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Plumber's mate, sweated joint, nipple, ballcock...?! Understand those terms...

Continuing our series of strange plumbing terms here are a few more you might find your plumber using

Plumber’s Mate.  

No it’s not your plumber’s assistant or indeed his partner or even his pals down the pub. Plumber’s  Mait (correct spelling)  is a non-setting plumber’s putty with many uses . Ideal for sealing wastes, toilet connection, rainwater pipes and other non-pressured joints.


Sweated Joints.

Another expression that can be easily misconstrued. You’re probably thinking of a hot, steamy low life basement night club or even, heaven forbid, a badly rolled spliff! It’s far from that. A sweated joint in today’s terminology is a copper joint, hand soldered. In the old days sweated joints were made using lead and can still be found in old properties which haven’t been refurbished.



A threaded connector used to join 2 pipes together. Nothing to do with the human body.



Again nothing to do with the human anatomy but a simple float (ball) controlled water supply valve (cock) as seen in millions of w.c. cisterns, cold water storage tanks,  cattle feeders and so on. The ball was traditionally copper but is now invariably plastic. The cock was, until the 1970s, bronze or brass but the market is now split between brass and plastic.

  • Write By: Peter-Watson
  • Published In: ROOT
  • Created Date: 2016-09-13

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