Understanding 5 Technical Terms Plumbers Use


Have you ever had a conversation with your plumber, and then walked away only to realize you had no idea what they were talking about? Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. Unless you are an expert plumber, you are bound to come across a few terms you don’t know! Here are a few common terms:

1. PSI

What it means: Pounds per Square Inch. You’ll hear PSI used as a measurement of pressure inside a given object (your water pressure).

2. GPM

What it means: Gallons Per Minute. This term is used when describing how many gallons of water a given fixture uses to operate.

3. Thermal Expansion

What it means: The change in dimension by solids, liquids and gases in response to temperature changes at a constant pressure. Basically, thermal expansion occurs when your hot water heater heats the water and it expands in volume. This can be dangerous because that pressure is building up excess water and forcing it to go somewhere. Evidence of thermal expansion can be seen in leaky faucets or in the set off of the relief valve on hot water heaters.

4. Soft or Hard Water

What it means: Soft Water is water that has a low calcium and magnesium content. Hard water has a high calcium and magnesium content. Hard water can be evidenced by unsightly mineral buildups on faucets and showerheads, or residue on dishes after going through the dishwasher.

5. Redox

What it means: Redox is a term that refers to the reduction-oxidation of potential water. It tells how easily chemical reactions are taking place in a tank. A high redox value is better than a low one.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, after all, it’s your home they’re working on and you need to be in the know!

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