So you’ve heard mechanics, construction workers, architects, and plumbers throw around terms that sound like a foreign language, and it’s made you feel slightly inadequate. (We’ve all been there so don’t feel alone).

We’re here to educate you on the finer terms and definitions used in the world of plumbing. You may wonder why you need to know these things; but it will come in handy when your drainage system crumbles, or your mains explodes and your home gets soaked, and you’re left scratching your wet head.

So, we’ll keep it simple because plumbing can get quite complicated and detailed. Here are a few terms to give you a better understanding of the important water system that keeps your household running.


This is a safety valve that limits the pressure and temperate inside a vessel (such as the geyser) or water pipe. The water pressure and temperature can be really high, so the relief valve allows water to be released at an atmospheric setting, while the temperature can be adjusted according to the owner’s preference. This is the part that prevents the water in your tap bursting forth and peeling the enamel off your bath, and it prevents you from a serious scalding.


Also known as recycled water, this is basically water that has been treated by removing all impurities and solids. Largely used for irrigation, flushing toilets, sustainable landscaping and sometimes for drinking, reclaimed water is required to meet a wide range of commercial and industrial regulations before it can be used for these purposes.


This is an object that you may know very well, however, in plumbing terms it would confuse anyone. This is simply the strainer that you put in the sink drain to catch any debris. This allows you to remove large debris that could get stuck in your pipes, causing blocked drains.


Known as ‘ Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride’, UPVC is effectively a rigid plastic pipe that is used to transfer waste water. This particular plastic is a big deal in the world of plumbing and needs to meet a variety of plumbing codes. It’s clear that plumbing codes are a pretty serious and with good reason. Codes apply to new techniques and innovations. They keep plumbing practises in line, ensuring all methods of installations, maintenance and repairs are done by the book.


An extremely important part of plumbing. It’s a paste that is used in the pipe-making industry. Used to solder the metal joints of pipe together, flux effectively prevents oxidation; this is when oxygen steals electrons from the iron of the pipe, causing the pipe to corrode, and the oxygen in the water to deplete. You see? Plumbing is not just about toilets and basin pipes. There’s a science involved in the practise.


An oxymoron – unless of course you’re performing a belly flop in a pool. Hard water refers to the dissolution of calcium and magnesium in water. This can cause your water to start leaving marks on your surfaces, such as scale on your shower and tap heads, murky glassware, and rings around the bath. You can always purchase water softener to remedy this, if you’re uncertain of how to apply the product, chat to your local plumbing expert who will advise you accordingly.


A critical part of any plumbing system, whether it’s in a residential, commercial or industrial setting. Backflow prevention stops black water from mixing with fresh water. If the water pressure in your pipes begin to fall, the black water from the toilet, bath and kitchen sink won’t be washed through the pipes fast enough. This will then flow backwards and mix with the fresh incoming water, causing contamination and serious health problems.

Contact Boeing Plumbing for further information and assistance on how to maintain the plumbing in your property. Not only is it good for insurance purposes, but it’s also best for the health of all concerned.