Glossary of Plumbing Terms

Access Panel
An access panel is an opening in a wall or ceiling near a plumbing fixture. An access panel offers access to work on plumbing or electrical systems.

Angle Stop
An angle stop is a shutoff valve between the water supply and a plumbing fixture. It is used to shut off water flow while you repair the connected item.

Anode Rod
An anode rod is located inside a water heater. The anode rod protects the water tank from corrosion caused by magnesium or aluminum.

Backwater Valve
A backwater valve prevents sewage from reentering a home.

Ball Check Valve
A ball check valve is a type of backflow valve or preventer. The ball check valve is placed on a water line to direct water flow in only one direction.

Ballcock
The ballcock controls the flow of water in a gravity operated toilet tank. When the toilet is flushed, the circular float will drop and open the ballcock. This results in water flowing into the tank. As the water rises, the float rises to the level that shuts of the ballcock.

Branch
A branch is any secondary part of a drain system. It’s also referred to as the lateral line.

Branch Vent
A branch vent connects vents with a vent stack.

Check Valve
The check valve is a type of backflow preventer. The check valve is installed on a pipe to allow water flow in only one direction.

Cleanout Plug
The cleanout plug is in a trap or drain pipe. A cleanout plug offers access to a drain line for clearing any blockage in a pipes.

Closet
A synonym for a toilet, also referred to as a “water closet.”

Closet Auger
A closet auger is a flexible rod that is used to access a toilet’s trap to remove any clogs.

Closet Bend
A closet bend connects the closet flange to the toilet’s drain.

Closet Flange
A closet flange is a ring that anchors the closet bend to the floor. The closet flange also includes bolts that secure the toilet in place.

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