Term Definition
PPFA 1 like
Plastic Pipe and Fitting Association
PPG 1 like
Polished Plate Glass
PPI 1 like
Plastic Pipe Institute
PPM 2 likes
Parts Per Million
Pratt Truss 2 likes
Where vertical members and diagonals slope down towards the center; the interior diagonals are under tension under balanced loading and vertical elements under compression
Praxis 2 likes
The practice of simply doing something, either in the present or regularly; does not include rehearsal or training, for which the real action in question will happen in the future
Pre-coat 0 likes
The first coat of filter aid that is placed on a diatomaceous earth filter‘s septum
Pre-Construction Planning and Team Building 1 like
When below market dollar budget, project schedule, and design criteria are determined; the same process can identify and select the most suitable planning, design and construction personnel
Pre-decorated Wallboard 1 like
A gypsumboard that has a finished surface which is applied before it is installed; pre-decorations include paint, texture, vinyl film, or various patterned paper coverings
Pre-fill 1 like
A method of application employed to prepare gypsum board for tape and joint treatment; facilitates prevention of ridging and beading
Pre-Function Area 2 likes
A foyer that leads to a large dining room, usually in a hotel or conference center; receives guests prior to large dinners or meetings
Pre-Mixed Plaster 1 like
See Gypsum Ready Mixed Plaster
Pre-qualification of Prospective Bidders 1 like
A screening process in which the owner or a representative checks background information about a potential contractor or construction professional before making a selection; includes a contractor‘s similar work experience, competence, integrity, dependability, bonding rate, and other specific requirements
Precast 1 like
A concrete element that has been cast and cured in a position prior to its final position
Precast Beam 1 like
A horizontal structural element made of concrete that has been cast and cured in a position other than the final position
Precast Column 2 likes
A concrete column cast and cured in a position other than the final position
Precast Concrete 1 like
Any concrete elements that are cast, cured and hardened and then placed in their final position
Precast Manhole 0 likes
A structure that is underground and enclosed and that has been cast and cured into its final shape before positioning; typically cast in pieces
Precast Panel 1 like
A thin concrete component that has been cast and cured in a position other than its final one
Precast Septic Tank 1 like
A underground sewage system tank that has been cast and cured into its final shape before positioning
Precast Slab 1 like
A flat, molded layer of reinforced concrete that has been cast and cured into its final shape before positioning; also known as precast planks, is frequently hollow at its core
Precast Specialty 1 like
Particular shapes or decorative objects made of precast concrete or masonry
Precast Wall 2 likes
A wall that is cast and cured into its final shape before positioning
Precipitate 0 likes
A substance that is separated from a solution either through chemical means or a change in temperature
Precipitation 1 like
Any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls as a result of gravity
Preconstruction Jobsite Conference 2 likes
A conference that takes place on the jobsite before construction starts so that everyone involved can coordinate their work and clarify expectations; involves owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors
Predecessor 1 like
An action that has been performed prior to the next action
Prefabricated 1 like
Refers to something which has been manufactured and assembled offsite, and is then transported to the jobsite or structure
Prefinished Gypsumboard 1 like
Gypsumboard with its final decorative layer of paint, paper, or plastic produced at the factory
Preheating 1 like
The process of adding heat to the base metal before welding or cutting
Prehung Door1 like
prehung door
A door that attached at the hinges to a frame in a factory before being positioned in the structure
Preliminary Drawings 1 like
The drawings created before the final set of approved drawings; generally includes the label PRELIMINARY
Preliminary Lien Notice 1 like
California requires that a Preliminary Lien Notice be supplied to a property owner within 20 days after the commencement of the construction project. A written notice that the subcontractors and any contractor or vendor provides to the property owner; the notice states that if invoices for labor, services, equipment, or materials are not paid in full, through court foreclosure proceedings, a mechanic’s lien which can lead to the loss of all or part of the property may be placed against the property, even in situations where the owner has already paid the full amount to the prime contractor. The notice states how the owner can protect him/herself against such a situation by
a) making sure the prime contractor provides a signed release by the person or firm, thereby giving the owner notice before paying the prime contractor, or
b) any other suitable method for the particular situation.
Preliminary Notice 2 likes
A notice that subcontractors or materials vendors send to the owner, general contractor, and lender no more than 20 days after beginning work or providing materials to a project; the notice states precisely what is supplied or performed and defines lien or stopnotice rights
Premature Stiffening 1 like
See False Set
Premium 1 like
Sum of money that is payable on a loan
Prepacked Concrete 1 like
Concrete produced by shaping clean, graded coarse aggregate and later filling the holes by injecting a Portland cement sand grout under pressure
Prepaid Expenses 1 like
Any materials or services that a company purchases prior to using them, such as office supplies
Preparation, Painting1 like
preparation painting
See Painting Preparation
Prepayment Penalty 2 likes
A penalty for paying off a note in full before its due date
Present Value 1 like
The current value of money that will be paid out or received in the future, determined by applying a suitable discount rate to future cash flows
Preservation 2 likes
The process of prolonging a material‘s useful life by appropriate treatment; also conservation
Preservative1 like
A pesticide that protects wood from wood-destroying fungi, insect borers, and other destructive agents for a satisfactory period; usually an arsenic derivative
Preservative Treated 1 like
Wood or plywood that has been chemically treated to make it less likely to deteriorate due to moisture or infestation by insects
Press 1 like
A machine used to punch, notch, and shear steel
Pressed Bricks 1 like
Type of bricks that are formed in a mold before being baked or burned
Presser, Clothing 2 likes
See Clothing Presser
Pressure 1 like
The impact of energy on an area; force or thrust; applying weight or force against somebody or something
Pressure Connector1 like
pressure connector
An electrical device that squeezes and connects two or more conductors
Pressure Connector, Solderless 1 like
See Solderless Pressure Connector
Pressure Differential 1 like
The difference in pressure across a hydraulic system
Pressure Drop 1 like
The loss in pressure that is normally due to the length or diameter of a line or hose; also the difference in pressure at either end of a circuit or part of a circuit
Pressure Feed 2 likes
Applying air or hydraulic pressure to facilitate the flow of paint in spray painting equipment
Pressure Feed Paint Tank 2 likes
Fluid container in which air pressure causes fluid to flow; employed in spray painting; also called Pressure Pot
Pressure Gauge1 like
pressure gauge
A gauge that measures a liquid or a gas‘s pressure
A device that measures an explosive‘s pressure
Pressure Head 0 likes
Amount of force a depth of one foot of water produces; can be indicated in feet, inches or psi
Pressure Limiter1 like
pressure limiter
Device which on opening discharges fluid to another part of the system or interrupts an electric circuit once a certain pressure is reached
Pressure Motor Control2 likes
pressure motor control
Pressure control that is employed to start and stop a motor; connected to the electrical circuit and activated for safety purposes or refrigeration
Pressure Pot 1 like
See Pressure Feed Paint Tank
Pressure Reducing Valve1 like
pressure reducing valve
A valve that uniformly keeps fluid pressure on its outlet side provided that the pressure on the inlet side is at or above a predetermined pressure level
Pressure Regulator1 like
pressure regulator
Automatic valve which sits between a compressor and evaporator outlet; controls the supply line’s water pressure
Pressure Regulator, Evaporator 1 like
See Evaporator Pressure Regulator
Pressure Relief Valve (PRV)1 like
pressure relief valve
A device installed on a boiler or hot water heater which discharges any high steam pressure to avoid tank explosions
Pressure Switch1 like
pressure switch
An electric switch that activates when there are specific variations in the air or fluid pressure
Pressure Water Valve2 likes
pressure water valve
Device that controls the flow of water; responds to the head pressure of a refrigerating system
Pressure-Heat Diagram 2 likes
Graph that shows heat, refrigerant pressure, and temperature characteristics; see Molliers diagram
Pressure-Operated Altitude Valve (POA Valve) 1 like
Device that upholds a consistent low-side pressure that does not depend on altitude
Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive1 like
pressure-sensitive adhesive
A type of adhesive that sticks to a surface simply by applying pressure for a short period of time
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1 like
Wood that has been saturated with chemicals under pressure, for the purposes of inhibiting fire or decay
Pressure-treated Wood1 like
pressure-treated wood
Wood that has been impregnated with a preservative
Pressure, Absolute 1 like
See Absolute Pressure
Pressure, Atmospheric 1 like
See Atmospheric Pressure
Pressure, Back 1 like
See Back Pressure
Pressure, Gauge 1 like
See Gauge Pressure
Pressure, Operating 1 like
Pressure a system operates at
Pressure, Suction 1 like
Pressure in the low-pressure side of a refrigeration system
Prestressed Beam 2 likes
A structural element that has been subjected to a load as a way of increasing its ability to withstand working loads
Prestressed Concrete 1 like
Compressed concrete in which the steel has been elongated and anchored
Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) 1 like
200 W. Adams St, Suite 2100, Chicago, Illinois 60506, Tel: (312) 786-0300, URL: www.pci.org
Prestressing 1 like
Increasing the strength of a concrete structural element by applying compressive stress
Pretax Income 0 likes
Net income or profit before federal and state taxes are deducted
Pretensioning 1 like
A process of applying the design tensile force to steel reinforcing before the concrete sets
Pretreatment 1 like
Chemically modifying the surface of something so that it is ready to be painted
Prevailing Wage Law 2 likes
A law that sets minimum wages for various construction trades people
Prevalent Level Samples 1 like
Samples of air that are taken under ordinary conditions; also called Ambient Background Samples
Preventive Maintenance Painting 1 like
The process of periodically touching up painting or re-applying full coats of paint before paint starts to degenerate
Price 0 likes
The sum of money given in payment for something
Primary Branch 0 likes
A single branch slanting from the bottom of a soil or waste stack to join either the main drain of a building or another branch of the main drain
Primary Color 1 like
One of three colors — red, yellow, and blue — from which other colors can be derived by combination
Primary Control 1 like
Device which regulates the functioning of a heating system
Prime Coat 2 likes
The first layer of any material on a surface; seals and acts as a foundation for later coats; also the first layer of paint
Prime Contractor 1 like
Any contractor who contracts directly with the property owner; typically refers to the main contractor on a specific project
Prime in the Spots 1 like
To apply a prime coat to places where the paint has been damaged or where there is fresh area of plaster
Prime Professional 0 likes
Any professional who signs a contract directly with the property owner
Prime Rate 1 like
The lowest rate of interest for a loan; obtainable only by customers with excellent credit
Primed Door 0 likes
A door which has one coat of paint before installing
Primed Siding 1 like
Outside siding material which has one coat of paint
Primer1 like
Refers to the first coat of paint that forms a base when a paint job needs two or more coats; the first coat serves to seal raw surfaces and act as a base for successive coats
Primer Paint 1 like
A special type of paint that is used for base coats; used to seal the material and to provide a base for successive coats
Principal 2 likes
The original sum of money which is lent; the capital
A person with the most authority in an institution or organization
A fundamental truth or law that serves as the rationale for some system of belief or activity
A general theory or law in the physical sciences, physics, chemistry, or engineering
A law of nature that underpins the construction or working of some machine or mechanical device
Print Dyeing 1 like
The process of screen printing a pattern onto carpet by multiple applications of pre-metalized dyes; an electromagnetic charge propels the dyes into the pile construction
Print Free 1 like
Paint that is dry enough so that pressing against it does not leave an imprint
Prism 2 likes
A solid three-dimensional geometric figure which has two ends that are equal, and parallel rectilinear figures, and sides that are parallelograms
A transparent usually triangular-shaped figure that has refracting surfaces that are at acute angles from each other, these separate white light into a color spectrum
Prism Testing of Masonry 1 like
The process of compression testing a wall sample about 16 inches high and 16 inches long, with the same or similar thickness and type of construction as the wall that is being built
Privacy Lock1 like
privacy lock
A lockset which does not have a key and can be locked from only one side; mostly used on bathroom and bedroom doors; also called a Bathroom Lock
Private Mortgage Insurance 1 like
Life insurance that a home buyer purchases to pay off a mortgage in the event of the mortgage-holder’s death; as the mortgage is paid off, the insured sum declines; the lender usually requires such insurance when the loan to value ratio is more than 90 per cent
Private Sewer 1 like
A privately-owned sewer
Privity 2 likes
People who are in a contractual relationship
Pro Forma 1 like
Of form; something done or given in advance as a matter of form
Pro Forma Balance Sheet 1 like
A statement that represents a business’s future financial position by displaying forecasted assets, liabilities, and net worth
Pro Rata 1 like
Prorated; distributed or assessed for a proportionate amount of time
Probability 1 like
The likelihood of a given event occurring; calculated by the ratio of the desirable event result to the total number of relevant events
Probate 1 like
An official court process which proves or disproves that a will is valid
Procedure 1 like
Rules that govern the operations of a court
Process 2 likes
Series of actions that are taken in order to manufacture articles or products; aspects of a procedure
Process Tube 1 like
Length of tubing that is attached to a hermetic unit dome; used for servicing a unit
Processed Lime 1 like
Pulverized quick lime
Processed Quicklime 2 likes
See Lime
Processor, Photo 1 like
See Photo Processor
Produce Case 1 like
A container, typically open, that stores fruits and vegetables
Product Data 1 like
Illustrations, diagrams, performance charts, schedules, brochures, directions, and ancillary information that the contractor provides as a way of demonstrating materials or equipment involved in parts of the work
Product Liability 2 likes
The legal liability of a manufacturer for any claims that arise from injury sustained by users of their product
Products Standards Section, U.S. Dept. of Commerce 1 like
14th and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230, URL: www.commerce.gov
Professional Engineer 1 like
A person who works in a branch of engineering such as a chemical or civil engineer
Professional Fee 1 like
The amount of money that a professional person or entity charges to perform a given professional service
Professional Indemnity Insurance 2 likes
See Errors and Omissions Insurance
Professional Liability 1 like
The legal liability that a professional has for claims that may arise from damages and injuries that result from negligent acts, errors, or omissions that occur while performing professional services
Professional Standard of Care 1 like
A professional’s responsibility to exercise care, skill, and due diligence equal to other professionals in the same discipline in similar circumstances
Profile 1 like
An outline pertaining to someone or something
Profile Depth 1 like
Average distance on a surface between the uppermost portion of peaks and the lowest part of valleys
Profit 1 like
The remainder of income minus costs; net income
Profit and Loss 2 likes
A summary account that shows income and expenses as well as the resulting net profit or loss; employed at the end of an accounting period
Profit and Loss Statement 1 like
A financial statement that shows a business entity’s income and expenses as well as the net profit or loss during a specific period
Program 0 likes
A planned series of events that will take place, or procedures that need to be adhered to for a specific project
Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) 1 like
An older type of critical path analysis used for construction scheduling
Progress Payment 1 like
A payment that the owner makes to the contractor; the amount is figured by calculating the difference between a predetermined schedule of values or unit costs and the work that has been completed and materials stored; See Schedule of values; Unit Costs
Progress Schedule 1 like
Line diagram that shows intended and actual start and completion times for all of the project activities; See Activity
Progressive Blocking 1 like
The process of blocking wood between joists or rafters as each of them is mounted
Progressive Kiln 1 like
A type of kiln in which all of the lumber is dried as several units rather than as a single unit which pass one after the other through the kiln; the kiln is such that the side where the lumber enters has a lower temperature and higher relative humidity than the side where it exits
Progressive Loss 0 likes
An injury or damage to a person or property which happens over time, such as rust accumulating when a metal is exposed to moisture
Project 1 like
A term that refers to the total scope of work that is required in order to finish a particular construction job
Project Cost 1 like
Total cost incurred to execute a specific project
Project Directory 2 likes
A written list of all the people who are involved in a specific project; typically includes a title or description of each as well as their name, address, telephone and fax numbers; emergency and after hour contact telephone numbers are best included
Project Manager 1 like
A qualified individual or firm that the owner authorizes to coordinate the project in terms of time, equipment, money, tasks and personnel for the entire project or parts of the project; See Construction Manager
Project Manual 0 likes
A book that lays out the bidding requirements for a specific project as well as the contract conditions and the technical work specifications; See Specifications
Project Representative 1 like
A qualified individual that the owner authorizes to help administer a construction contract
Project Site 1 like
See Site
Projecting Sash 1 like
A type of window that has sashes that swing open either outward or inward
Projecting Window 1 like
A type of window that opens either outward or inward
Projector, Nonprofessional 1 like
A nonprofessional projector uses film except that which is 7/8 inch wide
Projector, Professional 1 like
The professional projector uses film that is more than 7/8 inch wide
Promise 1 like
A declaration or guarantee that something will or will not happen
Promisee 0 likes
A person or entity who is promised something
Promisor 1 like
A person or entity who promises something to another
Promissory Estoppel 1 like
An enforceable promise
Promissory Note 1 like
A written note with a promise that the author will pay some sum of money by a particular date
Proof of Service 1 like
Evidence that a specified person has received a legal document
Propane 1 like
A heavy hydrocarbon gas, bottled and employed as fuel
Refrigerant with low temperature applications
Propeller Mixer1 like
propeller mixer
A mixing tool that is inserted into a liquid, typically paint, and powered by a propeller which sits at the end of a thin shaft
Property Damage 1 like
Harm done to public or private property
Property Inspections and Reports 1 like
A brief visual inspection of some property in order to identify the general features and major flaws, any part of the property that is not visible, concealed, or inaccessible is not subjected to such an inspection
Property Survey 1 like
A survey done to ascertain a property’s boundaries
Proportional Limit 1 like
The maximum unit stress that enables Hooke’s Law to be viable
Proportioning 1 like
Selecting material for concrete to produce it with the required strength, positioning, and durability while making the most affordable use of the materials available
Proposal 1 like
A written offer given to the owner by a bidder that states how the bidder will perform the work and provide labor, materials, equipment and other services, along with relevant prices and terms: See Bid
Proposal Form 1 like
See Bid Form
Propylaeum 1 like
Colonnaded gate or entrance to a building or a group of buildings
Proration 2 likes
The pro rata distribution of expenses in proportion to the time of a given transaction, such as for shared expenses as a percentage of a leased space
Proscenium Arch 1 like
A wall that serves as a divider between the stage and an auditorium as an arch framing the stage
Protected Membrane Roof 1 like
A type of membrane roof in which the thermal insulation layer sits above the waterproof membrane
Protective Life 1 like
Amount of time that a paint system can protect the under layer from degenerating
Protector, Circuit1 like
protector, circuit
See Circuit Protector
Proton 1 like
Particle with a positive charge in the nucleus of an atom
Prototype 1 like
A preliminary model for a new machine or product
The original design that serves as the foundation for future iterations and improvements; also referred to as an Archetype
Protractor 1 like
An instrument for measuring or creating angles on drawings
Provisional Remedies 1 like
Orders that preserve the status quo and protect people or property pending legal proceedings
Prussian Blue 1 like
Ferric ferrocyanide; tough pigment which has a deep color; acids do not affect it, but it is easily impacted by alkalis
Prybar1 like
An iron or steel bar that is used for levering or prying, such as a crowbar
Product of the day

How to Fix Plumbing Noises In Your Home

plumbing fiberglass insulationTo diagnose loud plumbing, you must first determine whether the unwanted sounds occur on the system's inlet side - in other words, when water is turned on - or on the drain side. Noises on the inlet side have various causes: excessive water pressure, worn valve and faucet parts, poorly connected pumps or other appliances, incorrectly placed pipe fasteners, and plumbing runs with excessive tight bends or other restrictions. Noises on the drain side usually originate from poor location or, as with some inlet side noise, a layout with tight bends.


Hissing that occurs when a faucet is opened slightly generally signals excessive water pressure. Consult your local water company if you suspect this problem. They will tell you about the water pressure in your area and if necessary, can install a pressure reducing valve on the incoming water supply pipe.


Thudding, often accompanied by shuddering pipes when a faucet or appliance valve is turned off, is a condition called water hammer. The noise and vibration are caused by the reverberating wave of pressure in the water, which suddenly has no place to go. Sometimes opening a valve that discharges water quickly into a section of piping with a restriction, elbow, or tee fitting can produce the same condition. Water hammer can usually be fixed by installing fittings called air chambers or shock absorbers in the plumbing to which the problem valves or faucets are connected. These devices permit the shock wave produced by the halted flow of water to dissipate in the air, which unlike water, is compressible. Older plumbing systems may have short vertical sections of capped pipe behind walls on faucet runs for the same purpose; these can eventually fill with water, reducing or destroying their effectiveness. The solution is to drain the water system by turning off the main water supply valve and opening all faucets. Then open the main supply valve and close the faucets one at a time, starting with the faucet closest to the valve and ending with the one furthest away.

Chattering or Screeching

Intense chattering or screeching that occurs when a valve or faucet is turned on, and that usually disappears when the fitting is fully open, signals loose or defective internal parts. The solution is to replace the valve or faucet with a new one. Pumps and appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers can transfer motor noise to pipes if they are improperly connected. Link these items to plumbing with plastic or rubber hoses - never rigid pipe - to separate them.

Other Inlet Side Noises

Creaking, squeaking, scratching, snapping, and tapping are usually caused by the expansion or contraction of pipes, generally copper ones supplying hot water. The sounds occur as the pipes slide against loose fasteners or strike nearby house framing. You can often pinpoint the location of the problem if the pipes are exposed; just follow the sound when the pipes are making noise. Most likely, you will discover a loose pipe hanger or an area where pipes lie so close to floor joists or other framing pieces that they clatter against them. Attaching foam pipe insulation around the pipes at the point of contact should resolve the problem. Be sure straps and hangers are secure and provide sufficient support. Where possible, pipe fasteners should be connected to large structural elements such as foundation walls instead of framing; doing this reduces the transmission of vibrations from plumbing to surfaces that can amplify and transfer them. If attaching fasteners to framing is unavoidable, wrap pipes with insulation or other resilient material where they contact fasteners, and sandwich the ends of new fasteners between rubber washers when installing them. Correcting plumbing runs that suffer from flow-restricting tight or numerous bends is a last resort that should be performed only after consulting a skilled plumbing contractor. Unfortunately, this situation is common in older homes that may not have been built with indoor plumbing or that have been through several remodels, particularly by unprofessional contractors.

Drainpipe Noise

On the drain side of plumbing, the main goals are to eradicate surfaces that can be struck by falling or rushing water and to insulate pipes to contain unavoidable sounds. In new construction, bathtubs, shower stalls, toilets, and wall-mounted sinks and basins should be set on or against resilient under-layments to lower the transmission of sound through them. Water-saving toilets and faucets are less noisy than conventional models; install them instead of older types even if codes in your area still allow older fixtures. Drainpipes that do not run vertically to the basement or that branch into horizontal pipe runs supported at floor joists or other framing present especially troubling noise problems. These pipes are large enough to radiate substantial vibration; they also carry significant amounts of water, which makes the situation worse. In new construction, use cast-iron soil pipes (the large pipes that drain toilets) if you can afford them. Their immense size contains much of the noise made by water traversing them. Also, avoid routing drainpipes in walls shared with bedrooms and rooms where people gather. Walls containing drainpipes should be soundproofed as stated earlier, using double panels of sound-insulating fiberboard and wallboard. Pipes can be wrapped with special fiberglass insulation made for the purpose; these pipes have an impervious vinyl skin that sometimes containing lead. Results are not always acceptable.

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