Below are plumbing glossary terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your plumbing repairs and installation services in San Francisco, including in the larger neighborhoods of Bernal Heights, Excelsior, Richmond District, Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, Sunset District, Mission District, Tenderloin, North Beach and Bayview District.
An opening in the ceiling or wall near a plumbing fixture that allows plumbers to service the plumbing system or pipes.
Also known as: plumbing access panel, plumbing access
A device added to the open end of a faucet that mixes air with water. Aerating the water creates a more even flow of water. Faucet aerators are inexpensive to install and can help conserve water and make shower and faucet spray seem more full.
Also known as: low-flow aerators, aerator shower heads, aerating faucets, faucet aerators
A backflow preventer is a device that stops wastewater and dangerous contaminants from flowing back into the drinkable water supply. Backflow preventers are often code requirements for sprinkler systems, hand-held showers, faucets with pullout spouts, and kitchen sink sprayers.
Also known as: wastewater backflow preventer, backflow prevention valve
Any plumbing to bathroom fixtures, toilets, sinks, showers and bathroom piping is known as bathroom plumbing. Bathroom plumbing may be plumbing repairs, plumbing system installation or installation of new plumbing fixtures.
Also known as: bathroom fixtures, bathroom plumbing repair, shower plumbing, toilet plumbing repairs
Commercial plumbing is any plumbing repairs or installations that take place in a commercial building. Commercial plumbing is different than residential plumbing because it often deals with commercial-sized water heaters, boilers, larger piping and more involved plumbing systems. Some plumbing contractors in San Francisco specialize in commercial plumbing while others focus on residential plumbing. A few plumbing companies will provide plumbing services and repairs for residential, commercial and industrial clients.
Also known as: commercial building plumbing services, industrial plumbing, multi-tenant building plumbing, store plumbing, shopping center plumbing
A pipe coupling is a fitting that connects two pieces of pipe. Common couplings for piping and plumbing include elbow fittings, tee fittings, cBayview District couplings, cap couplings, plug fittings, nipple couplings, barb fittings and pipe reducer couplings. Plumbing system fittings can include closet flange couplings, trap primer couplings, clean-out fittings, combo-tee fittings, sanitary tee and double sanitary tee couplings, sanitary cBayview District fittings and wye fittings.
Also known as: pipe couplings, couplings, fittings, pipe valves, PVC couplings, CPVC couplings
Drain cleaning is a method of clearing organic debris and other materials from plumbing, drains and pipes. Drain cleaning for residential structures and commercial buildings includes drain pressure washing, drain snaking, drain cleaning chemicals, clearing clogged drains, drain tree root clearing and pipe degreasing services.
Also known as: clog removal, degreasing, pipe cleaning, drain clearing, unclogging, clean drainage pipes
An elbow is a pipe fitting that has two openings and which changes the direction of the plumbing line. Pipe elbows come in a variety of degrees to account for the various angles of piping.
Also known as: el fitting, ell coupling, pipe elbow, plumbing elbow, plumbing ell
Fittings usually refer to faucets, shower valves, and tub fillers. Fittings may also refer to piping coupling such as elbow fittings, tee fittings and flange fittings.
Also known as: plumbing fitting, fitting, pipe coupling
In plumbing, fixtures are the objects that water comes from. Plumbing fixtures include water spigots and faucets, shower, sinks, toilets, urinals, and external plumbing system fixtures.
Also known as: fixtures, faucets, kitchen fixtures, bathroom fixtures, plumbing fixtures
GPM, or gallons per minute, is the rate of water flow from faucets and shower heads. GPM flow is regulated by the federal government. New showerhead flow rates can’t exceed 2.5 GMP and new faucet water flow rates can’t exceed 2.5 GPM or 2.2 GPM depending on the pressure. Installing low-flow faucets and fixtures can result in water savings between 25 and 60 percent without a noticeable change in water pressure.
Also known as: gallons per minute, flow rate
GPF, or gallons per flush, is the amount of water a toilet uses per flush. The rate of water flow by which toilets and flush valves are measured and regulated. Current law requires maximum of 1.6 GPF. Older styles were usually 3.5 GPF.
Also known as: gallons per flush, flush flow rate, flush capacity
ID is the abbreviation for “inside diameter,” which refers to the size of the diameter of a plumbing pipe when measured from the inside edges. All pipes are referred to according to their ID.
Also known as: inside diameter
All plumbing and plumbing fixtures in a kitchen are referred to as kitchen plumbing. Kitchen plumbing systems often include sinks and faucets, dishwashers, garbage disposals, sink plumbing, kitchen piping, sink drains, S-traps, slip joints, drain lines and supply line water pipes.
Also known as: kitchen fixtures, kitchen pipes, kitchen plumbing repair, kitchen plumbing installation
new plumbing installation
New plumbing installation refers to the installation of new plumbing lines, water pipes, drain lines, faucets and plumbing fixtures. New plumbing may be installed in new construction or in existing homes.
Also known as: plumbing installation, commercial plumbing installation, residential plumbing installation, industrial plumbing installation, plumbing replacement, plumbing reinstallation
The abbreviation for outside diameter, OD, refers to the dimension commonly used to size water pipes and tubing for plumbing.
Also known as: outside diameter
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a hard white or cream-colored plastic that is used to form plumbing pipes. PVC pipes are often used in venting and waste water systems that are not pressurized. PVC will melt if exposed to hot temperatures, so PVC pipes are used for cold water distribution.
Also known as: polyvinyl chloride, PVC piping
Rooter service is a drain-cleaning service that unclogs pipes, cuts tree roots out of sewer lines and clears home piping to allow for better plumbing drainage.
Also known as: plumber’s snake, drain snaking, drain rootering, drain rooting, pipe rooter service, pipe snaking
The rough-in is the initial part of a plumbing installation that lays out all the basic plumbing lines without permanently connecting them. The rough-in generally includes water supply lines, water drains, water waste and vent lines that run to each fixture (toilet, sink, shower, etc.). Roughing in is generally done before the plumbing inspection.
Also known as: roughing in, to rough in, roughing
Some toilet repairs can be simple enough for some homeowners to handle themselves, or they may require a plumber to fix them. The most common toilet repairs include a toilet running continuously, a loose toilet handle or a sticking toilet handle, water on the floor around the toilet, leaking toilet tanks, poorly flushing toilets, clogged toilets, noisy toilets and toilet tank repairs.
Also known as: toilet problems, toilet problem repairs, toilet part replacement, toilet tank repairs, toilet unclogging, fixing the toilet
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