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Plumbing Terminology
Extensive Online Plumbing Dictionary

Click on any letter of the term you would like to find
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

M Tubing:
An industry standard for copper tubing defined by the tube wall thickness. Identified by a "red" stripe.


Macerator:
A device, normally a pump with cutting blades, installed in a drain line between a toilet and the soil stack to reduce solids to liquid form.


Magnesium:
One of the elements (Mg) in the earth's crust. When dissolved in water makes water hard. The presence of magnesium in water is a factor contributing to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds.


Main (water):
The primary water supply in which all the branches of a water system connect.


Main Line Trap:
Also known as a whole house trap. Normally an in-line "running" trap utilizing a "U" shaped fitting with a vent.


Male Fitting:
A fitting that inserts or adapts into a female fitting.


Male Threads:
The threads of the pipe are on the outside.


Male IPS (MIP):
Male Iron Pipe Size - Standard external threads on pipe and fittings.


Malleable Fittings:
Fittings made of cast iron. Metal which is soft and pliable.


Manganese:
An element (Mn) sometimes found dissolved in ground water, usually with dissolved iron but in lower concentration; causes black stains and other problems similar to iron. It can be removed by a water softener or it can be precipitated by chlorine at a pH of 9.5 or above.


Manganese Greensand:
Greensand which has been processed to incorporate in its pores and on its surface the higher oxides of manganese. The product has a mild oxidizing power, and is often used in the oxidation and precipitation of iron, manganese and/or hydrogen sulfide, and in their removal from water.


Manhole:
Access opening to a hole, usually with a cover, through which a person may enter a sewer, boiler, drain, etc..


Manifold:
A fitting that connects a number of branches to the main; serves as a distribution point.


Manifold Pressure:
The gas pressure in an appliance manifold upstream of the burner orifices.


Manifolded Installation:
Paralleling of water heaters for large hot water demand applications.


Mapp Gas:
A colorless, flammable gas made by combining liquefied petroleum gas with Methylacetylene-Propadiene. It is a stable, non-toxic fuel used in brazing and soldering.


MC Tank:
Acetylene tank holding 10cu.ft. of gas, used for plumbing, and once used to fuel motorcycles.


MCL:
Maximum Contanimant Level - The maximum level of a contaminant allowed in water by federal law. Based on health effects and currently available treatment methods.


Mechanical Controls:
Dials, slides, switches, knobs, buttons, and so forth used to operate ranges, ovens and cooktops.


Mechanicals:
The wiring, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems in a building; also the components with moving parts such as furnaces, plumbing fixtures, etc.


Metal Fatigue:
A breakage of the metal caused by the bending and flexing or the expansion and contraction of a metal part beyond its endurance limit.


Meter Tailpiece:
An adapter connecting a water meter to the water supply line.


Meter Tile:
The cylindrically shapedcasing that forms the pit to hold a water meter. It's usually made of plastic.


Metering Faucet:
Faucet which delivers a predetermined volume of water and then automatically shuts off.


MHT:
Male Hose Threads (threads on outside of connection).


Micron:
A unit of measure, one thousandth of a meter. Used to describe the pore size of filters.


Millivolt:
One thousandth of a volt.


Minimum Run Time:
The minimum length of time that the pump should run while refilling the pressure tank.


Minispread:
A special style of bathroom lavatory faucet having separate spout and handles, but designed small enough that it will fit 4" center-to-center faucet holes.


Mission Coupling:
A neoprene flex coupling, connecting PVC to PVC or clay to PVC.


Mixer:
The portion of a burner where air and gas are mixed before delivery to the burner ports.


Mixing Valve:
Mixes hot and cold water to achieve a specified delivery temperature.


MNPT:
This refers to the male pipe thread, in which the threads are on the outer side on the connection fitting.


Moenstone:
A blend of ceramic-like quartz (70%) and acrylic polymer (30%) that is impervious to chips or water spots.


Monitor Cover:
The cast iron lid that fits over a flange casting which is mounted on meter tile in a water meter pit. It consists of an outer lid, an inner lid, and the flange casting in one or two pieces.


Monobloc Faucet:
A single-handle faucet, usually a lever.


Most Probable Number (MPN):
The term used to indicate the number of organisms which, according to statistical theory, would be most likely to produce the results observed in certain bacteriological tests; usually expressed as a number in 100 ml of water.


MPX:
Male Pipe Swivel Connection.


MTBE:
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether. Used in gasoline to reduce air pollution, MTBE has been known to taint drinking water from leaking underground fuel storage tanks.


Multiport Valve:
Rotary type backwash valve. Can replace up to 6 gate valves.


Multi-stage Pump:
A pump that has more than one impeller.


Municipal Water:
Water supplied by a city for public use; tap water. Usually held in a reservoir.


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