While plumbing terms make our communications easier, we realize they may also sound like a foreign language to most. If you find yourself scratching your head when reading up on or troubleshooting your plumbing – you’re not alone.

To help end some confusion, we wanted to provide some of the most common terms clients hear and what they mean:


Flapper – A rubber piece found at the bottom of the toilet tank that is raised to allow the water to flush and lowered when the tank is empty to refill.

Aerator – An insert in a faucet that adds air to flowing water. Without one, you’ll find your faucet forcefully sprays out water and causes splashing. To reduce splashing and produce a steadier, more stable stream an aerator is needed.

Backflow – When the flow of water happens in reverse. This is dangerous as it allows potable water to become contaminated and unusable.

Potable Water – Water that is safe for drinking.

Closet Auger – Also called toilet auger, is a flexible rod used to clear clogs and obstructions in the toilet.

Shutoff Valve – A valve used to stop the water supply in a pipe in case of malfunction or repair.

Hose Bib – Can be an internal or external spigot or faucet. In the case of outdoor, it is where your water hose is connected. Internal hose bibs can be found in the laundry area for your washing machine hook up.

When it comes to plumbing, a little understanding goes a long way! At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your plumbing needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

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