Plumbing glossary: S

When you call out a local plumber, you want to know exactly what they’re quoting you for.

Use our quick plumbing glossary to get up to speed.

STD – standard

Saddle tee – fitting that taps into the side of a pipe to make a quick connection to an existing line

Saddle valve – a valve mounted on a pipe run by a clamping device or saddle tee to supply water for a low-demand device

Safety shutoff valve – a device on a gas appliance that shuts off the gas supply to prevent a hazardous situation

Sag pipe – a section of a sewer line that is placed deeper in the ground than normal to pass under utility piping, waterways, rail lines, highways or other obstacles

Saponification –the process in which a fatty acid is neutralised with an alkali or base to form a soap

Scale – a thin layer of calcium on the interior of a tank that may prevent heat transfer

Schedule – numbers assigned to different wall thicknesses of pipe (e.g. sch 40)

Scupper drain – a drain on a roof or deck that allows rainwater to drain off

Sediment – the substance that settles on the bottom of a tank, also known as lime

Serial / model – a permanent information plate attached to a major home appliance detailing the product model and serial number, plus information about wattage or industry standard requirements

Siphon – a pipe connecting two canals, through which water flows over a high point of gravity

Sleeve – pipe that is passed through a wall for the purpose of inserting another pipe through it

Slip joint – a connection made with compression fittings

Soft water – water that has a low calcium and magnesium content

Solder – a metal alloy that is melted to create a fused joint between metal pieces

Spark test – a test procedure to evaluate the integrity of the glass lining

Specific gravity – the ratio of the weight of a specific volume of substance compared to the weight of the same volume of pure water at 4 degrees Celsius

Stem – part of the faucet that holds the handle on one end and the washer on the other

Straight cross – fitting that connects four pipes of the same diameter

Street ell – a 90 degree elbow joint with a hub on one end and male threads on the other used to make an angled connection between pipe or tubing and a fitting with a hub

Stud guard – short band of metal attached to wall studs to prevent nails from penetrating and damaging pipes

Supply kit – a kit of all parts needed to fit a faucet or toilet to the pipes coming out of a wall, usually containing stop valves, water connectors and escutcheons

Supply stop – the valve that controls water supply to a toilet

Sweep – a drain ell fitting with a long radius that allows for smooth passage of waste

Swing joint – a flexible sprinkler connection made by connecting three threaded elbow fittings together

Can you squeeze in more plumbing words? Check out our existing plumbing glossaries by clicking on the letters below.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R … more to follow.

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