Learn the lingo…

If you’ve ever experienced drainage or plumbing issues, you may have found it challenging trying to explain the problem to a professional, or understanding their view on what should be done to fix matters. We understand that this can be difficult for those outside the plumbing profession, so to help you we have put together this useful glossary of terms.

Drain jetting

Drain jetting involves using high pressure water jets to thoroughly clean debris from drains and remove any build ups that could cause a blockage. It can be a very effective means of removing blockages if your drains have started to back up.

To avoid a blockage occurring, don’t put anything down the sink that shouldn’t be put down there, such as cooking fats and oils, crumbs, food scraps or hair – always use a plug strainer where possible.

CCTV drain survey

A CCTV drain survey is when a small camera is fed on a rod through a manhole to locate blockages in hard to reach places.

Drain relining

Drain relining is a process often used to repair drains that have been damaged by tree roots. A soft lining is put inside the pipes, then a chemical process takes place which makes the lining hard and durable.

Dye testing

Non-toxic dye is placed down the drain to locate the source of a leak and enable repairs.

Collapsed drains

Collapsed drains are often caused by water in pipes freezing and then thawing repeatedly. They are also caused by tree root damage or just general wear and tear in older properties. A collapsed drain will disrupt the drainage system, causing health risks as well as inconvenience to your family.

Foul sewer

This is a type of sewer that only accepts foul sewage through it.

Rodding eye

A rodding eye is a pipe with a curved junction in that sits beneath ground level. A small oval shaped cover at ground level enables access to the drainage system via the rodding eye should a blockage occur.

Drain descaling

Drain de-scaling can be necessary in areas of hard water where a build-up of scale and mineral deposits can form inside the pipes over time. Regular cleaning or jetting may not be enough to remove these hard deposits, so use of a specialist de-scaling machine may be required.

Inspection chamber

An inspection chamber offers access to equipment operated remotely from ground level to carry out drain inspections.

Ball cock

A valve in the toilet cistern which controls water refill.

Ball joint

A ball shaped joint often used on a shower head to allow it to rotate.


The process of allowing trapped air out of a pipe or radiator by opening up a valve at the end.

Plumbing Snake

A thin, flexible spiral shaped metal rod which is inserted into drains and rotated to clear out a blockage.

Stop cock

Your stopcock is normally located under the kitchen sink and turning it clockwise should shut off the cold water supply.

It’s important to know what your stop cock is and where to find it as it shuts off the cold water supply in your home in the event of a leak.

Air lock

Trapped air in a pipe that restricts the amount of water flowing though a pipe.


The unit used to measure water pressure

Check valve

A valve fitted to ensure that water can only flow in one direction.

Thermostatic mixing valve

A hot and cold water mixing device which adjusts automatically to maintain a selected temperature at the outlet.

S bend

A form of trap commonly found under sinks.

U bend

A form of trap commonly found under toilets.

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