Do you think you may need to call a plumber? Are you intimidated because a thingamajig and a whatsit aren’t going to clearly communicate your needs? Do you need to learn the lingo? Well, here is a quick guide to some of the key terms you might want to understand in communicating with your plumber!


Terms you may hear from a plumber:


Plumbing – a system that carries fluids across a space for a wide range of functions.


Plumber – a tradesperson who concentrates on lower pressure piping systems for potable (drinking) water and sewage in a residential, commercial, industrial, or commercial environment.


Boilermaker – a tradesperson who fabricates steel, iron, or copper into large containers, boilers, intended to hold hot gas or liquid, as well as maintaining boilers and boiler systems. This tradesman is not a plumber.


Pipefitter – also known as a steamfitter is a tradesperson who installs, assembles, fabricates, maintains, and repairs pipping systems that are under high pressure. This person is not a plumber.


Pipe – a metal or plastic tubing that hold and carry fluid in a plumbing system.


Fitting – also called an adapter, is used in pipe systems to connect straight sections of pipe or tube, adapt to different sizes or shapes.


Valve – a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways.


Unions – pipes join together at unions with different shaped fittings such as straight, elbow, or tee fittings. These unions and pipes are held together with threads, thread seal tape, and/or plumbers’ putty.


Pipe Strapping/ Hangers – are used to hold pipe and fitting in place.


Tank – a container or reservoir that holds fluid for long- or short-term storage or for heating or cooling.

Fixturepermanent or semi-permanent devices in buildings that use water and are connected to the buildings plumbing system such as sinks, tubs, toilets, and showers.


Toilet – Toilets have many alternative names such as water closet, WC, urinal, leu/ loo, washroom, restroom, bidet, men’s room or ladies’ room, latrine, bathroom, powder room…


Wastewater – any water that has been contaminated by human use. This “used water” is no longer safe for drinking.


Septic System – the wastewater collection system for an individual property.


Sewage System – is the system that collects sewage from septic systems, collects other wastewater, and collects surface run off and delivers it to treatment plants.


Water Treatment Plant – also known as a sewage treatment plant takes municipal wastewater and removes contaminants to make it safe before releasing it back to the environment.


Pump – is used to push water along plumbing systems. Originally plumbing systems had to rely on gravity to move the water downhill. A plumber can, with pumps, move water horizontally across or even upward if needed.


Now that you have learned the lingo and can talk the talk, you are ready! Even if you aren’t 100% sure, we can help determine what you need. Give us a call at Fite Plumbing at (317) 271-5400 for all of your plumbing needs!

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