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Glossary of Plumbing Terms









"M" Tubing An industry standard for copper tubing defined by the tube wall thickness, identified by a "red" stripe
MC Tank Acetylene tank holding 10 cu.ft. of gas, used for plumbing, once used to fuel motorcycles.
MCL Maximum Contaminant Level The maximum level of a contaminant allowed in water by federal law. Based on health effects and currently available treatment methods.
MHT Male Hose Threads (threads on outside of connection).
MIPC Male Iron Pipe Connection. Standard external threads on pipe and fittings.
MNPT Refers to the male pipe thread, in which the threads are on the outer side on the connection fitting.
MPN See Most Probable Number.
MPX Male Pipe Swivel Connection.
Macerator A device installed in a drain line between a toilet and the soil stack to reduce solids to liquid form.
Magnesium One of the elements in the earth's crust, the compounds of which when dissolved in water make the water hard. The presence of magnesium in water is a factor contributing to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds.
Main The primary artery of supply of the water supply or drain system in which all the branches connect. In the case of drains, known as the Main Vent.
Male Fitting Fitting that is inserted into another fitting.
Male Threads Threads on the outside of pipes and fittings.
Malleable Fittings Fittings made of cast iron. Metal which is soft and pliable.
Manganese An element 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 that 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. (usually round to prevent the cover from falling into the opening).
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 liquified petroleum gas with Methylacetylene-Propadiene. It is a stable, non-toxic fuel used in brazing and soldering.
Mechanic's Lien A lien obtained by an unpaid subcontractor or supplier through the courts. When enforced, real property - such as your home - can be sold to pay the subcontractor or supplier
Mechanical Controls Dials, slides, switches, knobs, buttons, and so forth used to operate ranges, ovens and cook-tops.
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 shaped casing that forms the pit to hold a water meter. It's usually made of plastic.
Micron A unit of measure, one thousandth of a meter. Used to describe the pore size of filters.
Millivolt One thousandth of a volt.
Mini-Widespread A special style of bathroom lav faucet having separate spout and handles, but small enough to fit 4 inch center-to-center faucet holes.
Minimum Run Time The minimum length of time that the pump should run while refilling the pressure tank.
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.
Moenstone³ 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 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
Multi-Port Valve Rotary type backwash valve. Can replace up to 6 regular gate valves. Serves various functions.
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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