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Glossary of Plumbing Terms | A

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“A” valve – A manual gas shut-off valve.

AB – Antique Brass finish.

ABS – Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene. Rigid black plastic pipe used for Drain, waste, and vent lines.

AC – Antique Copper finish

ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act

AN – Antique Nickel finish

ANSI – American National Standards Act

Absolute Pressure – An atmospheric pressure added to gauge pressure.

Absorption Field – A leeching or seeping field engineered to receive septic tank effluent.

Acceptance Factor – A bladder tank drawdown expressed in percentage.

Access Panel – A covered opening in a wall or ceiling near a fixture that allows access for servicing a plumbing or electric system.

Acrylic – A glassy thermoplastic cast and molded shapes to form the surface of bathtubs, whirlpools and shower bases.

Adaptor – A fitting that joins two different types of pipe together, or joins threaded to non-threaded pipe ends, such as ABS to cast-iron, or threaded to non-threaded.

Adjusting Link – An adjustable strap or bar forming a connection between the lift rod of a faucet and the ball lever assembly of the drain.

Absorbent – A material, usually solid, capable of holding gases, liquids and/or suspended matter at its surface and in exposed pores. Activated carbon is a common adsorbent used in water treatment.

Adsorption – The process in which matter adheres to the surface of an adsorbent.

Aeration – The turbulent mixing of water and air to dissipate pollutants into the air.

Aerator – A device screwed into the end of a faucet spout that mixes air into flowing water, and controls flow to reduce splashing.

Aerobic – An action or process conducted in the presence of air, such as aerobic digestion of organic matter by bacteria.

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 of a treatment system 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. Can be any unobstructed vertical opening between the lowest opening of a waste line and the flood level of the device into which it empties to relieve pressure and prevent backflow contamination.

Air-Gas Ratio – The ratio of combustion air supply flow rate to the fuel gas supply flow rate.

Air Lock – Blockage in the flow of liquid, esp. on the suction side of a 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.

Aluminum Rail Fittings – Rail fittings made of aluminum. Used to hold pipes used for hand rails.

Ambient Heat/Pressure – The heat or pressure in the area where the equipment is located.

Ambient Temperature – The average temperature of the atmosphere in the vicinity of an appliance.

Americast� – A patented process that uses a porcelain surface, an enameling grade steel material and a structural composite backing bonded together to create a sink that is similar to cast iron in durability but weighs considerably less.

Ampere – A unit of measure of current flow.

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 degrees.

Angle Seat Wrench – A valve seat wrench with a handle that includes a 90 degree 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 degrees to the faucet.

Annealing – A softening treatment consisting of heating carbon or alloy steel to an appropriate temperature, holding at the temperature for a proper period of time and slowly cooling to room temperature.

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 re-circulating system mechanism which prevents clogging without restricting 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 – A device that prevents water from flowing back into supply lines, possibly contaminating the water supply.

API Specifications – American Petroleum Institute Specifications

Apron – The apron, or skirting, a decorating portion of a bathtub that covers the rough-in area from the floor to the top rim of the tub. It is often sold separately from the tub.

Aquastat – A thermostat that is submerged in water. It is used to control operation of a specific device.

Aqueous – Containing water. Formed by the action of water.

Aquifer – A layer or zone below the surface of the earth which is capable of yielding a significant volume of water. The upper level of the aquifer is called the water table.

Arrestor Plate – A perforated plate of steel that controls the burning of vapors and prevents flames from back flashing into the room.

Arrow Head – A heavy duty auger cable tip.

Aspiration – The process of mixing air with discharging water to enhance the hydro-massage effect of a whirlpool.

Atmospheric Combustion – Burning which takes place when gaseous, liquid, or solid fuels react at an elevated temperature with oxygen, thus releasing heat.

Auto Pilot – A gas pilot device which automatically shuts off the gas supply to the appliance burner if the pilot flame is extinguished.

Avonite – A solid surface material resembling granite, used for countertops, can be worked and polished using woodworking tools.

 

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Source: “Plumbing Terms” Standard Plumbing Supply. 11 Sept. 2008

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