The F-words: a plumbing glossary

Today’s plumbing glossary covers the F-words… No, not those ones! These are the F-words that only a professional plumber would use.

Face plate – trim piece found behind a single-control wall-mount faucet handle – also known as a dial plate

Facultative bacteria – bacteria that can live under aerobic and anaerobic conditions

Fall/flow – the proper slope or pitch of a pipe for adequate drainage

Faucet – an exposed plumbing fitting used to control the flow of water to a basin

Feed pump – a pump that supplies water to a boiler

Ferrous – material containing or derived from iron

First draw – water that has been sitting in pipes or plumbing fixtures overnight and is first drawn when taps are opened in the morning

Fixed cone valve – a cylinder gate mounted with the axis horizontal – also known as a Howell Bunger valve

Flange – a rib or rim for strength, which is present for guiding or for attachment to another object

Flapper – disc-like rubber composite that retains water in the tank, and upon flushing, cycle lifts to release water of the tank to the bowl for a complete flushing cycle

Floating flames – an undesirable burning operating condition, usually indicating incomplete combustion in which flames leave the burner port to reach for combustion air

Flocculant – a chemical substance that promotes the aggregation of coagulation of suspended particles in the water

Flux – paste applied to copper pipes and fittings before soldering to help the fusion process and prevent oxidation

Footprint – the area of floor space taken up by a water heater or other appliance

Freshwater – water that contains less than 1,000 milligrams per litre of dissolved solids – generally, more than 500mg/l of dissolved solids is undesirable for drinking and many industrial uses

We’re working our way through the alphabet to help you become fluent in plumbing lingo – so, keep an avid eye out for the next instalments!

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