Drain cleaning Plumbing Term’s

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) – A black composite plastic used to making plumbing pipes and fittings. It is considered to be inferior to PUC.

Access Panel – A removable panel in a wall or ceiling that permits repair or replacement of concealed items.

Auger – A flexible metal cable fished into traps and drain lines to dislodge obstructions.

Backflow – A reverse flow of water or liquids into water supply pipes caused by negative pressure in pipes.

Backflow Preventer – A device or meter that prevents back flow.

Back Pitch – A pipe section with negative pitch

Belly – A sagging or eroded area of the bottom of a pipe.

Branch – Any part of a pipe system, other than the riser, main or stack.


Cleanout Plug – A plug, cap, or cover that seals a cleanout.

Condensation on tank – Condensation occurs when air in the room is warm and humidity is high. The warm air against the cool sides of the tank condenses.

Coupling – A fitting used to connect to lengths of pipe in a straight run.


Drain – A pipe that carries waste water through a drainage system.

Drainage System – All the piping that carries sewage from a house into a municipal sewer or private septic system.

Drum Trap – A bottle or can shaped trap with a low entrance pipe and a high exit pipe. A lot of older homes in Connecticut have drum traps made of lead with brass covers that often get seized in place due to not being taken off in decades.


Fixture – Any of several devices that provide a supply of water or sanitary disposal of liquid or solid wastes. Tubs, showers, sinks, and toilets are examples.

Fixture Drain – The drain pipe and trap leading from a mixture to the main drain.


Galvanized Pipe – A steel pipe that rust from the inside out and is notorious for clogging and leaking. It was and is mostly used for branch lines in its life as a drain pipe in conjunction with cast iron stacks. It is notorious for clogging because it rust from the inside out and catches all the soap, grease, hair and waste that comes by. Galvanized also leaks due to its rusting problem people usually replace it with plastic.

Gasket – A device used to seal joints against leaks.


House trap – An inline trap in basement floors or suspended in mid air.


ID – Inside Diameter – Almost all plumbing pipes are sized according to their inside diameter.


J-Bend – A form of trap.


Lead Bend – A closet bend made of lead found in older homes with cast iron drains.


Main – Principal drain pipe to which all branches connect directly or indirectly.

Main Drain – The portion of drainage system between the fixture drains and the sewer drain.

Mainline – A main sewer pipe.

Main Stack – A principal vent to which branch vents may be connected.

Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) – The Hartford areas water company maintain the water supply and sewers.

Misalignment – When two pipes shift and no longer meet flush due to settling or being subjected to heavy weight.

Outside Diameter (OD) – Plumbing pipes are rarely measured by their outside diameter, with flexible copper tubing
being the exception.

Outside Cleanout – A very good investment. Merely a cleanout installed outside to prevent mess and ease of access.

Overflow – A tube that allows excess water to escape from toilets tank or a bathtub so that flooding does not occur.


P-Trap – A kind of trap used under sinks and tubs.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – a white plastic pipe used to make various plumbing parts. It is superior to ABS. PUC was discovered in 1835. It was first manufactured in 1935 in Germany and then installed in Germany the following year. It started being used in 1952 in the US. PVC comes in several diameters up to 48’ inches. It lasts long and is the primary material used in new construction and it is a composite plastic and is deemed stronger than its cousin ABS.


Roof Vent – Allows sewer gases to escape building

Sanitary Sewer – An underground drainage network that carries liquid and solid waste to a treatment plant.

Septic Tank – A reservoir that collects and separates liquid and wastes and directs the liquid waste onto a drainage field.

Sewage – Waste matter carried away in sewers or drains.

Sewer Drainage – The part of a drainage system that carries liquid and solid waste from a building to a sanitary sewer, septic tank, or cesspool.

Siphon Jet Holes – Small holes around the rim of the toilet that water passes through to facilitate flushing.

Sewer Drain – The soil stack is largest vertical drain of a building into which waste from branch drains flow.

Storm Drain – A drain used to collect rain and or grown water and then send it to a storm sewer.

Storm Sewer – An underground system used to collect and carry away water coming into it from storm drains.


Tee – A T shaped fitting.

Trap – The part(s) of a drain system that create a water barrier that prevents sewer gases from coming into homes. They are required by code.

Trip Waste – Lever controlled bathtub drain stopper; two kinds – pop-up or plunger.


Vent – The vertical or slopping horizontal portion of a drain line that permits sewer gases to exit the house.

Vent Stack – The portion of the main stack above the highest fixture.

Wax ring –

Wye – Or often called Y, is a Y shaped fitting used for drainage and cleanouts.