While good practical training may be the most vital quality to have in a plumber, it's important that they also have a good grasp of the common terminology they may come across while on the job. So Access Training have put together a very basic glossary of various plumbing terminology, which will hopefully be of benefit to some of you.
Actual capacity: The amount of water contained in a cistern or other container when it is full to its practical working level.
Air-lock: Air trapped in pipes, causing a reduction or complete stop in the flow of liquid.
Back-siphon: A condition where the flow of liquid is reversed and siphons back towards the source, which can lead to contamination.
Bar: The unit that water pressure is measured in.
Bleed valve: A valve that releases air from the central heating system.
Cistern: A contained used for holding water at atmospheric pressure.
Flow rate: The volume of water that is delivered to a tap, recorded in litres per minute (l/m) or litres per second (l/s).
Grey water: Waste water from domestic processes.
Hard water: Water which contains a higher level of calcium salts, making it an alkaline. When heated it deposits the salts on various components in a system, causing "furring up".
Main water valve: The main water shutoff that prevents any water from going into any of the pipes or plumbing. Plumbers may refer to it as the main shutoff valve.
Nominal capacity: The amount of water contained in a cistern or other container when it is full to the top edge.
Soft water: Rain water that falls on peaty, moorland and sandstone areas and is acidic. Soft water is better for washing, but can lead to many corrosion problems.
Stopcock: A hand operated on/off valve permitting water flow in one direction. The house stopcock is located where the supply enters the property, and can be used to shutoff water to all fixtures in the house.
Storage cistern: A specific type of cistern used for storing water to be used, such as delivering hot and cold water through pipework.
Supply pipe: A pipe that carries mains cold water around the home.
Tank: A container that is not open to atmosphere, usually a non-cylindrical closed vessel.
Vent pipe: Pipe that allows the release of air or water from a hot water system.
Of course this is only a very brief glossary, and missing many of the things you'll need to know as a professional plumber. If you would like to learn more and perhaps even gain the qualifications needed to become a plumber, an Access Training plumbing course could be exactly what you're looking for. To find out more please visit the courses section of our website or give us a call on 0800 345 7492.