Hose bibb: External or internal valved water fitting to which a water hose is connected. It is also called a spigot or faucet. Internal hose bibbs are found in the laundry area for washing machine hook up.
Journeyman: A plumber who has completed apprenticeship requirements. Ongoing training is still required, although more responsibility is given to the journeyman. Normally the journeyman must hold that license for 4 to 5 years before progressing to the master level.
Licensed, insured and bonded: Three business certifications that a plumbing service should have to do business. Licensed means that the plumber has passed regulatory requirements of the governing body. Insured means that the plumber has obtained insurance to cover employee injuries and damages on the jobsite. Bonded means that the plumber has obtained additional insurance through an outside agency in case of extenuating circumstances, like the company going out of business or an employee theft on the jobsite. Certain jobs, such as work being done for a government or state agency, require bonds.
Low-flow: A water fixture that produces a lower water flow at the outlet.
Main drainpipe: The piping where the dwelling’s drain piping system enters the septic system or underground drainpipe.
Master plumber: A plumber who has completed both the apprenticeship and journeyman phase. A master plumber usually has ten to fifteen years of experience and must pass a state plumbing exam, including tests on plumbing codes and practices. The master plumber is responsible for business operations, planning and bidding on plumbing jobs.
Outdoor faucet: A hose bibb located outside the home or building. The connection threads will usually be designed to accept hose fittings.
Overflow: A type of drain used to prevent overfilling of a fixture. For example, the small hole near the top of the bathroom sink connects to the sink drain, preventing the basin from flooding onto the floor.
P-trap: A sink drainpipe designed in the shape of a “P.” It runs from the sink and down through the floor to the main drain piping. The shape is designed to trap a small quantity of water in the pipe, preventing sewer odors from entering the dwelling. An S-trap is similar, but exits the room through the wall instead of the floor.
PEX (piping): A newer type of flexible tubing, used to replace the potable water piping in a dwelling or building. PEX tubing uses hose barb connections and compression rings, thus it requires less labor to install. It installs easily around corners, omitting the need for the elbow fittings needed when installing copper or galvanized piping.
pH: Potential of hydrogen. Measurement used to determine acidity or alkalinity in a given substance.
Pilot light: A small gas flame used to ignite a larger burner when a gas valve is turned on. If the pilot is always lit, it is called a standing pilot. On demand pilots are ignited by a sparking device when needed.
Pipe threads: A spiral flute cut into the end of a pipe, allowing pipes to be coupled to fixture or pipe couplings. Pipe threads should have Teflon pipe tape, pipe thread compound or a combination of both applied to the threads to prevent leakage under pressure.
Plumber: A technician that specializes in plumbing installation and repairs. Plumbers are usually licensed by the state or other governing authority, have been educated in various aspects of the plumbing industry and are qualified to make repairs or handle new installations. Plumbers may work on all types of plumbing or may specialize in certain areas, such as residential, commercial or industrial plumbing. They should be licensed, bonded and insured.
Plunger: A cupped, suction device on a handle that is used to clear a clogged drain.
PPM: Parts per million. Used as a measurement of concentration.
Pressure gauge: A measuring device used to determine the pressure in a piping system.
Pressure tank: Part of a well pump assembly that reserves water for use. The tank contains a bladder that puts pressure on the water in the tank. When a faucet or spigot is opened, the pressure forces the water through the piping. Through gauges and switches, the tank monitors the water pressure and starts the pump when pressure lowers to a predetermined level. When the valve is closed, the pump continues until the water has reached the upper pressure limit.