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Glossary of Plumbing Terms

PLUMBING TERMINOLOGY

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

C

 

TERM

EXPLANATION

   
CBD Certified Bathroom Designer
CC Copper to Copper soldered.
CFM Cubic Feet per Minute
CI Cast Iron
CO CleanOut
CP Polished Chrome finish used on faucets
CPe Solvent Chlorinated Polyethylene. A melting agent to form seams in shower pan liners
CPvC Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride. Rigid plastic pipe used in water supply systems, where code permits. Withstands high temperatures. Available in straight or in rolls
CSST Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing. Also known as "TracPipe" and has a polyethylene jacket.
CTS Copper Tube Size. Refers to outside diameter and is used to size certain fittings and hangers
CW Continuous Weld. A method of producing a small diameter pipe.
Calcium Carbonate
(CaCO3)
A white accumulation that forms in water lines, water heaters and boilers in hard water areas usually referred to as "scale."
Calcium Hypochlorite Extract
(CaClO2)
The matter adsorbed from a stream of water by activated carbon, and then extracted from the activated carbon with chloroform, using a specific standardized procedure; a measure of the organic matter in a water.
Calcium / Magnesium Two of the principal elements that, when dissolved, make water hard. Their presence contributes to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds.
Capacity 1. Pumps:
The flow rate in gallons per minute or liters per minute
2. Water softeners / conditioners:
Quantity of undesirable matter that can be removed by a water conditioner under standard test conditions. For ion exchange water softeners, this is expressed in grains of hardness removal between regeneration's and is related to a pound of salt used.
3. Water filters:
For filters, capacity may be expressed in the length of time or total gallons delivered between servicing.
4. Water heaters:
The size in gallons of water of the storage tank (e.g. 40 gal, 75 gal, etc)
Carbon Dioxide
(CO2)
A gas present in the atmosphere, formed by the decay of organic matter; the gas in carbonated beverages; dissolved in water it forms carbonic acid.
Carbonate Alkalinity
 
Alkalinity due to the presence of the carbonate ion (CO32-).
Carbonate Hardness Water hardness due to the presence of calcium and magnesium carbonates and bicarbonates in water; the smaller of the total hardness and the total alkalinity.
Carbonizing In a pump, where a reduction of hydrocarbons results in the formation of carbon residue that will interfere with the movement of a mechanical seal. Often called coking.
Casing A tubular structure intended to be watertight installed in the excavated or drilled hole to maintain the well opening and to prevent ground water from entering the well.
Cast Iron Heavy metal made of casting on molds to make fixtures such as sinks, tubs and lavatories, covered with a porcelain enamel coating. Casting is made of a series of alloys primarily of iron, carbon, and silicon.
Cast Iron No Hub Pipe  Also known as Soil Pipe, No Hub pipe is used in certain locales and for commercial buildings for soil stacks. It cannot be soldered, threaded, or welded, and can only by connected by steel banded rubber sleeved adapters.
Catch Basin Large underground container, with a grate on the top, for collection of storm water run-off. It catches or collects dirt and other debris and prevents them from polluting streams and lakes..
Cavitation The vacuum created when the discharge capacity of the pump exceeds the replacement in the suction line. This causes bubbling and vibrations that can damage the pump if they occur over an extended period.
Celcon Nut Connectors used to hand-tighten faucets to lavatory from underside of lavatory  
Centerset Style of bathroom faucet having combined spout and handles, with handles 4 inches apart, center-to-center. Also a single-handle faucet installed on 4 inches center-to-center faucet holes.
Centrifugal Pump A pump that moves water by centrifugal force developed by rapid rotation of an impeller.. As the rotating impeller whirls the water around, centrifugal force builds up pressure forcing the water through the discharge outlet.
Chain Wrench An adjustable wrench in which a chain is used for gripping. Commonly used on large pipes.
Chamfer  Beveled end, usually done on pipe prior to threading
Check Valve A type of backflow preventer installed in a pipe run that allows water to flow in only one direction.
Circuit Vent Plumbing drainage system vertical vent which is run from the last two traps on a horizontal drain line to the main vent stack of a building drainage system.
Cistern Rainwater storage tank, often underground.
Cleanout Plug A plug in a trap or drain pipe that provides access for the purpose of clearing an obstruction.
Close Coupled A toilet with a separate tank and bowl, secured to each other, and with a separate tank cover. Also known as a two-piece toilet.
Close Nipple Short lengths of pipe that are threaded on both ends. The threads that are so close together they almost join in the center.
Closed System A system where the incoming cold water supply has a device that will not allow water to expand when heated. (i.e. check valve, backflow preventer, pressure reducing valve, etc.)
Closet Auger A flexible rod with a curved end used to access the toilet's built-in trap and remove clogs.
Closet Bend   A curved fitting mounted immediately below the toilet that connects the closet flange to the toilet drain
Closet Flange An anchoring ring that attaches to the closet bend and secured to the floor. The heads of closet bolts, used to secure the toilet in place, insert into slots in the closet flange.
Closet Tube A water supply tube used for toilets.
Coagulant A material, such as alum, which will form a gelatinous precipitate in water, and cause the agglomeration of finely divided particles into larger particles which can then be removed by settling and/or filtration.
Coagulant Aid A material which is not a coagulant, but which improves the effectiveness of a coagulant, often by forming larger or heavier particles, speeding the reactions, or permitting reduced coagulant dosage.
Coagulation The process in which very small, finely divided solid particles, often colloidal in nature, are agglomerated (lumped) into larger particles.
Cock A faucet or valve for regulating the flow of water.
Cockhole Cover A round cover-plate or disk installed on a sink to cover an unused faucet hole.
Coil Spring Tube Bender A flexible heavy-wire coil, which, when slipped over copper tubing, allows it to be bent without crimping.
Coking In a pump, where a reduction of hydrocarbons results in the formation of carbon residue that will interfere with the movement of a mechanical seal. Also referred to as "Carbonizing."
Cold Drawn Pipe or tubing that's pulled through a die to reduce diameter and wall Produces closer tolerances and higher strength Cold Vapor Method to test water for the presence of mercury.
Coliform Bacteria Non-pathogenic microorganisms used in testing water to indicate the presence of pathogenic bacteria
Collar A galvanized sheet metal restricting device used in conjunction with plastic pipe. Its function is to direct and control the expansion action of the firestopping material
Colloid Very finely divided solid particles that remain suspended in a solution; the removal of colloidal particles usually requires coagulation.
Combined Sewer A sewer system that carries both sanitary waste and storm water runoff.
Combustion Chamber The location where combustion takes place.
Combustion Gases Gases released when a gaseous, liquid, or solid fuel reacts at an elevated level that needs to be vented with gas or oil-fired water heaters.
Commode Toilet.
Common Vent Building drain system vertical vent which connects two or more fixture branches on the same level.
Compensated Hardness A calculated value based on the total hardness, the magnesium to calcium ratio, and the sodium concentration of a water. It is used to correct for the reductions in hardness removal capacity caused by these factors in cation exchange water.
Composite Composite sinks made from high-tech, high-strength, color- impregnated that resists shipping and scratching.
Composting Toilet A self-contained toilet that use the process of aerobic decomposition (composting) to break down feces into humus and odorless gases
Compression Fitting A kind of tubing or pipe connection where a nut, and then a sleeve or ferrule is placed over a copper or plastic tube and is compressed tightly around the tube as the nut is tightened, forming a positive grip and seal without soldering. Also a flexible connector that has a nut and gasket designed to attach directly to an SAE standard compression thread, without the use of a sleeve or ferrule.
Compression Valve A type of valve that is often used for water faucets. It is opened or closed by raising or lowering a horizontal disk by a threaded stem.
Concealed Arm Carrier One of a variety of common mechanisms to securely mount a wall-mount lavatory. Unlike a hanger which only supports the lavatory where it meets the wall, the carrier has long arms onto which the lavatory slides.
Condensation Water vapor that separates from products of combustion due to a reduction in heating surface temperatures to below the dew point of surrounding air. Water formed when water vapor formed in gas combustion loses heat before it passed out of the venting system.
Conductance In water conditioning, the readiness of water to carry electricity. The unit of measure for conductance is the mho (reciprocal ohm); it is used to approximate the dissolved solids content of water.
Conductivity The quality or power to carry electrical current; in water, the conductivity is related to the concentration of ions capable of carrying electrical current.
Conduit A tube that houses electrical wiring.
Conduit Clamp A screw-down, U-shaped spring clamp formed out of a band of metal used to hold conduit pipe.
Console Lav A table-like fixture with an integral lavatory. The back is fixed to a wall and the front is supported by brackets or legs.
Console Table Same as console lav.
Consumptive Water Use Total amount of water used by vegetation, man's activities, and evaporation of surface water
Continuous Hinge Door A shower door that has a full-length continuous metal hinge on the side of the door.
Conventional Vent Atmospheric venting that utilizes the natural convective rise of hot flue gases through the system to release the products of combustion.
Corporation Stop The stop connected to the water main, usually made of brass and can be connected to the main with a special tool without shutting off the municipal supply.
Corrosion The disintegration of a metal by electrochemical means.
Corrosive Water A water condition of low pH (acid condition) that can corrode metal pipes, pool fixtures and pumps. (Unbalanced water)
Cowl A short fitting used to join two pieces of pipe.
Crocus Cloth Finer than sandpaper grit on a cloth backing
Cross-Connection Any connection or situation that may allow wastewater to enter the supply system.
Crow's Foot A PVC tee with twin outlets at right angles off the main.
Crown-vented Trap An air admittance valve attached to a drainpipe, protected by a check valve, designed to equalize pressure in the drain line and to protect the trap seal.
Crown Weir The interior projection in the outlet side of a P-trap to aid in maintaining the water seal in the trap.
Cubic Foot of Gas The amount of gas that will occupy one cubic foot at a temperature of 60 degrees F, and under a pressure equivalent to that of 30 inches of mercury.
Culvert A pipe-like construction of concrete that passes under a road to allow drainage.
Curb A raised edge or border of a shower, usually made of tile, marble, or fiberglass.
Curb Cock Shutoff A valve normally used with water meters set between the meter and the building.
Curtain Drain A ditch sometimes filled with gravel or drainage tile which diverts storm water away from a structure
Cut Lengths Pipe cut to a specific length as ordered
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