The Plumber’s Dictionary: Words to Know When Talking About Your Pipes

When you have problems with your home’s plumbing you may require the services of a plumber. A plumber is a person trained and licensed to provide you with plumbing services. This includes the repair of pipes, unclogging drains and sewerage systems and other related tasks. A licensed plumber in Allegheny County, PA, for example, completes 576 hours of classroom training and four years apprenticeship with a registered master plumber. This allows the individual to attempt the journeyman plumber examination, before attempting the master plumber certification after two additional years on the job.

If you have ever dealt with a plumber you may have heard, the use of certain terms to describe your home is plumbing system. These terms may have been a reference to a procedure, tool or work that needed to be performed in order to repair or restore your plumbing system to good working order. How did you know if these terms were relevant to your repair or words that the plumber used that ended up costing you more money but were not related to your repair? Here is a primer on some of the words you should know.

Common Terms Used by Your Plumber

Your familiarity with these terms will help you understand the nature of the problem identified or repair being proposed by the plumber. This knowledge will also help you determine if the service or repair suggested by your plumber is necessary or an unwarranted charge that you do not need. The terms you will hear when discussing a plumbing problem with a licensed plumber include drain snaking, hydro jetting, trenchless sewer repair and sewer video inspection.

  • Drain Snaking

Drain snaking is a process by which the plumber places a cable attached to an auger. The drain snake may be powered or manual and is used by a plumber to unclog your pipe. Drain snaking may be required is you are experiencing a backup of water or sewerage due to the build-up of hair, paper products or some other blockage.

  • Hydro Jetting

If drain snaking is not enough to clear a stubborn clog in your pipes, your plumber may recommend the use of a hydro jet. Hydro jetting uses water, blasted at high pressure (around 4,000 pounds per square inch or psi). The use of a hydro jet may be more effective as a solution for your clogged pipes however, it is also more expensive than drain snaking. If your plumber suggests hydro jetting over drain snaking, ask if the least expensive option might be effective for your plumbing problem.

  • Trenchless Sewer Repair

Trenchless sewer repair involves the replacement of existing pipes that may have been damaged with newer lines. The new lines, made from a material known as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are fed through the existing pipes (acting like a conduit). Trenchless sewer repair can be expensive and may not necessarily be the best repair for your problem. Again, ask a plumber recommending this type of repair for your options.

  • Sewer Video Inspection

A plumber uses sewer video inspection to get a better view of your plumbing. The system may be used to identify a leak or severe blockage in your plumbing system. This equipment, which feeds a camera line through your pipes and sends video to a monitor, can be expensive to use and should only be recommended in extreme situations.

Become educated about the types of terms that a plumber may use when repairing your home’s pipes. Take the time when meeting with a plumber to ask questions, seek clarification of any term or process you do not understand and alternate repairs or solutions.

Work with Pittsburgh plumbers you can trust by contacting the team at Mister Sewer. For over 25 years, the Mister Sewer team has built a reputation for their quality of work and commitment to excellence for all your home plumbing repair needs. From clogged pipes and drains to leaky faucets and more, call Mister Sewer for efficient repairs to all your plumbing problems.

9 thoughts on “The Plumber’s Dictionary: Words to Know When Talking About Your Pipes

  1. That is so cool that they call the process of sticking a cable into the drain, drain snaking. It makes it sound really cool. We need to have our toilet unclogged and I bet this is the method they will use. I am going to sound so smart when I am able to use these terms with my future plumbers, thank you!

  2. You’re right, having an understanding of the lingo that plumbers use would really help me understand some of the issues they would explain. As of yet, we haven’t had any plumbing issues at our home, but it’s always good to be prepared! I especially appreciate you explaining hydro jetting, I had no idea what that was before reading this. Thanks!

  3. My wife and I just became homeowners and we love it so far. We are having some plumbing issues though, so we are trying to figure out what the problem is and what to look for in a good plumber. This helped us know how to talk to him and I hope that we can find a good plumber soon.

  4. Before I read this article, I had never heard of the video inspection method. I used to think it was quite easy to become a plumber, but I didn’t know it could be so technical at times. But then again, you did say it can take up to 576 hours of training to become certified!

  5. As I started reading your blog I was very clear with what you want to say. But as I went reading it further I understood that I was partially correct. Your blog made me understand more about the topic.

  6. Owning a home was a big step for me and my family. I am learning more and more about pipes, drains, water heaters, etc. Just in case something breaks down, i want to be a MAN and fix it before I call the plumber. But it also helps in knowing a little bit about whats going on even if you have to call the plumber.

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