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BC Brushed Chrome finish used on faucets.
BHP Brake Horse Power. The actual amount of horsepower consumed by a pump as measured on a dynamometer.
BN Brushed Nickel finish used on faucets.
BTU British Thermal Unit – A unit of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.
Backfire Flashback of flame through the burner venturi causing the gas to burn at the orifice.
Back Flow The act of water traveling from one system back into any part of the main distribution system (usually by siphoning. )
Back Flow Preventer A device to prevent backflow i.e. into a potable water supply. Usually required for sprinkler systems, handheld showers, pullout faucet spouts, kitchen sprayers, etc.
Back Pressure Pressure that resists the flow of fluid in a piping system.
Back Siphonage The negative pressure that causes backflow.
Backjet Whirlpool jets located on the fixture wall behind a reclining bather.
Backjet Pulse Canister A water-controlling device responsible for backjet pulsing action.
Back Vent Plumbing fixture’s separate vent in a building drainage system.
Back Wash The process of cleaning a filter by reversing the flow of water through it. Accumulated sediments are sent to waste.
Backup Overflow of a plumbing fixture due to drain stoppage
Backwater Valve Sewer line valve that prevents sewage from flowing back into the house
Baffle An object placed in an appliance to change the direction of, or retard the flow of air, air-gas mixtures, or flue gases
Balancing Valve A water heater valve that controls water flow and balances heat distribution to different locations.
Ball Check Valve A valve that uses a ball to seal against a seat to stop flow in one direction.
Ball Joint Spherical assembly allowing pivot rotations for showerheads.
Ball Passage Refers to the size of the ball that can pass through the trap-way of a toilet. Also relates to trap-way size. Usually the trap size will be 1/8″ larger than the maximum size ball that can pass through it
Ball Valve A valve that uses a ball to seal against the seat.
Ballcock Controls the flow of water from the water supply line into a gravity-operated toilet tank. It is controlled by a float mechanism in the tank water.
Balloon Bag Device that attaches to a garden hose. Used to loosen drain blockage.
Barlow’s Formula An equation that shows the relationship of internal pressure to allowable stress, nominal thickness and diameter.
Barrier-Free Relating to handicap access, e.g. a shower enclosure system having minimal or no bottom track and openings that are wheelchair-accessible.
Basket Strainer Basket-shaped strainer with holes and a slot that fits the sink drain to allow water to run out but to catch food or other solids before they can enter the sewage system.
Beehive Strainer A strainer inserted into a urinal to prevent foreign matter from falling into the drain.
Bernoulli’s Law The principle that a stream of liquid or gas exerts less sideways pressure while in motion than while at rest. As a result, fluids seem to be drawn into the stream, but are really pushed in by higher outside pressure.
Bidet A personal hygiene plumbing fixture similar in appearance to a toilet bowl used for washing genitals and posterior areas of the body. It is mounted on the floor next to a toilet and consists of a washing basin, a hot and cold faucet, and sprayer.
Biochemical Oxygen Demand The amount of oxygen consumed in the oxidation of organic matter by biological action under standard test conditions; often used as a measure of the strength of sewage and waste water.
Bisque The rough, unpolished finish found in unglazed areas of vitreous china fixtures, such as inside the tank or the bottom of the bowl.
Blackwater Wastewater from toilets or latrines and sinks used for food preparation or disposal, or for the disposal of chemicals.
Bleed To drain a pipe of excess air by opening a valve at the end of the pipe
Blind Plug Plug used on No Hub Pipe
Block Sensor Mode For touch-less faucets, a system mode that occurs when the faucet continually senses an object, causing the faucet to stop functioning normally. The faucet will appear to be “OFF”, and will self-actuate every two hours to alert you to its condition.
Blowbag Also called a “blowfish” it is a drain-cleaning device consisting of a rubber bladder with a hose fitting one one end and a nozzle on the other. The device attaches to a water hose and is inserted into a clogged drainpipe. As water is introduced, it expands to grip the pipe, and releases pulsating bursts of water through the nozzle, forcing water through the pipe to clear the obstruction.
Blowdown Partial venting or draining, under pressure, of the water side of a boiler to reduce or remove unwanted contaminants. Also the pressure drop after releasing a pressure-relief valve.
Bodyspray Shower component used in conjunction with a showerhead to deliver flow of water. Commonly used in multiples to create a custom shower space.
Boiler A sealed tank where water is turned to steam for heating or power.
Boiler Feed A check valve controlling inlet water flow to a boiler.
Bonnet The top portion of a compression valve assembly that holds the valve in place as it is tightened against the valve seat at the other end.
Box The internal (female) threaded end of pipe.
Box Flange Flange containing internal (female) threaded pipe fitting
Brackish Water Water containing bacteria between 1.000 and 15,000 ppm of dissolved solids
Braided Tubing A flexible pressure tubing of synthetic material encased in braided threads of steel, usually chrome plated or stainless. The braiding protects the tube from damage due to abrasion or crimping. Often used in water supply lines.
Branch Any part of a drain system other than the main, riser, or stack.
Branch Vent A vent connecting one or more individual vents with a vent stack
Brine A strong solution of sodium chloride (salt) used in the regeneration of ion exchange water softeners.
Building Drain The lowest point in a drainage system where the interior drainage pipes meet and are conveyed it to the sewer.
Burst Pressure The internal pressure that will cause piece of tubing to fail
Bushing A pipe fitting used to join two pipes of different sizes. A bushing is threaded inside and out. Also a cylindrical part used as a lining or guide
Butterfly Valve A valve made of a square, rectangular, or round disk attached to a shaft inside a body of the same shape. Rotating the shaft 90 degrees opens or closes the valve.
Buttress (Tile Rise) The raised portion of a shower curb that is on more than one level.
Bypass A type of shower door system that consists of two or more panels running in parallel tracks.