At All Hours Plumbing, Heating & Air, our expert plumbers are here to provide any and all services you and your family are in need of. When our plumbers are in your home, they may use a few standard industry terms or phrases – are you commonly in the dark while this kind of conversation is taking place?

Never fear – our mission is to educate along with providing our top-notch services. Here are some of the most common plumbing terms you might hear from your plumber, and what they mean.


Using an instrument called an aerator, this is a process of mixing water with air. It helps release dissolved gasses, and also can help eliminate foul odors and tastes in water systems.

Air Gap

“Air gap” refers to the space between a water outlet delivering water to a plumbing fixture and the flood rim level of the receptacle (commonly a dishwasher or a sink). The function of the air gap is to protect potable water from cross contamination while it enters your systems.


When water within a pipeline or plumbing system is reversed in its flow, this is called backflow. Backflow can contaminate drinking water when combining it with undrinkable water.

Branch Drain

This refers to the drain that leads directly to the main drainage line in a plumbing system.

Check Valve

This is a method of backflow prevention that helps prevent water from reversing its direction by ensuring it always flows only one way.


This is an opening placed in a drainage line to easily allow for drain cleaning equipment to be used to clear out a blockage.

Closet Auger

A flexible rod with a curved end, commonly used to remove toilet clogs or obstructions in the built-in trap.


Hydro-jetting is another form of drain cleanout that uses blasts of high-pressure water to remove blockages from clogged or slow sewage lines.

Plumber’s Putty

A clay-like substance often used to seal joints, fixture bases and other areas that might be exposed to water.

Shutoff Valve

A valve used to shut off water supply to a sink or toilet – can also be called a supply stop or a straight stop.

Interested in learning more about different plumbing terms, or need information on any of our plumbing services? The pros at All Hours Plumbing, Heating & Air are here to assist you.