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Glossary of Plumbing Terms









'A' Valve A manual gas shut-off valve.
ABS Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene.
Rigid black plastic pipe used for drain / waste / vent lines.
AC Alternating Current. Electrical supply in which the polarity of the wire reverses rapidly.
AGA American Gas Association
AIA American Institute of Architects
ANSI American National Standards Act
API American Petroleum Institute
ASA American Supply Association
ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Engineers.
ASSE American Society of Sanitation Engineers
ASTM American Society for Testing Materials
AWWA American Water Works Association
Absolute Pressure Atmospheric pressure added to gauge pressure.
Absorption Field A leeching or seeping field engineered to receive septic tank effluent.
Acceptance Factor Bladder tank draw-down expressed as a percentage.
Access Panel A covered opening that allows access to service a plumbing system.
Acrylic Thermo-plastic used on surface of shower walls / bathtubs / whirlpools.
Adaptor A fitting that joins two different types of pipe together, or joins threaded to non-threaded pipe ends.
Adjusting Link An adjustable strap / bar that forms a connection between the lift rod of a faucet and the ball lever assembly of the drain.
Aeration The turbulent mixing of water and air to dissipate pollutants into the air
Aerator A device attached to the end of a faucet that mixes air into flowing water..
Air Admittance Valve A device that replaces a traditional vent to allow air to enter the pipe and equalize pressure, preserving the seal of water in the fixture trap.
Air Chamber A vertical, air-filled pipe or spring coil, set above the water line to absorb pressure when water is turned off at the faucet.
Air Check A device that allows water, but not air, to pass through it. An air check is a typical component in treatment systems using a regenerant eductor.
Air Elimination Vent A device which automatically eliminates trapped air in the "closed-loop" hydronic system
Air Gap A device mounted at the back of a kitchen sink, connecting to the drain line between a dishwasher and disposer to allow the dishwasher to discharge freely into the disposer while preventing contaminated water from siphoning back into the dishwasher.
Air-Gas Ratio Ratio of combustion air supply flow rate to the fuel gas supply flow rate.
Air Lock Blockage liquid flow of liquid (i.e. on suction side of pump) caused by an air bubble in the line.
Air Volume Control Maintains the air charge in a standard water storage tank. Pre-charged tanks do not require an air volume control.
Alarm Check Valve A check valve located in the riser of a wet pipe fire sprinkler system that sounds an alarm when water begins to pass through it.
Anaerobic The ability to live and grow without air or free oxygen (i.e. some forms of bacteria that break down waste in a septic system.)
Angle Discharge Tube A discharge tube that changes direction of the flow by 90°.
Angle Seat Wrench A valve seat wrench with a handle that includes a 90° bend.
Angle Stop A shutoff valve between water pipes and a faucet. The inlet connects to the water-supply pipe in a wall, the outlet angles up 90° to the faucet
Anode Rod A sacrificial rod installed in a water heater. It is composed of one or more metals that protect the tank from corrosion and extend tank life.
Anti-Clog Suction Whirlpool water recirculating system mechanism that prevents clogging but doesn't restrict water flow.
Anti-Scald Valve A shower mixing valve that automatically maintains balance between incoming hot and cold water supplies by immediately regulating fluctuations in pressure. As a result, temperature remains constant, though the outlet pressure may drop. Also called pressure-balanced valve.
Anti-Siphon Preventive device for back-flow of liquid such as on sprinkler systems to prevent water from trickling back into the feed supply.
API Specifications American Petroleum Institute specifications
Apron The apron (or skirting) is a decorative portion of a bathtub covering the rough-in area from the floor to the top rim of the tub.
Aquastat A thermostat that is submerged in water. It is used to control operation of a specific device.
Aspiration The process of mixing air with discharging water to enhance the hydro-massage effect of a whirlpool.
Auto Pilot A gas pilot device that automatically shuts off gas supply to the appliance burner if the pilot flame is extinguished.
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Reference Information Pages
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