor or male adaptor). AGA: Imprinted on many gas valves and appliances. It is the
American Gas Association rating. AIR ADMITTANCE VALVE: A mechanical one way valve used in place of traditional non mechanical (very reliable) vents. It is to allow air to enter waste piping and equalizing
pressures. Vents are used to preserve the seal of trap in plumbing fixtures. Also known as auto trap vents. AIR GAP: Air-filled space allowing contaminated water to discharge freely, preventing the contaminated
water from ever siphoning back into the potable water supply. ANGLE STOP: An "emergency" stop (valve) that is usually installed before the water supply line (below) to toilets and faucets. Angle stops are to be
shut off in case of an emergency or repair and are generally not designed for daily on and off usage. The difference between a "straight stop" and an "angle stops" is that the "angle" stop changes direction by 90
degrees while a straight stop is like most valves and does not change direction. ANODE ROD: Sacrificial rod used mainly in water heaters. It helps protect the lining of and generally lengthens the life of a water
heater. BALLCOCK: Also known as a float valve, the ballcock controls the flow of water into a gravity-operated toilet tank. When the toilet is flushed the float ball drops with the water level causing the ballcock
to open, this allows water to reenter the tank. As the water level rises it lifts the float ball causing the ballcock to close once the tank is completely filled. BALL PASSAGE: The ball passage indicates the size of a
ball that can pass through a toilet's trapway. It also refers to the size of the trapway of a toilet; the trap size is to be 1/8" larger than the ball that can pass through it. BASIN: Generally circular, vessel with
slopping or curving sides for holding water for washing. BASKET STRAINERS: Generally a basket shaped strainer drain receptacle with holes, for sinks. Used to catch large food particles to prevent them from
entering the drainage system. BIBB: aka bibcock or hose bibb - typically a faucet with nozzle bent downward. Also called: outside/outdoor faucet/spigot or garden faucet. BIDET: Pronounced B'Day, is a plumbing
fixture similar to a toilet bowl (but no solids are to be deposited in a bidet) used for washing genitals and posterior areas of the body. It is floor mounted, usually next to a toilet, and incorporates a washing
basin, faucet and sprayer. Bidets are very popular in some countries such as France and have finally been "discovered" in the U.S.. A bidet is commonly equipped with a hot and cold mixing valve to provide warm
water for washing. BISQUE: Refers to the finish on the unglazed areas of vitreous china fixtures. CAST IRON: Formerly used for drainage, sewers, waste, and vent pipe and fittings. Very durable and heavy metal.
Today, many top quality bath tubs are still made with cast iron. Pipes and fittings today are generally only used for commercial applications where fire ratings are involved. CENTERSET: A style of bathroom
lavatory faucet having combined spout and handles. Handles are 4" from center of handle-to-handle. Also a single handle faucet installed on 4" center-to-center faucet holes. CHINA: In the plumbing industry
that generally refers to porcelain china used in making toilets and lavatory sinks. China is a material that is made from clay and is glazed and high fired in a kiln. The finish is very hard and smooth. An
excellent product for toilets and lavatories. CLOSE-COUPLED TOILET: A two-piece toilet. The toilet tank is separate from the toilet bowl. This is the most common type of toilet. CLOSET: Generally means "water
closet" (aka: toilet). A closet auger is a toilet auger which is used to clear toilet stoppages. COMMODE: Generally also stands for toilet. CONSOLE LAV: A table-like fixture with an integral lavatory. The back is
fixed to a wall and the front is supported by consoles (brackets) or legs. COUPLING: A fitting that joins two pieces of pipe (or other fittings) together. CW: Cold water CPVC: Chlorinated PolyVinyl Chloride is a
plastic product designed for drinking water at temperatures up to 180 degrees (where code permits). Comes in straight or rolls, generally off white colored (orange for fire sprinklers). CWT: Abbreviation for
Copper Water Tube (refers to nominal pipe size). CYCLE TIME: Refers to the amount of time it takes a toilet to complete it's flush cycle, from the instant it is flushed until the water supply shuts off. DAM: Refers to
the seal caused by water in a trapway. DIVERTER: Valves which direct water to various outlets. They are used in showers, tub & shower combinations, bidets, Roman tub fillers and kitchen faucet sprayers. DWV:
Abbreviation for Drainage, Waste & Vent systems. Not for drinking water. DYNAMIC PRESSURE: The pressure when the water IS flowing. EFFLUENT: Liquid waste, potentially hazardous, generally refers to liquid
waste from septic tanks. ELBOW (aka ELL): A fitting with two openings that change directions 90 degrees. ELONGATED: The shape of the front of a toilet bowl. Generally about 2" longer than the standard "round
front" bowl. ENAMEL: An opaque vitreous composition applied by fusion to the surface of metal fixtures such as cast iron and pressed steel tubs, lavatories and sinks. Please do not confuse enameled steel with
enameled cast iron. Cast iron with enameling is much more durable. ESCUTCHEON: A flange or shield beneath a faucet handle. This part covers the faucet stem and the hole in the fixture or wall. FHT:
Abbreviation for female hose threads. FSWT: Female sweat connection FIBERGLASS: Glass in a fibrous form used in making products such as boats and bathtubs. FINISHES:
The following finish abbreviations are generally used by many (not all) faucet manufacturers :
BC Brushed Chrome
BN Brushed Nickel
CP Polished Chrome
PB Polished Brass
SN Satin Nickel
WH White
FIP(S): Abbreviation for threaded fitting - with threads inside the fitting. FITTING: A part used to join two sections of pipe or other fittings together. An example of a fitting is an elbow, bushing, or coupling.
FIXTURE: Broad term in plumbing/kitchen/bath that could be an entire toilet, sink, tub, etc OR it could be the devices that provide a supply of water. FLAPPER: Part of the flush valve that seals water inside the
toilet tank or allows passage of water into the toilet bowl during the flush cycle. Also known as a flush ball. FLOAT BALL: Connected to the ballcock inside the toilet tank. The float ball rises and falls with the
water levels causing the ballcock to open and close. FLUSHOMETER: A toilet valve that delivers water and then shuts off after it meters a certain amount of water. FRICTION LOSS: Pressure lost in a pipe due to
turbulence created by water traveling through pipe. GAS COCK: Gas valve. GPF: Gallons Per Flush. Today's toilets, per federal law, are only allowed to deliver 1.6gpf or less. In many years past, toilets flushed as
much as 7-8gpf. GPH: Gallons Per Hour. GPM: Gallons Per Minute. GRAY WATER: Waste water from all fixtures except toilets. HANDSHOWER: A showerhead designed with a handle that is connected to a water
supply via a flexible hose. HEAD: The water pressure exerted by gravity (2.31 feet of height means/delivers one pound of head). Also, slang for toilet. HOSE BIBB: A garden or outdoor faucet. Also, a faucet that
delivers water with a hose connection at the end of the spout (such as to a washing machine). H.P.: Abbreviation for "horse power." H.T.: Abbreviation for "hose threads." Garden hose threads are different than
standard pipe threads. They are much more coarse and are 0.75 - 11.5 NH (normal hose). The 0.75 is the nominal diameter (3/4 inch) and the 11.5 is the number of threads per inch. HW: Hot water I.D.:
Abbreviation for "inside diameter. In plumbing most pipes are sized by "nominal" (approx.) I.D. which means that when plumbers say 3/4" pipe for example it generally means that the outside diameter is wider
than 3/4". IPS: Generally an abbreviation for "iron pipe size." Sometimes it means male pipe threads. LAVATORY ("LAV"): A fixed bowl or basin with running water and drainage for washing. Many use the word
"Lavatory" as meaning a bathroom. MALE THREADS: Male threads thread into female threads. Female fittings openings are larger than male fittings. Male fittings fit into/inside female fittings. MHT:
Abbreviation for male hose threads. MINI-WIDESPREAD: A special style of bathroom lavatory faucet having separate spout and handles. But designed small enough that it will fit 4" center-to-center faucet holes.
MIP: Abbreviation for male pipe threads. NPS: Abbreviation for National Pipe Straight Threads Standard (IPS) NPT: Abbreviation for National Pipe Tapered Threads Standard (FIP, MIP) ONE-PIECE TOILET: The
toilet tank and bowl are not separate, but make one single fixture. Less common and usually more expensive, but generally a more stylish toilet. OD: Abbreviation for "outside diameter." The measurement of the
diameter of the pipe as taken from the outside edge. OVALITY: The difference between the most wide OD and the most narrow OD on a pipe or tube. Found be subtracting the minimum outside diameter from the
maximum outside diameter on a pipe. OVERFLOW TUBE: If the ballcock malfunctions this vertical tube inside the toilet tank will direct water into the toilet bowl. This is the part that can sometimes make your
toilet sound like it is constantly running, which is an indication that there is a problem with your ballcock. PEX: Abbreviation for Polyethylene Plastic Material (stronger than, P.E.) PIPES: Unlike tubes, the
measurement of a pipe (i.e. 2") roughly references the inside diameter (ID) of the pipe and not the outside diameter (OD). A 2" Sch 40 pipe actually has an OD of 2.375", a wall thickness of .154" and an ID of 2.067".
PR: Abbreviation for "Pressure Regulator." Generally means water pressure regulator. Most codes require one if water pressures ever exceeds 80 pounds at any time on domestic potable water systems inside a
structure. POC: Point of connection POP-UP ASSEMBLY: The drain mechanism of a faucet installed on a lavatory. The drain stopper "pops" up and down. PORCELAIN: A white ceramic ware that consists of quartz,
kaolin, and feldspar. It is fired at high temperature on steel or cast iron to make the surface of some bathtubs, kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatories. Many times the word "porcelain" also refers to porcelain
china which is a ceramic product with porcelain glaze. PORCELAIN ENAMEL: Vitreous enamel. Many times the words "porcelain enamel" refers to pressed steel (not recommended by us) products with a porcelain
glaze. When purchasing "fixtures" we like to recommend either a porcelain glaze on top of ceramic, or porcelain glaze on top of cast iron. POTABLE: In reference to water is that "potable" means it is drinkable
water. Water that is suitable for human consumption. POWER VENT: Refers to mechanical venting in water heating. Generally (not always) water heaters that use power venting are more efficient than regular
draft venting. PRESSURE BALANCE VALVE: A shower mixing valve that automatically maintains balance between hot and cold water supplies by immediately regulating fluctuations in pressure. As a result the
outlet temperature remains constant. PRIMING JET: The opening in the toilet bowl that allows the flow of water from the tank, designed to push waste through the trapway. PRV: Pressure reducing valve. PULL
OUT SPRAY: When referring to a kitchen faucet this is a retractable hose/sprayhead. We'd like to mention that hoses used with a pull-out spray can turn out to be a high replaceable item. If you have a pull out
sprayer be sure to pull it out straight each and every time. Do not kink the hose because if you do, no matter what brand, you could be ordering replacement hoses frequently. PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride is used today
for cold water piping (outside/underground) as well as for sewers, drains, wastes and venting pipes and fittings. Flexible PVC pipe is also available and quite practical for spas, pools and sprinklers. PVC in the
plumbing business is generally white but sometimes comes in other colors (in our industry grey is the second most popular PVC color). PVD: Physical Vapor Deposition (used mostly with polished brass or gold
finishes). This is a modern plating process used in faucet manufacturing. Vaporized zirconium reacts with nitrogen and other gases to form a VERY durable plated surface. Unlike former days when polished
brass would easily tarnish over time, polished brass finishes with PVD are extremely durable and won't generally tarnish or discolor. REDUCER: A fitting that connects pipes of different sizes together. REFILL
TUBE: Carries water from the ballcock to the overflow tube after the siphon break in order to refill the toilet bowl. RIM HOLES: Small holes along the underside of the toilet bowl rim in which water flows out of,
resulting in a rinsing of the toilet bowl's inner surface. RISER: A vertical assembly of pipe and fittings that generally distributes water upward. ROUGH-IN DIMENSIONS: Rough-in dimensions give you the
necessary information to install basic plumbing, electrical venting or other similar systems before installing the fixture. Many times a dimensional drawing is available that provides this information. ROUND
FRONT: The standard shape of the front of a toilet bowl. Generally bout 2" shorter than the optional "elongated" bowl. SCHEDULE (SCH): The "Schedule" designation tells you how thick the wall is for any size of
pipe with the higher schedule numbers meaning a thicker wall. The most common schedules are Sch 40 and Sch 80, but the actual wall thickness varies depending on the size of the pipe. SIPHONING: Suction that
takes place when water pressure drops which causes water or waste to be pulled through a descending outlet channel. SIPHON BREAK: Recognized by the gurgling sound that takes place at the end of a toilet
flush, the siphon break is when air is re-introduced into the trapway, causing the siphoning action to cease. SDR: Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR) used for determining the minimum wall thickness for pipe. SDR
is found by dividing the outside diameter (OD) of the pipe by the wall thickness measurement. To find the minimum wall thickness of a pipe you simply divide the OD by the SDR. STATIC PRESSURE: The pressure
when NO water is flowing. STRAIGHT STOP: An "emergency" stop (valve) that is usually installed before the water supply line (below) to toilets and faucets. Angle stops are to be shut off in case of an emergency or
repair and are generally not designed for daily on and off usage. The difference between a "straight stop" and an "angle stops" is that the "angle" stop changes direction by 90 degrees while a straight stop is like
most valves and does not change direction. STREET ELBOW: An elbow (90 degree bend) fitting that has a male end (same size as pipe) on one side and a female end (pipe fits inside this size) on the other side.
T-BOLT: Also known as toilet or closet bolts, T-bolts are 2 anchor bolts that attach a toilet to the floor. TAILPIECE: The section of drain fitting that protrudes into the trap. TANK: Holds flush water for your
fixture. On typical toilets the tank includes the ballcock, trip valve and flush lever. TANK BALL: The moving part of the flush valve that seals water in or allows water out of the tank during the flush cycle. Also
known as the flapper, flush ball, stopper and seal disk. TANK BOLTS: Three bolts that hold together the tank, gasket and bowl of the toilet. TANK COVER LOCK: Device to prevent damage to and removal of the
toilet tank cover and contents of the tank. TAP: Tap is synonymous with faucet. Also tap refers to the divergence of water from one fitting to another. TEE: Any T-shaped plumbing fitting. TEFLON TAPE: Thread
sealing tape with stain resistant, water repellant Teflon finish. Teflon is a trademark of DuPont. TEMPERED: A heat treatment technique to strengthen and harden glass for more safety. Also applies to water
that has been mixed in order to avoid a temperature extreme. THERMOSTATIC VALVE: A pressure balancing shower mixing valve with automatic temperature control. When temperature or pressure fluctuations
occur at the water inlets, a thermal actuator adjusts the hot and cold ratio to maintain the original temperature setting. THREAD SEALANT (LIQUID): Provides a water seal in threaded connections. THREAD
SEALANT (TAPE): Dry ribbons of sealant sold on spools. Unlike liquid sealant there is no chance of it getting into the supply lines and blocking water flow. THROUGH-THE-FLOOR: Installation where the bath
drain tee outlet points down rather than horizontal. THUMB NUT To ease installation and to prevent over-tightening this nut was designed to be tightened without tools. THUMB SCREW To ease installation and
to prevent over-tightening this screw was designed to be tightened without tools. TILE-IN Installation where the sink is fit flush with the countertop TOILET SETTING COMPOUND Provides a non-hardening
watertight seal for the base of the toilet and the floor. TORQUE WRENCH Tool for measuring the amount of force applied to a threaded connection TRANSFER VALVE Valve the changes the flow of water from one
outlet to another TRAP: A curved section of drain line that prevents sewer odors from escaping into the atmosphere. All "fixtures" that have drains must have a "P" trap installed. A toilet is the only plumbing
fixture that has an "S" trap instead of a "P" trap. TRAP SEAL: The seal caused by water in a trap preventing septic gasses from leaking back into the home. The trap seal is measured from the inlet of the trap to
the top of the dam. TRAPWAY: Trap built into a toilet connecting the bowl to the waste outlet where siphoning occurs. TRIP ARM The trip lever on the outside of the toilet tank connects to this TRIP CHAIN Chain
that connects the toilet trip arm and the flapper on the flush valve TRIP LEVER Handle attached to the outside of the toilet tank used to initiate the flush TUBES: Unlike pipes, the measurement of a tube (i.e. 2")
corresponds to it's outside diameter (OD). So the outside diameter of a 2" tube is truly 2". TWO-PIECE TOILET: The toilet tank is separate from the toilet bowl. This is the most common type of toilet and is also
called a close-coupled toilet. ULF: Abbreviation for ultra low flush, which describes a toilet that deliver 1.6gpf or less. UNC, UC, or NC: Abbreviation for Unified National Coarse Thread (National Coarse) - Use on
fittings, nuts, & bolts - not for pipes. UNF, UF, or NF: Abbreviation for Unified National Fine Thread (National Fine) - Use on fittings, nuts, & bolts - not for pipes. VANITY: A bathroom storage cabinet beneath the
counter. Some plumbers also call a lavatory sink a vanity. VENT: When referring to plumbing fixtures, all fixtures (sinks, etc) must have a vent. Vents are used to allow air into the drainage systems to prevent P
traps to from being siphoned dry. VITREOUS: A surface material on some plumbing fixtures derived from or consisting of glass. It is low in porosity and is translucent. Generally porcelain china is vitreous china.
VTR: Vent through the roof WASTE & OVERFLOW: The drain assembly for a bathtub. The outlet at the top removes the "overflow" water during tub filling and the drain at the bottom removes "waste" water when
the tub is drained. WASTE SHOE: Generally refers to a bathtub drain assembly. WATER CLOSET (W.C.): Toilet. Many in our industry will write w.c. on drawings or quotes which means water closet (aka: "toilet").
WATER HAMMER: Shock waves in plumbing generally due to high velocity water being shut off quickly. This is mainly caused by undersizing of pipes and faucets or valves that are shut off fast. Sometimes
installing water hammer arrestors can help alleviate or lessen water hammer. Best is to increase water pipe sizes (thereby slowing velocity). WHITE - EURO: Not all whites are alike. Euro-white generally is a
somewhat yellowish white. Similar to Corian and Avonite's = Cameo white; Surell/Formica and Wilsonart's = Frosty white. WHITE - POLAR: Polar-white generally is a bluish white. Similar to Kohler, Elkay,
Moenstone, and Swanstone's = White; Corian's = Glacier white; Avonite's = Porcelain white; Surrell/Formica's = Arctic white. WIDESPREAD: A style of bathroom lavatory faucet having separate spout and handles.
Usually 8" from center of handle-to-handle. Some widespread faucets can be set with handles up to 12" apart. WORKING PRESSURE: Normal, maximum operating pressure design of a faucet, valve or plumbing

A Plumbing & Heating Service Provider
Over 60 Years of Dependable Service.

Since 1947