Plumbing Terminology - S

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An S-trap is a plumbing trap that takes the shape of the letter S and is used where a waste pipe feeds into the floor instead of the wall, which uses a P Trap. Disallowed in many parts of the country, they can create a siphoning situation, pulling water out of the trap.

Sanitary Separator

A sanitary separator is a device designed and installed to separate hazardous or undesirable matter from normal wastes while permitting normal sewage or liquid wastes to discharge into the drainage system by gravity flow. This is the same definition as an interceptor with the only difference being the intended function of the device.

Self-amalgamating Tape

self-amalgamating tape A very useful derivative of insulating tape which can be used for waterproofing connections. To use, the top protective layer is peeled off and the rubbery self amalgamating tape underneath is wrapped tightly around the connection to be waterproofed. This type of tape self-fuses or amalgamates without any added adhesive.

Shutoff Valve

With a shutoff valve usualy is meant the angle stop beneath each fixture, but may also refer to the main valve by the water meter or valves on the branch lines. In case of an emergency, the water flow should be terminated using the shutoff valves.

Stack Test

A Stack Test is a term used in the plumbing trade to refer to filling a stand pipe normally 10 foot in height with water and let sit for a period of time. This is to test normally the sanitary drain in a house or inner foundation.


A stopcock is a valve that regulates the flow of fluid through a pipe; a faucet. There are usually two stopcocks for a home. One is usually found just outside the property boundary and can be used to isolate the building from the water supply. The other is inside the property where the supply enters the property. These valves are provided to allow maintenance and prevent flooding if the domestic water system is pierced.