Plumbing glossary: V

Booked a plumber and concerned that you won’t have a clue what they’re talking about? Our quick and easy plumbing glossary will have you up to speed before they’ve even had the chance to ring your doorbell.

V-clip – a clip shaped like the letter ‘V’ used on a lavatory drain lift linkage assembly to easily adjust the connection of the drain to the lift rod

Vacuum breaker – an anti-siphon device that prevents backflow of contaminated water into the water supply system

Valve – a device that regulates the flow of fluid

Valve seat – the non-moving part of a valve – water flow is stopped when the movable element comes into contact with the valve seat

Valve seat wrench – hexagonal end wrench inserted into the hexagonal opening of a valve seat for installation or removal

Velocity head – amount of energy required to accelerate water to a given speed, expressed in feet per head

Vent – a pipe that allows air into a drain system to balance air pressure and to prevent water in the traps from being siphoned off

Vent header – a vent pipe into which several vents connect – this leads to the vent stack and out of the building

Vent stack – upper portion of the soil stack above the top fixture, through which gases and odours escape

Venting materials – a number of materials are used for venting, including PVC and metal

Venturi – a short tube with a tapered constriction in the middle that causes an increase in the velocity of fluid flow and the corresponding decrease in fluid pressure that is used for creating suction in a vacuum pump

Viscosity – resistance of fluid flow due to internal forces and friction between molecules, which increases as its temperature decreases

Vitreous surface – material on some plumbing fixtures that is derived from or consists of glass, is translucent and low on porosity

Vitreous China – ceramic materials fired at a high temperature to form a non-porous body, yielding exposed surfaces coated with ceramic glaze, and used for bathroom fixtures such as toilets

Volatile – capable of vaporisation at a relatively low temperature

Volumetric – refers to measurement by volume rather than weight

Voral tube – flexible steel hose used for handheld shower sprays

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