Plumbing Parts And Terminology That You Need To Know
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Plumbing Parts And Terminology – Know Your Whosit From Your Watzzit

Plumbing Parts And Terminology
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are various types of parts available in plumbing systems. It’s important to know what these parts are and learn about each one’s important role and function. Let’s take a look at these important plumbing parts and terminology.

Bypass Valve

Bypass valves play the role of controlling pressure in a plumbing system by diverting part of the water flow. This normally happens by bypassing water from the pump outlet back into the reservoir. Bypass valves essentially regulate the pressure in a plumbing system by opening just enough to relieve pressure on the inlet port. Perfect pressure means perfect water flow.

Isolation Valve

Isolation valves allow you to turn off the water supply to a particular feed or faucet without having to turn off the mains. These valves are often attached to faucets under sinks in what looks like a slot headed screw. The valve in open when the slot is parallel to the arrow sign on the valve. When the slot is turned, it closes the valve and stops the water flow. Isolation valves are handy for issues such as leaking faucets, when a specific area needs to be isolated.

Pressure Balance Cartridge

These cartridges or valves help to supply water at a constant pressure to a shower or bathtub despite pressure fluctuations from supply lines. They work by measuring the volume ratio of hot water to cold water and adjust these volumes continually to maintain a constant pressure. An example of this is when a toilet is flushed while the shower is turned on. Although the toilet draws water to refill, the Pressure balance cartridge maintains the water pressure in the shower while the toilet holding tanking is refilling.

Thermostatic Shower Valve

Thermostatic valves operate by sensing the actual temperature of the incoming water and then adjusting the hot and cold flow accordingly to maintain a constant temperature. As with our toilet illustration for the pressure balance cartridge, a similar function applies here but with regard to temperature regulation. The thermostatic shower valve senses the incoming water temperature to ensure that a constant temperature is kept for the duration of shower or bath.

Flush Valve

The flush valve is the part inside the toilet that moves the water from the holding tank into the bowl. As you push the toilet handle down, the valve lifts to allow the water through. Flush valves come in different sizes depending on your personal requirements.

Fill Valve

The fill valve is a very important part of a standard toilet. It manages the water that fills into the holding tank. The valve does this by opening the water flow as the toilet is flushing, and closes off the water supply when the tank has been refilled.


A flange provides for the connecting pipes, valves or pumps to form a piping system. Flanges are connector pieces that are either welded or screwed on to form a joint. Flanged joints are assembled by bolting two flange pieces together with a gasket in between which provides a seal.


Providing a similar function to a flange, a coupling is a very short length or pipe with a socket at either one or both ends. Couplings allow for pipes or tubes to be joined together to make up a plumbing piping system.

Supply Line

A supply line is a plastic or metal line that supplies water from the main line to an individual fixture such as a faucet or toilet. Flexible supply lines are useful for certain applications that may require movement adjustments. Supply line maintenance may be required over time.


A Rooter is another name for a drain cleaning machine. This name originated from the function of clearing tree roots from sewer pipes. Various rooters can be used for many different drain blockages. The rooter machine works by cutting through the debris responsible for the blockage. Rooters are great for emergency drain clearing as they are efficient and prevent one from having to open up the drainage system.


A trap is a curved section of drain line that prevents sewer odors from escaping. These are really important in order to prevent bad odors and hygiene issues. Drain fixtures require a “P” trap, while toilets require an “S” trap. Trap adapters are used to connect trap arms to piping. Trap adapters come in different types and sizes and so it’s recommended to get a professional plumbing service to ensure that the correct trap adapter is installed.

Sediment Filter

Water can contain various levels of sediment. Although sediment often goes unnoticed, over time sediment build up can result in a layer of sediment being deposited in your plumbing system which could contribute towards a drain blockage. Sediment filters prevent sediment particles from entering the plumbing system thereby eliminating any sediment deposit.

With all of these plumbing terms, it’s easy to see how plumbing can be a complex job. We recommend that you make use of a professional plumbing service to make sure that the source of the problem is identified and fixed effectively the first time round.


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