Ball Cock
A brass valve that regulates the water level in a water storage tank or toilet cistern.


A sanitary fixture to bath in personally. Often 400mm wide in porcelain or Plastic. They often have tap holes. Some of the newer basins have no tap holes and the taps are on the wall.


A sanitary fixture for bathing the whole body. The fixtures are usually 1500mm to 2000mm long.  Built from steel or plastic.

Building Consent

Certain work that falls inside the definition of building work requires a Building Consent. Plumbing and drainlaying fall with in that criteria. There are exemptions e.g. maintenance and minor work. A building consent requires plans, specifications, certificate of title, fees paid, forms filled in and any information the authority requires.

Certifying Plumber or Gasfitter or Drainlayer

The licensed plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer who takes responsibility for the work.

Colour Steel

This refers to the coating that is applied to roofing steel. It protects the steel from corrosion and is precoloured. The roof does not need painting for around 15 years.

Corrugated Iron

A roofing material. One of the most common roofing material in use in NZ. Suitable for up to 8 degrees pitch.


Machines for washing eating and cooking utensils.

Burst pipe, no gas, leaking gas, sewerage leak, blocked drain, no water.


Tap which joins the hot and cold  together and discharges the outlets to a common spout. Sink taps are often this type. Some are lever action types.


A device for sealing penetrations into the  building to prevent water entering.
Pipe or duct rising to outside conveying products of combustion from a gas burning appliance.


A zinc coating applied to steel to protect it from corrosion. A method used for many years in the roofing industry to coat roofing iron. It has been superseded by Zincalume and coloursteel.
Green Plumbing

Gully Trap

The opening into the outside drainage system into which the wastes from showers, sinks, basins and baths discharge into. Gullies can be inside too. Often ceramic later versions are pvc.

Gutters are usually those catchment parts of a roof that are internal to the building ie they are inside the line of the exterior walls. Some suppliers call their spouting gutter to confuse matters. Common gutters are Valley Gutters.

Heat Pump Water Heater

These water heaters use a heat pump to heat the water. They are similar in effciency to solar water heaters with a lot less work and hassel.  The operate 24 hours a day 365 days a year rain hail or shine.

High Pressure

Usually over 200Kpa. Some high pressure taps require high pressure.

HWC – hot water cylinder.

Licensed Plumber

Licensed Plumbers work under the direction of Certifying Plumbers.

Low Pressure

Usually from a supply tank in the ceiling or pressure reducing valve. Check taps and valves can cope with low pressure  before purchasing.

Mains Pressure

Refers to pressure used to supply hot water cylinders. Actually hot water cylinders can not with stand mains pressure without valves limiting that pressure usually.


A wc pan or toilet

Refers to the porcelain stand on which a basin sits.


Plastic piping used by plumbers to pipe out buildings.
This is a new pipe for conveying gas a water. The wall is thicker and higher quality than Polybutylene.


Stands for Poly vinyl chloride. The most common plastic for running waste and soil pipes.


Shower discharge outlet


Kitchen sanitary fixture.


Bathing fixture used standing up. Often just a shower tray. Many also come with wall claddings and a door. An easy clean waste is an option.

Small Works Consent

A building consent for small jobs where the documentation is less that that for a full consent.

This is a rainwater catchment device attached to the fascia board into which the roof discharges. Materials are often coloursteel, pvc which is the most common and copper. In the past it was galvanised iron which used to rust out. Commercial spouting is often galvanised.

Washing Machine

Clothes washing machine.

WC – Water Closet. Toilet pan.  Almost always made from porcelain. Some are made from stainless steel.


A coating applied to roofing steel to protect it from corrosion. It is often the base coating for coloursteel.

Glossary End