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Glossary of Plumbing Terms

Plumbing Vocabulary and Industry Terms | Glossary
Plumbing Vocabulary and Industry Terms | Glossary




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There are currently 17 names in this directory beginning with the letter B.
BTU
British Thermal Unit. A quantity of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Gas- and oil-fired water heaters provide BTU-per-hour ratings. For electric water heaters, multiply the watt rating by 3.4128 to get the equivalent BTU input per hour.

Base
A substance when dissolved in water it releases hydroxyl ions. It reacts with an acid to form salt and water.

Basin
A vessel with curved walls used to hold water for washing.

Boiler
A tank/reservoir where water is turned into steam (or hot water) for the use of heating. Boilers generate hot water or steam for hydronic heating systems such as radiators, finned-tube baseboard heaters, radiant floor heating, radiant panels (towel warmers), kick space heaters and indirect water heaters.

Burner
A heat-producing device where a flame is used to provide heat or plumbing heating.

Butane
An organic compound, an alkane with 4 carbon atoms (its formula is C4H10). The term refers to either of two structural isomers: n-butane or isobutane, or to a mixture of both.

Back Up
The overflow of a plumbing fixture caused by a clogged drain or pipe (when water cannot flow through it because something is blocking it).

Bathtub
A large plumbing fixture used for taking a bath. It typically stands on a floor in a bathroom.

Ballcock
Ballcocks also known as float valves, are found in water tanks and are used to control the flow of water into the tank. They work by rising with the water level in the tank which in turn activates a lever which then shuts the valve. When the water level falls, the float ball valve and lever drops which then reopens the valve leaving water-free to return and refill the tank. (also check Ballcock washer; Ballcock assembly).

Bleeding
The process of draining a pipe of excess air by opening a valve.

Blockage
In plumbing, a blockage is something that blocks a pipe.

Back Flow
Back flow or backflow is a condition of water traveling from one system back into any part of the main distribution system.

Back Wash
The process of cleaning a filter by reversing the flow of water through it.

Ball Check Valve
This mechanism uses a ball to create a seal, allowing for one-way water delivery.

Ball Valve
A valve that uses a ball to seal up against the seat.

Boiling Point (BP)
The temperature of which water turns to vapor when the heat is applied. The boiling point of water is 212°F or 100°C.

British Thermal Unit
A quantity of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. British Thermal Unit is abbreviated "BTU. Gas- and oil-fired water heaters provide BTU-per-hour ratings. For electric water heaters, multiply the watt rating by 3.4128 to get the equivalent BTU input per hour.


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