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Learn the Lingo: Common Plumbing Terms

What even is a ‘closet auger’? A ‘branch drain’? You’re advised to think twice before identifying ‘balancing ell’ as a circus routine involving a hefty gray mammal with large fan-shaped ears and a trunk. The truth is, plumbing seems to have its own language, leaving many a homeowner lost and confused when trying to communicate with technicians about any plumbing topic from access panels to zeolites. Don’t be stuck in the “It’s all Greek to me!” mindset, take a look below at a list of common plumbing terms. Maintaining a basic understanding of the terminology will help you communicate with trained plumbing professionals, as well as enable you to have a “leg up” on the issue before deciding to contact an F.H. Furr professional.

Common Plumbing Terms:

ABS – an acronym for ‘acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, which is a plastic piping used in drainage. You’ll recognize this pipe by its black, coarse texture.

Back Vent – one of the two vents that comprise a plumbing fixture Branch Drain – a drain that connects to a plumbing system’s primary drainage line

Cleanout – refers to troubleshooting; this plug allows one to clear an obstruction and grants access to the pipe

Closet auger – a device used to clear commode blockages

Plumber’s Putty – a substance for sealing joints and the bases of fixtures

PVC – an abbreviated term for polyvinyl chloride; this white piping is used in many home plumbing systems and is one of the most common plumbing terms

Reducer – a connecting fitting that attaches a pipe to one of a smaller size

Run – a term of measurement used to refer to the length of a pipe from the fixture to the drain

Solder – a substance made of metallic used to combine surfaces

Trap – a portion of the drain line that has the dual purpose of protecting against harmful gases as well as holding water in

At F.H. Furr, we have an edge on our competitors because we stay continually educated. We want to share that knowledge with you so that you feel assured that you’re getting the best!

Now that you’ve got a quick knowledge of some of the lingo, you’ll be far more educated than the average Joe! For more helpful terms, visit the Plumbing Terms glossary page, and as always, call F.H. Furr for all of your plumbing needs!

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