Plumbing glossary: I

With our straight-to-the-point plumbing glossary, you’ll learn the important industry I-words in no time.

I.D. – Inside Diameter – all pipes are sized according to their inside diameter

Impeller – rotating wheel with vanes found inside a centrifugal pump; as it spins at high speed it draws fluids in and thrusts them under pressure to the discharge outlet

Induction motor – with a slippage of 2-5% compared to synchronous motors, this is the most commonly used type in the industry

Influent – the stream entering a unit, stream or process, such as the hard water entering an ion exchange water softener

Inserts – faucet handles

Instantaneous water heater – a type of water heater, which heats supply as it passes through with no storage tank necessary – also known as a tankless heater

Ion – an atom or group of atoms that function as a unit and have a positive or negative electrical charge due to the gain or loss of one or more electrons

Ion exchange – a reversible process in which ions are released from an insoluble permanent material in exchange for other ions in a surrounding solution; the direction of the exchange depends upon the affinities of the ion exchanger for the ions present and the concentrations of the ions in the solution

Ionisation – the process in which atoms gain or lose electrons – sometimes used as synonymous with dissociation; the separation of molecules in to charged ions in solutions

IPS – Iron Pipe Size – standard pipe threads (the female IPS refers to internal pipe threads and the male IPS refers to external pipe threads)

Integral stops – stops that allow the owner to shut off water supply at the faucet for maintenance without shutting off the water supply to the entire house

Integral vacuum breaker – a device typically used in a sink or shower sprayer to keep water from flowing back into the fresh water supply

Interceptor – device for separating grease and oil from drainage systems

Isothermal – action that takes place with no change in temperature

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