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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

Familiarize Yourself with These 6 Plumbing Terms


Plumbing jargon might seem like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to homeowners that aren’t constantly working with pipes. However, it’s not all that complicated when you take it step by step. We’d like to talk to you about a few plumbing terms that could help you rest easy when dealing with plumbing problems in the future.

It can lead anyone to panic when calling for emergency plumbing in Des Moines, IA if they don’t know how exactly to talk about the problem. Whether it’s a toilet issue, a leaking pipe, or a drain that’s clogged, hopefully, these plumbing terms can give you the know-how to have a good conversation with your plumber about what exactly needs to be done.

Well, let’s get started!

The Different Types of Plumbers

There’s a difference between an apprentice plumber, a journeyman plumber, and a master plumber, which is good to be aware of when looking for professional help.

  • Apprentice. Apprentice plumbers usually accompany master plumbers since they might be well trained but they have little experience in the field of plumbing work. It’s definitely recommended that you don’t let an apprentice work in your home without the supervision of a master plumber.
  • Journeyman. While not quite a master plumber, a journeyman has the knowledge of legislature, plumbing systems, and techniques with plenty of experience in the field. While unable to start a plumbing company on their own, a journeyman plumber can absolutely be hired to work for you and complete your plumbing needs with precision.
  • Master Plumber. A master plumber has at least 10-15 years of experience in the field, while also having passed a state plumbing exam. Master plumbers are often responsible for business operations, planning, and will usually be accompanied by an apprentice they are training. So, don’t be alarmed if two plumbers show up at your door for one job!

Drains and Sinks

No need to be confounded when calling a plumber for drain or sink issues anymore.

  • P-Trap. The drain of a sink is designed in the shape of a P, precisely because it traps a small amount of water in the bottom of the drain that keeps sewer odors from entering your home. This is a nifty little plumbing trick that helps keep our bathrooms smelling nice and tidy.
  • Auger. While this can mean a couple of different things, an auger is a device that’s like a rod with a cutting or clearing device on the end that can destroy drain clogs. A hydro jet is a different kind of auger with a high-pressured water spout mounted on the end that will clear away most drain clogs with water power alone. Make sure you know what type of auger your plumber is using!
  • Plunger. While you might think you know what a plunger is, there are actually many different kinds of plungers. There are sink plungers and toilet plungers, as well as plungers that come in all different shapes with specific ways to create a pressure seal. Make sure you’re using the right plunger for the right job!

Hopefully, you’ve got some plumbing terms under your belt so you’re prepared for whatever conversation you’ll be having in the future with your plumber.

Not interested in learning the tricks of the trade? No problem! Call Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling today for a master plumber to take care of your problem!

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