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Plumbing Terms for the Non-Plumber


In our field, there are quite a few terms that are used to describe common household plumbing that may not be known to the average homeowner. Today we are going to go over a few, so you can be more knowledgeable about your home. Knowledge is Power!

Hose Bib– One of the most common plumbing calls is a leaking or non-functioning hose bib. The hose bib is the place where a hose connects to the outside of your home. It is described by customers as an outdoor faucet, an outdoor spigot (which is also correct!), and the outside hose connection thingie, among many other terms. We can repair and replace existing hose bibs, and install frost-free hose bibs that help to prevent freezing in the winter.  Since the hose bib is connected to the plumbing inside your home, it is necessary to have access inside and outside to get the job done.

Stoppage– When you call in, you may hear us refer to your drain clog, pipe clog, or fixture clog as a stoppage. This is a blanket term that covers anything that may be preventing water from free-flowing through your plumbing. Common stoppages can be hair in a drain, certain foods in a garbage disposal or wipes flushed down a toilet. To fix a stoppage, we have various methods depending on the job, including snaking and jetting.

Shut Off Valves– Shut off valves are found throughout your home anywhere where water may need to be turned on and off. This includes sinks, toilets, and the main one in your home that can turn all of your water on and off.  These are a great tool for homeowners, as you can turn off water from a leak and prevent damage to your home until you can get a plumber to fix the issue. There are many types off shut off valves, which are basically named after the direction they go in and how they are connected (straight stops, angle stops, 3 way stops). There are also ball valves and gate valves, which refers to how they shut off.

These are just a few of the terms we regularly use here at DB’s Plumbing & Drain. If any of them were new to you, hopefully, the next time you call a plumber you will feel more confident about making the call.