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Glossary

 

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Absorption Pit or Trench A pit, trench or well dug into permeable ground, filled with crushed rock and covered with earth where effluent may soak into the ground.  Modern trenches also often have piping included which creates a void for the effluent to collect providing adequate time for absorption.
Aerator A device usually fitted to a tap or spout that introduces air into the flow of water.
Ag drain (pipe) A flexible, corrugated, perforated pipe, sometimes covered by a cloth sleeve that allows for absorption of ground water into the storm water drainage system.
Air admittance valve A valve which allows air into the plumbing system, but does not let air out.
Appliance A piece of equipment designed to connect to a plumbing system to perform a certain task.
Arch pipe A half pipe, open at the bottom, usually corrugated, that is used to create a void in a absorption trench to allow for collection of effluent and absorption into the ground.
Back fall The difference in level between two points in the opposite direction to the designed flow.
Back flow Flow in the direction contrary to the normal or intended direction of flow.
Basin A plumbing fixture for holding water which may be designed for mounting in a corner, on a pedestal, attached to a wall or set in a counter top.
Bell end The end of a length of PVC pipe slightly larger in diameter than the rest of the pipe allowing for the making of a fitted or glued joint.
Belly A low point in a pipe run where liquid and other debris can settle and where a blockage may occur. 
Bend A pipe fitting used to change the direction of a pipe run.
Boundary shaft A vertical shaft including a junction that connects the main sewer drain line of the property to the main sewer drain line of the local water authority. 
Boundary trap riser A vertical shaft that extends the inlet end of a boundary trap to ground level to provide access to the drain for inspection, cleaning or maintenance.  The riser is covered with a cap or lid.
Brazing The process of joining metals in which a molten non-ferrous filler metal is drawn by capillary action into the joint.
Cistern A tank, usually as part of a toilet suite, where water is stored for flushing of the toilet pan.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Camera In plumbing, an assembly consisting of a camera head and semi-rigid cable mounted on a reel that is connected to a television monitor and, when inserted into a plumbing drain or storm water pipe, is used to locate and identify blockages in the pipe. 
Concrete surround The concrete casing usually around the cap that covers either a boundary shaft riser or inspection opening riser used to protect the riser from damage.
Coupling A pipe fitting used for connecting together pipes, hoses or tubing.
Drain (sewer) A run of pipe within the property boundary including all fittings and equipment, generally external to the building, which moves sewerage to an on-site septic system or away from the property to the sewer main.
Drain (storm water) A run of pipe within the property boundary including all fittings and equipment (but excluding guttering and down pipes), generally external to the building, which moves storm water away from the property to the kerb, storm water main or absorption trench.
Drainage The installation of main drain pipes during building construction or renovation that will be connected to plumbing fixtures excluding any fixtures, basins, sinks, vanities, countertops or water pipes (see rough-in).
Dual flush toilet A toilet that has two buttons allowing for different amounts of water to be emptied into the toilet pan during the flushing operation.
Effluent The liquid discharged from a waste water treatment process.
Elbow A pipe fitting used to make a sharp change in direction of the pipe run.
Fall The difference in level between two points in the direction of flow.
Fill Earth, soil, aggregate or other material used to fill in an excavated trench or hole.
Filter A device used for the separation of solids from liquids.
Fitting A component of a piping system used to connect multiple pieces of pipe together, change the direction of the pipe or change the size of the pipe.
Fit Off The installation of plumbing fixtures after the completion of drainage and rough-in usually excluding vanities, countertops, basins and sinks, but including any hoses or pipes required to connect the fixtures to the main water lines installed during rough-in.
Fixture A receptacle designed to discharge into the sanitary drainage system.
Flexi hose A flexible rubber hose usually covered with a stainless steel braided sleeve that is used to connect mixers, taps and toilets to the water supply.
Flick Mixer A tap which allows hot and cold water to enter into a chamber and then exit through a common outlet spout.  The temperature of the water is controlled by the positioning of a lever or handle on the top of the tap.
Floor waste The pipe opening in a floor usually covered with a grate or other covering.
Flush pipe A pipe that connects the cistern to the pan in a toilet suite.
Gasket A piece of compressible material used to make a joint between two mating surfaces air or water tight.
Grease trap A pit, box or other container used to separate and retain oil, grease and sludge than should not be discharged into the sewer system.
Gully A fitting in a drainage system which is comprised of two 90 degree bends joined end-to-end allowing for the formation of a water seal that prevents odours or gases from escaping into the atmosphere.
Hose tap A tap with an external screw thread on the outlet for attaching a hose or hose connector.
Inspection Opening An opening in a pipe or fitting which allows for inspecting, cleaning or maintenance of the pipe.  It is usually a fitting with a riser fitted to allow access from ground level and a cap to seal with pipe system when the opening is not in use.
Jet Blaster A device consisting of a petrol or diesel motor, compressor, flexible hose on a reel and cutting tool that is connected to a water tap and which produces a high pressure jet of water used to cut through roots and other obstructions found in drain or storm water pipes.
Junction A fitting used to connect a branch drain pipe to the main pipe.  Junctions are generally either specified as 45 degrees, 88 degrees or 90 degrees.
Leak Detection (electric charge) In plumbing, a method for locating the point of a water leak in a conductive metal pipe whereby a low voltage electrcial charge is introduced into the pipe and the charge is detected by a device that emits a signal that aids in determining the location and depth of the pipe. Because an electric charge is used, this method cannot be used on plastic pipes.
Leak Detection (nitrogen) In plumbing, a process for locating the point of a water leak whereby nitrogen gas is pumped into a water line and the leak is found by listening for the excape of the nitrogen gas through the crack or hole in the pipe. For pipes that are buried deep in the ground or in concrete a listening device may be employed to help detect the sound of the gas. 
Main The main pipe in a drainage or sanitary system which typically connects to the main pipe system of the local water authority.
Mains pressure Pressure provided by the main water system of the local water authority.
Mini cistern cock (mini tap) A small shut off valve used to isolate a tap or toilet from the water supply.
Non-potable water Water that is not fit for human consumption.
O-ring A ring made of rubber used to seal the joint of two mating fittings.
Overflow (relief) gully A gully located outside of a building on a property that allows for the discharge of liquid from the drainage system outside of the building if a blockage occurs.
Pan The bowl or water receptacle of the toilet suite which is connected to the drain system.
Pan connector A fitting that connects the pan to the drain system.
Pipe Locator (radiosonde) A device that receives a signal from a radiosonde located on the end of a CCTV camera head which allows the user to plot the location and depth of the head.  By positioning the camera head at the point of a pipe obstruction or breakage, the user can determine the location and depth of the pipe.
Plumb Quick A device consisting of a flexible rubber sleeve and two adjustable pipe clamp bands used to connect two lengths of PVC, or PVC and earthenware, pipe together when a glued joint is not possible.  When burying a plumb quick, it must be encased in concrete before backfilling.  
Potable water Water that is treated and safe for human consumption.
Pressure limiting valve A valve that limits the pressure in water piping by limiting the flow of water into the piping.
Reducer A pipe fitting for changing the size of the pipe in a pipe run.
Rough-in The installation of main water pipes during building construction or renovation that will be connected to plumbing fixtures excluding any fixtures, basins, sinks, vanities, countertops or drain pipes (see drainage).
Sewage Waste water from the household that contains all human waste products.
Shower rose A plumbing fitting from which water issues as a film or spray.
Single flush toilet A toilet with only one button or handle for emptying a single amount of water into the toilet pan during the flushing operation.
Tap A valve used for drawing off or delivering water.
Temperature pressure relief valve (TPR) A spring loaded valve that limits the pressure and temperature in a hot water tank by discharging water or gas from the valve to outside the tank.
Thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) A valve that mixes hot and cold water to provide a set water temperature at the outlet of the valve.
Trap Any fitting or combination of fittings used to retain water which acts as a seal to prevent odours or gases from venting into the atmosphere or home.
Valve A device used for controlling the flow of a fluid.
Vent A pipe or opening that limits pressure changes in the piping system or allows for the discharge of gas from the system.
Water Closet (WC) The room containing the toilet suite.
Water hammer A pressure surge or wave caused by the sudden change in velocity of the water or other fluid, usually caused by automatic valves found on washing machines or dishwashers.

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