Consumer GuidesPlumbing

Planning Small Plumbing Installation

Before replacing a plumbing fixture, use these definitions to help clarify plumbing fixture terminology.

Toilet. Toilets are typically made from either metal or porcelain. They can have either attached or separate water tanks.

Sinks. A lavatory sink is a bathroom sink that sits within a cabinet fixture.

A pedestal sink is a freestanding sink without a cabinet base. Utility sinks are large, deep sinks typically found in laundry or utility rooms.

Tubs and Showers. A shower/bath is a tub or small enclosure used for bathing. It can either be free standing or built-in. A shower is an enclosure that is designed for showering only and is not deep enough for bathing. A whirlpool is a popular option for tubs. Built-in jets force water around tub. A steam shower is similar to a shower with jets that emit steam instead of water.

Faucets. There are two types of faucets, compression and cartridge. Compression faucets have two controls, one for hot and one for cold. Cartridge faucets use one control lever to adjust the water temperature.

PVC Piping. Plastic piping that is impervious to corrosion. PVC is inexpensive and easy to install.

Copper Tubing. Copper is also used for plumbing. It is typically used to carry clean water inside the house.

Cast Iron Pipe. Cast iron is a very durable type of pipe, it is good for waste pipes and for vent plumbing.

Vent Pipe. Vent pipe is used to exhaust the sewer gases from waste pipes.

Shut Off Valve. There are individual shut off valves on most plumbing fixtures and there is usually a main shut off valve outside the house.

When considering any plumbing project, you may want to consider other services as part of your installation. Here are some choices to think about.

Freeze Protection. Freeze protection is a mechanical feature on exterior garden faucets. Instead of the shut-off valve being on the outside of the house, it’s set several inches inside the house. This protects the pipes from freezing. You can also add Styrofoam faucet covers, which will cut the wind and insulate the faucet from cold air.

Hot Water Pump. A circulating hot water pump is a nice option for larger homes where faucets are a long distance from the heater. It gives a boost to the hot water flow, allowing hot water to arrive at the tap faster.

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