Jargon buster

Across showers, bathroom taps and kitchen taps, our ranges provide a wide variety of products suitable for both domestic and commercial applications.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Adjustable swivel unions
Offset connection pipes that can be swivelled to suit differing centres of the supply pipes before tightening.

Airlock
A section of pipe work that, due to its layout enables a pocket of air to become trapped. This results in zero or very little water flow through the pipe.

Air switch / negative head kit
A manual means of overriding a flow switch for initial energisation of the pump.

Angled flow
Water discharges from the tap at an angle, rather than vertically downwards. Useful to ensure water discharges well into a bowl when handwashing is intended.

Anti-surge
A feature which restricts the possibility of fluctuating volumes of water movement through a system

Automatic air vent
A mechanical device similar to a car carburettor float chamber that is used to remove quantities of air trapped in plumbing pipework.

Backflow  
Flow through the pipe in a direction contrary to the intended direction of flow.

Back nuts
Nuts used under an appliance to tighten and hold a tap in place.

Back siphonage
Backflow caused by the siphonage of liquid from a cistern or appliance into the piep feeding it, possibly leading to contamination of the water supply.

Bar
A unit of pressure measurement commonly used for water systems. 1 bar is approximately equivalent to a column of water 10m high or 14.5lbf/in or 100kPa.

Basin mixer
A single tap fitted to a wash basin that usually mixes hot and cold water within the body of the fitting. Requires hot and cold water pressures to be equal. If pressures are unequal, divided flow types should be used.

Basin taps
A pair of taps usually supplied as one hot and one cold, for fitting to a wash basin.

Bath filler
Similar to basin mixers, but for filling baths.

Bath shower mixer
A single body fitting, requiring two tap holes for hot and cold supplies, which mixes within the body of the fitting. A diverter can channel water to either a spout to fill the bath or via an attached flexible hose to a shower outlet.

Bath taps
A pair of taps usually supplied as one hot and one cold, for fitting to a bath.

Bib tap
A single control for a supply of water, either hot or cold, fixed onto a wall.

BEAB
British Electrotechnical Approvals board.

Body
A cast housing which accommodates the headwork and hand-wheel or lever. Key attributes are the ability to deliver acceptable volumes of water and aesthetic appearance.

Body jets
Wall mounted shower sprays, usually installed in multiples.

Boiler
An enclosed vessel in which water is heated by the direct or indirect application of heat.

Box spanner
A simple socket spanner with a hollow centre that fits over a threaded inlet tail to tighten / un-tighten a nut.

Built in / concealed / recessed
A valve or fitting where the body is built into the wall so as not to be visible.

Cavitation / kettling  
Localised boiling of water below 100°C caused by a reduction in pressure due to flow conditions.

Centrifugal
A type of pump design which draws water in through the eye or centre of the impeller, forcing it out to the external edges of the pump by centrifugal force. Water is then discharged vertically.

Ceramic discs
Hard wearing ceramic discs create a positive on/off control unless ports are aligned. Popular due to low maintenance and easy quarter or half turn operation.

Ceramic disc valve
A valve where the functional parts are highly polished ceramic components which slide across each other to control water flow (and sometimes temperature).

Check valve
A plumbing fitting designed to allow water to flow only in one direction.

Chrome plating
Chrome coating on a tap / shower body.

Cistern
A fixed container for holding water at atmospheric pressure, usually used for providing a feed to a vented domestic hot water cylinder. It can also be used to provide a vented cold water supply to water fittings.

Claw spanner
Tool for unscrewing or tightening nuts which secure water fittings. Clamping jaws usually serrated for extra grip which tighten to prevent slip depending on the direction of use.

Cold water storage cistern
A fixed container for holding water at atmospheric pressure, usually used for providing a feed to a vented domestic hot water cylinder. It can also be used to provide a vented cold water supply to water fittings.

Combination boiler
Boiler which heats water as used. Fed by the mains, hot and cold water are balanced when supplying fittings. Does not require a hot water cylinder or cold water tank. Also heats water for central heating system.

Compression fitting
A nut and “olive” which compresses around copper tubes when tightened to create a water tight seal.

Cross flow
Water flowing from one side of a mixing valve to the other, possibly leading to contamination of the water supply.

Cylinder flange (see Surrey flange)
A plumbing fitting which can be fitted to a hot water cylinder to provide a dedicated hot water supply to a terminal fitting.

Deck mounted  
Fitting required to be installed onto a horizontal surface

Distributing pipe
Any pipe (other than a flush or warning pipe) conveying water from a Cold water storage cistern, or from hot water apparatus supplied from a cistern and under pressure from that cistern.

Diverter
A device used to control the direction of water flow to various outlets

Double check valve
A device which is designed to prevent back siphonage. It consists of two check valves in series. A non verifiable double check valve has no test points while a verifiable double check valve has a test point to validate each check valve.

Double ended pump / Twin impeller
Two pumps driven by a single motor, boosting both hot and cold supplies to a shower mixer and / or other terminal fittings.

Dual flow
Hot and cold water enters a single fitting and travels through the body in separate channels. The waters are not mixed until the point of discharge.

Duty cycle
Rating as specified on a pump. The operating time of a pump expressed as a time ‘on’ and a time ‘off’. A continuously rated pumpcan be operated non stop.

Dynamic pressure
The water pressure in the pipework to a fitting or valve under flow conditions. Also known as maintained pressure.

Electroplated  
Common method of applying a tough metal coating e.g. nickel / chrome to a brass product.

ELCB
Earth leakage circuit breaker

Element
A component used in an instantaneous electric shower to heat the water.

Enamelled
A method of applying a glass finish to a metal product e.g. a bath

Equal / balanced
Hot and cold pressures are the same – usually from the same source e.g. cold water storage tank.

Expansion pipe
An uninterrupted safety pipe which allows air or expansion of water within a hot water system to escape to the atmosphere.

Expansion vessel
A pressure vessel inside which is fitted a bladder to accommodate thermal expansion of water or alternatively to absorb the pressure shock waves of water hammer. Also known as expansion vessel.

Fibre washer  
A washer made from a tough fibrous material used as an alternative to rubber.

Fixed shower head
An over head fixed height shower head.

Flange
The collar usually found around the base of a tap.

Flow
The volume of water moving through a given point, normally expressed in litres per minute, gallons per hour or metres cubed.

Flow limiter
A device with moving parts which responds to variable inlet pressure to control flow at a reasonable constant rate. These are subdivided into two types

Fixed – manufactured in a range of pre-determined flow rate settings

Variable – manually adjustable to provide different flow rate settings.

Flow pressure
The water pressure in the pipework to a fitting or valve under flow conditions. Also known as maintained pressure.

Flow rate
The speed at which water flows e.g. through a fitting. Usually measured in litres per second or minute.

Flow regulator
A device with moving parts which responds to variable inlet pressure to control flow at a reasonable constant rate. These are subdivided into two types

Fixed – manufactured in a range of pre-determined flow rate settings

Variable – manually adjustable to provide different flow rate settings.

Flow restrictor
A device with no moving parts which restricts flow. Unlike a flow regulator, it does not keep a constant flow when the supply pressure varies.

Flow switch
Electro mechanical device that senses a gravity flow of water which is typically used to start a pump.

Fused spur
A branch off an electrical ring main to a double pole switched connection box fitted with a fuse to enable the connection of a fixed electrical appliance.

General pressure  
Refers to water supplied within a pressure range of between 0.1bar to 5.0bar.

Gravity pressure
Generally refers to water that receives its pressure as it falls from a cistern located in the roof space, or at a point higher than the terminal fitting. The pressure obtained is relevant to the height of the fall or head (1 meter head = 1 bar), the greater the fall, the higher the pressure. Generally this refers to low pressure in most domestic dwellings, however if the head is above 10 meter, it can be classed as high pressure.

Grub screw
Small headless screw used for locating or locking parts together.

Handset  
A shower head attached to a flexible shower hose.

Header tank
A fixed container for holding water at atmospheric pressure, usually used for providing a feed to a vented domestic hot water cylinder. It can also be used to provide a vented cold water supply to water fittings.

High pressure
Refers to dynamic water supplies over 0.3bar pressure.

Horizontal rod
Component of a pop up waste connecting the vertical controlling rod.

Hose retainer
A device through which a shower hose passes, often used to prevent backflow.

Hot and cold gravity, pump assisted
Cold water tank is normally located in the loft feeding a hot water cylinder usually in an airing cupboard. Both supplies are then pumped after mixing, to provide a higher volume of water.

Hot gravity, cold mains
Cold water tank is normally located in the loft feeding a hot water cylinder usually in an airing cupboard. However it differs from the hot and cold gravity system as cold water comes direct from the mains causing an imbalance in pressures, pressure imbalances of greater than a ration of 5:1 will require a pressure reducing valve to be installed on the dominant supply when using a mixer. It is important to check the installation instructions of the mixer as it may require a more balanced pressure ratio.

Impeller  
The internal part of a pump that is driven by a motor, and is used to pressurize the water.

Inlet pump
Two pumps driven by a single motor, boosting both hot and cold supplies to a shower mixer and / or other terminal fittings.

Inlet tails
Means for providing connection to the hot and cold water supplies. Either rigid – plain or threaded, or flexible.

Instantaneous electric shower
A shower that electrically heats the water whilst the water is passing through it.

Insulation resistance
The effectiveness of the electrical insulation between current carrying conductors and earth.

Kitemark  
Logo owned by the British Standards Institution which indicates conformity to British Standards.

Limescale  
A build up of alkali based deposits formed from water flow, usually found in older pipework or tap bodies/ shower outlets.

Low pressure
Refers to dynamic water supplies between 0.1 and 0.3bar.

Maintained pressure 
See Dynamic pressure

Manual mixing valve
A device which does not compensate for variations in temperature or pressure of the incoming water supplies and therefore needs to be adjusted manually.

Maximum pressure
Maximum safe working pressure

Minimum performance
Performance under least favourable supply conditions

Minimum pressure
The least pressure required so that a fitting performs adequately. Water pressure depends on the type of fitting and plumbing system installed.

MCB
A miniature circuit breaker is an electrical circuit protection device used as an alternative to rewiring and cartridge type fuses. It trips out when too much current flows in the circuit, typically on fault conditions. Do not confuse with R.C.D.

Mixer shower
The mixing valve and fittings

Mono mixer
A single body fitting requiring one tap hole. Mixes water from hot and cold supplies, available in a basin or bidet fitting. Water can either be mixed in an internal chamber or at the point of discharge.

Negative head  
If the cistern is below the level of the shower head a gravity flow of water will occur. A pump with special switching can be used to obtain a flow of water.

Non-return valve
A plumbing fitting designed to allow water to flow only in one direction.

Non-rising spindle
Non rising headwork, handle does not rise when it is opened to control flow

Open outlet flow rate  
Maximum potential flow rate from a mixing valve without shower fittings attached.

Optimum height
The distance between the bottom of the cold water storage tank and the top of the shower head for adequate shower performance.

Outlet pump
A pump used for drawing water from a mixing valve for delivery to a shower

Pillar taps  
Taps fixed to a horizontal surface e.g. sanitary appliance, and used to control on / off flow.

Pop-up rod connector
A double entry clip to hold vertical and horizontal pop-up rods together

Pop-up waste
Often supplied with a mono mixer, negating the need for an untidy plug and chain. An operating rod is usually concealed behind the mixer to raise and lower the plug.

Positive head
A volume of water held above the highest point on the system, allowing a flow of water through the pipework and out of the discharge point by gravity.

Pressure accumulator
A pressure vessel inside which is fitted a bladder to accommodate thermal expansion of water or alternatively to absorb the pressure shock waves of water hammer. Also known as expansion vessel.

Pressure balancing mixing valve
A pressure balancing compensatory shower mixing valve designed to maintain a constant shower temperature under variable inlet pressures but maintained inlet temperatures.

Pressure compensating
A pressure balancing compensatory shower mixing valve designed to maintain a constant shower temperature under variable inlet pressures but maintained inlet temperatures.

Pressure reducing valve
Means for reducing water pressure. Sometimes required on systems using mixers and with a high pressure imbalance.

Pressure regulating valve
Gives constant down stream pressure, irrespective of upstream pressure with built in non-return valves.

Pressure relief device
Safety device fitted to prevent excessive pressure building up within an electric shower heater.

Pressure relief valve
Spring loaded relief valve fitted to cold supply on unvented systems to relieve excess pressure safely to atmosphere.

Pressure switch
A means of controlling the pump or other electrical equipment, by sensing a difference in pressure within a system.

Pressure test
A test, usually associated with water supply pressures, to ensure no leakage at a specified pressure.

Primed
All air has been exhausted from a system / pump.

Proportioning valve
A manually or electronically controlled valve that regulates the flow of hot rt cold water. Usually used as a pair to mix water to a required temperature.

Pump hose
A flexible pipe that connects a pump to rigid pipework.

Push fit connector
Method of joining pipework components together with a push in type connector. Does not require brazing, sealant or adhesive.

Quarter turn  
Flow control from fully closed to fully open by turning a lever or hand wheel through 90°.

Residual Current Device (R.C.D)  
An accurate electrical balance that measures the electrical loading on the outgoing live and return neutral conductors. If any current leakage exceeds the trip value under a fault condition, it turns off the power supply. An R.C.D is sometimes known as E.L.C.B, R.C.C.B or trip switch. Do not confuse with M.C.B.

Relay
An electrical control device that uses a low voltage or current to operate a switch that can handle high currents and voltages.

Riser Rail / Slider
A vertical rail assembly to allow height adjustment of a handset.

Rising spindle
Multi-turn operation, handle rises as used.

Rubber base seal
Elastomeric gasket fitted between a tap and appliance to create a seal.

Sealing gasket  
Elastomeric gasket fitted between a tap and appliance to create a seal.

Servicing valve
A valve for shutting off the flow of water in a pipe connected to a water fitting to facilitate the maintenance or servicing of that fitting.

Shower column
A pre-assembled shower unit consisting of one or more jets, requiring minimal installation. Wall mounted, these units usually come with a variety of options ranging from thermostatic or manual mixing, with fixed overhead, flexible hand showers or body showers, which can be manually or electronically controlled.

Shower controls
Any device that supplies and controls hot and cold water for the purposes of showering.

Shower panel
A pre-assembled shower unit consisting of one or more jets, requiring minimal installation. Wall mounted, these units usually come with a variety of options ranging from thermostatic or manual mixing, with fixed overhead, flexible hand showers or body showers, which can be manually or electronically controlled.

Shutting off
The act of turning off the water supplies, prior to installation, replacement or servicing of taps.

Single check valve
A plumbing fitting designed to allow water to flow only in one direction.

Single flow
Hot and cold water mixes within the body of a fitting. To comply with Water Regulations, such fittings require single check valves to be fitted to each inlet if the supply pressure is unbalanced.

Single ended pump
A pump used for drawing water from a mixing valve for delivery to a shower

Single lever
A mixer using only one lever handle to control flow and temperature.

Single outlet pump
A pump used for drawing water from a mixing valve for delivery to a shower

Single pump
A pump used for drawing water from a mixing valve for delivery to a shower

Solenoid valve
An electronically operated valve giving either no flow or full flow.

Static pressure / standing pressure
The water pressure at a fitting with no flow taking place.

Stopcock
Valve used to switch water flow on or off on the mains supply, commonly found beneath a sink unit.

Storage cistern
A cistern, other than a flushing cistern, that is used to store water for subsequent use.

Supply pipe
A pipe conveying mains cold water around the building.

Supply pressure
Pressure measured at the inlet of a water fitting.

Supply stop valve
A valve used to isolate the mains cold water supply within a building.

Tap connector  
Device used to facilitate connection of a tap’s inlet tails to the hot and cold water supplies.

Tap headwork
Mechanism connected within the head of a tap that controls on/off, flow rate and sometimes temperature.

Temperature relief valve
A valve which opens automatically at a specified temperature to discharge fluid.

Thermostat
A temperature sensitive device that produces a movement to control outlet temperatures in thermostatic mixing valves.

Thermal storage hot water system
A hot water system where cold mains pressure water is heated (instantaneously) as it passes through a heat exchanger surrounded by a stored volume of hot water.

Thermostatic mixing valve
A device that compensates for variations in the temperature and or pressure of the incoming water supplies, to maintain a stable outlet temperature.

Transformer
An electrical device for converting mains voltage to low voltage

Twin ended pump
Two pumps driven by a single motor, boosting both hot and cold supplies to a shower mixer and / or other terminal fittings.

Twin Impeller pump
Two pumps driven by a single motor, boosting both hot and cold supplies to a shower mixer and / or other terminal fittings. 

Twin pump
Two pumps driven by a single motor, boosting both hot and cold supplies to a shower mixer and / or other terminal fittings.

Unbalanced pressure
Water arrives at the tap from separate sources at different pressures e.g. from the mains (cold) and water tank (hot).

Unvented domestic hot water system 
A plumbing system where the cold feed is taken directly from the mains to provide a high pressure hot water supply. It has no open vent to the atmosphere.

Vent pipe  
An uninterrupted safety pipe which allows air or expansion of water within a hot water system to escape to the atmosphere.

Wall bracket
A fixed device for holding a handset.

Wall mounted
Fitting installed onto a vertical wall

Wall union / Wall elbow 
Wall mounting device to enable a flexible shower hose to be connected to a concealed outlet from a concealed shower valve.

Washered valve  
Valve with a rubber washer fitted. 

Water fittings
Includes pipes, taps, valves, cisterns, mixing valves and similar apparatus used in connection with the supply of water within a building.

Water system
The complete water supply system within a building incorporating all the pipework, hot water system and draw off devices.