Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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The More You Know: Basic Plumbing Terminology

Whether you’re trying to purchase parts at a hardware store for your New York City duplex or calling experts like Sanitary Plumbing to describe a problem that requires a service call to your apartment building, understanding basic plumbing terminology is essential. Here’s a glossary of common terms to give you and your staff a hand.

Basic Plumbing Terminology


The screw-on tip of a faucet that mixes air into the water to reduce splashing.

Anode rod

A water heater part that protects the tank from corrosion from aluminum or magnesium.

Backflow device

A device that requires annual inspection in NYC and prevents the flow of wastewater in the wrong direction, which could contaminate clean water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning.


Part of a gravity-operated toilet that opens during a flush in order for water to be distributed (it closes again automatically once the tank refills and the float rises high enough).


The process of releasing air in a pipe or steam radiator via a valve.

Branch drain

A drain between a fixture, like a toilet, and the main drain.

Closet bend

A part that connects a closet flange (see below) to a toilet’s drain.

Closet flange

A ring on the floor that anchors both the toilet above and the closet bend below in place.


A piece connecting two pipes or plumbing components (may also be called a fitting).


A cover beneath a faucet handle that protects and aesthetically blocks the hole from where the fixture emanates.


Also called the pitch or flow, this describes the slope required for proper pipe drainage.


A device, such as a sink, shower, or toilet, that delivers water or provides disposal.

Flapper valve

A part of a toilet between the tank and the toilet bowl that opens when the toilet is flushed to allow water to flow into the bowl and remove waste.

Float ball

Attached to the ballcock, this part in a toilet tank rises and falls as part of the flushing and refilling mechanism and can be adjusted to determine the depth of the water.

Flow rate

The amount of water flowing through a plumbing system, measured in volume as a function of time: gallons per minute (GPM) or gallons per hour (GPH).

Gas cock

A shutoff valve on the main gas line.

Gravity operated toilet

The traditional type of toilet still found in many NYC properties that uses gravity to assist with the flushing mechanism.

Gray water

Wastewater that does not include water from toilets.

Horizontal branch

Waste piping that runs from plumbing fixtures to the waste stack.

Hose bib

An outdoor faucet used to attach garden hoses.


A type of fitting that connects multiple branches to the main.

Power flush

A pressurized flush system that compresses water for a more forceful flush, such as that used in public washrooms.

Pressure reducing valve

Sometimes called a PRV or pressure regulator, this part is installed in between the main water supply and a property to adjust water pressure in the property’s pipes.


A conduit running between a branch and a fixture or a branch and a higher floor.

Sewage ejector pump

Removes waste, sometimes grinding it first, from low-lying property areas where gravity can’t aid in its flow.

Sump pump

A pump used to remove rising water from storms or a low water table from lower levels of a property, usually the basement.

Supply line

A pipe that delivers water from the main line to a fixture.

T&P valve

A temperature and pressure relief valve that allows for the release of excess heat or pressure in a tank.


A pipe that runs between a trap (see below) and a fixture.


A curved section of pipe in an “S” or “P” shape that prevents sewer odor from entering the interior.

Trap seal

Water that sits in a trap forming a seal to reduce the leakage of odors and sewer gas.

Trip lever

The handle and attached arm on a toilet that initiates the flush sequence; also sometimes used to refer to the drain in a bathtub that releases water.


A pipe that allows air into any part of the plumbing system.

Water hammer

Noise in pipes caused by surging water or in radiators caused by turbulent mixing of steam and condensed steam in the form of water.

Call Sanitary Plumbing for the Best in New York City

Hyper-local blue-chip plumbers for 100 years

No matter if you’re the owner of a single-family home or the property manager for a high-rise apartment building, it pays to call the experts when plumbing repairs or upgrades are out of your wheelhouse. At Sanitary Plumbing, we are proud to have been New York City’s plumbing experts for nearly a century.

We can help with everything from broken toilets and clogged sinks to full bathroom and kitchen renovations in both residential and commercial properties. We also offer emergency service for those unexpected disasters like frozen or burst pipes. Call us today at 212-734-5000 or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment at a time that’s right for you.

Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: