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Plumbing Terminology 101
May 31,2024

Plumbing Terminology 101

Plumbing is vital to maintaining a functional and comfortable home. However, the jargon used by professionals can often leave you feeling confused. To help you communicate effectively with your plumber and understand the intricacies of your plumbing system, Mr. Rooter Plumbing provides this guide to some essential terminologies. While the list is not limited to the ones mentioned, it is a good start for inexperienced individuals.


In plumbing, "portable" refers to the ability of a water source to be easily transported or moved. Plumbing service providers use this term when discussing portable water heaters or water purification systems that can be relocated based on need. Understanding this term can help you discuss flexible plumbing solutions with your technicians when considering repairs or upgrades.

Pressure Head

"Pressure head" is a critical concept in plumbing that refers to the height of a column of water that exerts pressure at the base of the column. Because of its elevation, it measures the potential energy in the water and is crucial in understanding how water pressure works in your plumbing system. When dealing with low water pressure issues, your plumber might mention the pressure head to explain why water flow is weaker in certain areas of your home.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)

This is a term used to describe the highest contaminant level allowed in drinking water as determined by regulatory authorities, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Knowing about MCLs is essential for ensuring that your drinking water is safe. When discussing water quality with your plumbing service provider, understanding MCLs can help you understand the importance of water treatment solutions and what specific contaminants are in your supply.

Flow Rate

"Flow rate" is a critical term in plumbing that describes the volume of water that passes a point in the plumbing system over a set period, usually measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Homeowners should understand the flow rate when evaluating the efficiency of plumbing fixtures and systems. If you're considering installing a new showerhead or faucet, your plumbing repair service might discuss the flow rate to ensure it meets your needs while conserving water.

Branch Drain

A "branch drain" is a plumbing system's secondary pipe connecting different fixtures to the main drain line. This term is essential when diagnosing plumbing issues such as clogs or backups. If your plumber in Egg Harbor Township mentions a problem with a branch drain, it means that the issue is affecting the drainage of several fixtures, which can help you pinpoint where the problem might be originating from within your home.


In plumbing, to "bleed" means to release trapped air or excess water from the system. This process ensures the system operates efficiently and prevents issues like water hammer or uneven heating in radiators. You can use this term to understand why specific maintenance tasks are necessary for the health of your plumbing system.

By familiarizing yourself with these essential plumbing terminologies, you can make informed decisions about your plumbing needs and maintain a well-functioning home. The next time you schedule a maintenance inspection with a plumbing repair service, you'll be able to engage in a meaningful conversation confidently. Contact us at Mr. Rooter Plumbing and schedule a consultation with our experts to access tailored plumbing services at competitive rates.