late 14c. (from c.1100 as a surname), "a worker in any sort of lead" (roofs, gutters, pipes), from Old French plomier "lead-smelter" (Modern French plombier) and directly from Latin plumbarius "worker in lead," noun use of adjective meaning "pertaining to lead," from plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)). Meaning focused 19c. on "workman who installs pipes and fittings" as lead water pipes became the principal concern of the trade. In U.S. Nixon administration (1969-74), the name of a special unit for investigation of "leaks" of government secrets.
Typically installed on a home's main water line, whole house filtration and softening solutions help reduce hardness, mineral deposits, iron staining and scale buildup to help protect plumbing and extend the life of your appliances. These systems also help keep fixtures and toilets spotless, leave your laundry clean and bright, plus leave your hair and skin feeling fresher and softer after bathing.
Galvanized steel potable water supply and distribution pipes are commonly found with nominal pipe sizes from 3⁄8 inch (9.5 mm) to 2 inches (51 mm). It is rarely used today for new construction residential plumbing. Steel pipe has National Pipe Thread (NPT) standard tapered male threads, which connect with female tapered threads on elbows, tees, couplers, valves, and other fittings. Galvanized steel (often known simply as "galv" or "iron" in the plumbing trade) is relatively expensive, and difficult to work with due to weight and requirement of a pipe threader. It remains in common use for repair of existing "galv" systems and to satisfy building code non-combustibility requirements typically found in hotels, apartment buildings and other commercial applications. It is also extremely durable and resistant to mechanical abuse. Black lacquered steel pipe is the most widely used pipe material for fire sprinklers and natural gas.
The most common residential drain to cause problems is the kitchen sink drain. Food particles, grease, soap or detergent build up can all, over time, slow down or completely block the flow of water down to the septic or sewer system. A garbage disposal as well as an installed dishwasher add more pipes to the mix which create more potential for clogs.