Keeping up with plumbing services can feel overwhelming, especially when keeping track of all the plumbing terms. Knowing these basic plumbing terms can help you understand what your plumber is talking about and help you feel more knowledgeable about your plumbing. Of course, you don’t have to study anything before an appointment with our Ocala plumbers. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have before, during, or after service. Contact us to schedule a plumbing appointment today!

Plumbing Glossary


An auger is a flexible metal rod that clears heavy-duty clogs in toilets or drains.

Black Water/Grey Water

Black water refers to water used to remove bathroom waste, while grey water is used for showering and washing. With proper treatment, grey water recycling is possible, making your water use more eco-friendly and saving you money on water utilities.

Copper Piping

Copper plumbing pipes are expensive but well worth the cost. They are extremely durable, not prone to leaks, maintain secure fittings, have a long lifespan, and can be recycled. They also don’t cause issues with water pollution like older lead pipes.


Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) is plastic-made piping. It is durable and cost-effective for most homes.


A drain refers to any opening that removes wastewater, for example, from a shower or sink. Once the water has been removed through the drain, it moves to the main drainage pipe, which can go back to a centralized water treatment facility.

Energy Star Certification

An ENERGY STAR certification means that the appliance meets or exceeds energy efficiency benchmarks set by the Environmental Protection Agency. This is good for the environment and will often save you money on utilities.

Faucet Screen

Some faucets and dishwashers include a screen over the drain to prevent debris from clogging. However, these may become clogged over time, so you must clean them occasionally to prevent issues.


While there are different flappers throughout the plumbing system, the main one people should be aware of is the one in their toilet. When you push down the handle or button to flush the toilet, the flapper is raised, which begins the flushing cycle. If the flapper doesn’t have a proper seal, it can cause your toilet to run and wastewater.

Float Valve

The float valve is also in the toilet and automatically shuts off the water at a certain level.

Galvanized Steel Piping

Another common type of home piping material resistant to corrosion.


GPM stands for gallons per minute and is used to measure how much water an appliance uses in a minute.

Main Drainpipe

Most pipes, if not all, lead to the main drainpipe, which carries wastewater to the septic system or a municipal water treatment facility.

Overflow Drain

Overflow drains are commonly found in bathtubs and sinks. It prevents the water from overflowing in case you forget to shut it off.

PEX Piping

PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is a new option for piping and is popular for new installations because they offer better flexibility and easier installation.

Pipe Threads

Piping threads are the raised, spiral sections at the end of parts that allow the pieces to be connected.

Plumbing Trap

The plumbing trap, or p-trap, is the visible plumbing underneath sinks that looks like an inverted “P.”” The shape allows for small pools of water that act as a trap for solid objects to prevent clogs. It also keeps sewage smells and pests from coming up into your bathroom.

Pressure Tank

The pressure tank forces the water through your home’s pipes, ensuring that there is water when you turn a faucet on.

Shut-Off Valve

A shut-off valve is a fail-safe feature that turns the water off to a pipe. It’s usually found under a sink or beside the toilet and needs to be rotated clockwise to engage water shut-off.


Tanks can refer to any water-holding container, including the water heater and the tank behind the toilet.

Water Closet

Before modern plumbing, people would have their water piped into a spare closet that they could then access for use. These were called water closets, and the term has endured, with plumbers often referring to the toilet as a water closet.

Water Jetting

Water jetting uses high-pressure water to safely remove clogs without damaging the piping.

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