Term Definition
SDI 1 like
Steel Deck Institute
Steel Door Institute
SE 0 likes
Structural Engineer
Seal1 like
To confirm a decision, or determine an issue irrevocably and give final approval
Close securely or hermetically
Apply a non-porous coating to a surface to make it impervious; a tight closure
To position a wax form on an object for the purpose of authentication
Quantity of stagnant water in a drain trap that stops foul air from rising; See Trap Seal
Seal, Shaft2 likes
seal, shaft
See Shaft Seal
Sealable Equipment 0 likes
Electrical equipment enclosed in a case or cabinet which can be sealed or locked; live components are only accessible when the case or cabinet is open
Sealant2 likes
A substance or material employed for sealing gaps between materials
Elastomeric material that is employed to fill and seal cracks and joints; prevents entry of moisture and facilitates horizontal and sideways movement
A caulking substance employed to fill voids or seams for issues with air filtration, acoustics, or heat production
Sealed Refrigeration Compressor1 like
sealed refrigeration compressor
See Hermetic Compressor
Sealed Unit 1 like
See Hermetic System
Sealer2 likes
A finishing material, typically applied directly over a surface in order to seal the surface
Seam 1 like
A line, groove, or ridge formed when two edges of a material join or meet
A joint between adjacent carpet sections; See Back Seam, Face Seam, Cross-Seam, Length Seam, and Side Seam
A thin layer of rock, coal or ore
Seamless Gutter 0 likes
Rain gutters cut from a preformed roll of composite metal; a narrow trough that is attached to the outer edge of the roof to collect water and divert it away from the building; also called Eaves 
SEAOC 1 like
Structural Engineers Association of California
Seasoned Loan 0 likes
A loan that has produced a decent payment record over a lengthy period
Seasoning 2 likes
Treating lumber to reduce its moisture content and improve its functionality
Seat1 like
A piece of furniture designed for sitting, such as a chair, stool, bench, or pew
The part of a chair where a person can sit
The part of a valve mechanism on which the valve presses to terminate a process
Seat Cut 0 likes
The cut at the underside of a rafter to enable it to fit on the plate
Seat of a Rafter 0 likes
Horizontal cut on the underside of a rafter that lies above the plate
Seat, Grandstand1 like
grandstand seat
See Grandstand Seat
Seated Connection 0 likes
Where a steel beam lies above a steel angle secured to a girder or column
Second 0 likes
The unit to measure angles, equal to 1/60th of a minute
The unit of measurement of time, equal to 1/60th of a minute
A Second Trust Deed
A Second Mortgage
Second Law of Thermodynamics 0 likes
The entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, the state of maximum entropy; Heat will move only in the direction from a material at a higher temperature to a material at a lower temperature
Second Mortgage 0 likes
A mortgage obtained after a first mortgage
Second Trust Deed 2 likes
A trust deed obtained after a first trust deed
Secondary Branch 0 likes
An offshoot or a division of the main portion of a structure
Secondary Clay 0 likes
See Sedimentary Clay
Secondary Color 1 like
The product of combining two primary colors; orange is produced by combining red and yellow; violet is produced by combining blue and red; green is produced by combining blue and yellow
Secondary Financing 0 likes
An extra loan or financing that is less than a mortgage or trust deed; a Second Mortgage or Second Trust Deed
Secondary Network 0 likes
Distribution system where electricity is conveyed through a complex integrated system of transformers and underground cables connected and functioning in parallel; power moves in both directions on lower voltage delivery lines; loss of a line or transformer does not produce a power interruption; designed to meet greater reliability requirements and constrained space often experienced in urban regions; also called an alternating current automatic low-voltage secondary network
Secondary Refrigerating System 1 like
System in which the condenser is cooled by the evaporator of the primary refrigerating system or another refrigerant
Section 1 like
A distinct component that can be separated or considered as a separate part of something; also a component that could be reassembled to reconstruct an object
Section of Land 1 like
A land area that is one square is equal to 640 acres; a township has 36 sections
Security Glass3 likes
A glazing sheet with multiple laminations of glass and plastic; designed to stop bullets, and overcome deliberate methodical attacks against property
Security Grille2 likes
security grille
Steel lattice that prevents intrusion or entrance through various openings
Security Interest 1 like
A property interest created by agreement or by operation of law over assets to secure the performance of an obligation, usually the payment of a debt
Security System2 likes
security system
A device or group of devices, such as alarms and electronic monitors, employed to detect a security breach by setting off an alarm when someone tries to break in
Seebeck Effect 0 likes
When two dissimilar adjacent metals are heated, an electric current is generated between the metals; producing an electromotive force (emf) then an electric current of material with at least two dissimilar conductors when two junctions are kept at different temperatures
Seepage 0 likes
Gradual discharge or escape of a liquid
SEIA 0 likes
Solar Energy Industries Association
Seiche 0 likes
Movement on the surface of water in an enclosed or semi-enclosed body or water, such as a lake, bay or harbor; mostly as a result of an intense storm
Seismic 0 likes
Of or relating to earthquakes
Seismic Load 1 like
A weight on a structure caused by motion of the earth relative to the structure while an earthquake occurs
Seismic Wave 0 likes
One of four specific waves created by an earthquake; P-wave, S-Wave, Love wave, and Rayleigh wave
Seismicity 1 like
The amount of earthquakes in a unit of time, or relative earthquake activity
Seismograph 1 like
An instrument which produces a continuous record of earth motion
Seismology 2 likes
The science and study of earthquakes
Selective Surface 0 likes
Coating that absorbs most of the sunlight and discharges minimal thermal radiation
Selects 0 likes
Acceptable, appropriate bricks following culling
Self-Cleaning 0 likes
Paint where the chalking rate is regulated so dirt on the surface is washed away with stored chalk
Self-Leveling2 likes
Any sticky material that is spread by pouring and disperses before curing
Self-Priming 1 like
Using the same paint for primer and for the next coats; the paint can be thinned in a different way for the various coats
Self-Sealing Shingles 1 like
Shingles that have manufactured strips or spots of self-sealing adhesive
Self-Siphonage 1 like
The removal of water from a trap, breaking the seal as a result of siphonage set up by the discharge from the fixture where the trap is secured
Self-Spacing Tile 2 likes
Tile with spacers or protrusions on the sides that space the tile for grout joints
Self-Tapping 0 likes
Produces its own screw threads on the interior of a hole
Selvage 3 likes
The edge of strip of material included when fabricating something
A slotted plate or surface which accommodates the bolt of a lock
An edge of a piece of woven fabric that does not fray
Edges of wallpaper without printing
Semi-Drying Oils 0 likes
Oils that dry to a soft, tacky film; soybean oil is employed in the paint industry
Semi-gloss 1 like
Dry finish sheen that is approximately half way between totally flat and full gloss
Semi-gloss Enamel 0 likes
Enamel coating when dry that has some sheen but is not highly glossy
Semi-gloss Paint1 like
semi-gloss paint
Paint coating when dry that has some sheen but is not highly glossy
Semi-hermetic Compressor 1 like
Service valves on a hermetic compressor
Semi-Mat Glaze 0 likes
A colorless or colored glaze with a reasonable gloss
A colored or colorless mid-gloss ceramic glaze
Semi-Vitreous 1 like
Three percent to seven percent water absorption
Semiautomatic Frost Control 1 like
Manual regulator which starts the defrost portion of a cycle, then automatically returns the system to normal functioning
Semiconductor1 like
A solid, such as silicon or germanium, that does not conduct electricity when pure or at low temperatures but is highly conductive when it has some appropriate impurities or at greater temperatures; employed for integrated circuits, diodes, and transistors
Sensitive Bulb1 like
sensitive bulb
Sealed fluid device component which reacts to temperature; employed to measure temperature or to regulate a mechanism
Sensor1 like
A device that detects and responds to physical stimuli such as light, heat or motion
Sensor, Photoelectric2 likes
sensor, photoelectric
A device that responds to light and then transmits an electrical impulse
Separate Contractor 1 like
A prime or main contractor; the contractor who has an agreement with the owner
Separation 0 likes
Dividing into components, parts, or layers; keeping things apart
Separation Tank 0 likes
A device employed to clarify filter rinse or waste water in a swimming pool; a container used with a DE filter to trap DE and dirt when backwashing; also called a Reclamation Tank
Separator2 likes
Device to separate a substance from another substance
See Interceptor
Separator, Oil1 like
separator oil
See Oil Separator
Septic System 0 likes
An on-site waste water treatment system with a septic tank supporting the biological assimilation of the waste, and a drain field which allowed the remaining liquid to soak into the earth; sized by the number of bedrooms in a home
Septic Tank 1 like
A concrete subterranean tank; a key component of the septic system, a small-scale sewage treatment system common in areas with no connection to main sewage pipes provided by local governments or private corporations
Septum 0 likes
Filter element component made of cloth, wire screen or another porous material where the filter cake is set down
Sequence Controls 0 likes
Group of devices that perform sequentially
Serging 1 like
Finishing a lengthwise carpet cut edge so that unraveling does not occur; distinct from finishing a cut end which may need binding; the finished width of a serged edge is approximately 3/8th of an inch
Series Circuit 1 like
When electricity travels through the first device in electrical wiring to operate a second device; current flow travels serially through devices that are connected
Serrate 0 likes
To create a notched or toothed edge on something
Serrated 0 likes
Notched or toothed on the edge; like the teeth of a saw
Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) 0 likes
A resource for managerial proficiency supplied by the Small Business Administration
Service Disconnect 0 likes
A switch that disconnects an entire building from an electrical service; also called Main Switch
Service Drop 0 likes
An electrical line spanning from a utility pole to a customer’s building or another premises in an electric power distribution grid; the point where electric utilities provide power to their clientele
Service Ell 0 likes
See Street Ell
Service Entrance Conductors 0 likes
Customer’s conductors from the point of connection at the service drop or service lateral to the service equipment
Service Entrance Panel1 like
service entrance panel
Primary power cabinet in which electricity arrives in a home wiring system
Service Equipment1 like
circuit breaker
Main control paraphernalia at the service entrance, including switches, fuses, and circuit breakers
Service Head 1 like
The exterior fixture employed where the electrical service to a building and the mast from the breaker panel meet
Service Lateral 0 likes
Subterranean power supply line
Service Load 1 like
Alive and dead structural weights, not including load factors
Service Manifold 0 likes
Compartment outfitted with instruments and manual valves, employed by service mechanics to service refrigerating systems
Service Panel 1 like
The primary electric panel that accommodates the main switches and transfers electricity to the branch panels and various circuits
Service Pipe 0 likes
Water pipe that enters the building from the street main
Service Raceway 2 likes
Electrical metal tubing, inflexible duct or other racetrack that surrounds the service entrance electrical conductors
Service Sink1 like
service sink
A sink with a deep basin and scrub bucket; employed to clean mops, and dispose dirty water; also called a Slop Sink
Service Valve 0 likes
A valve employed to separate a building from the water or gas main; installed close to the street curb on the service line between the main and the building; also called a Curbstop
Service Window 0 likes
An aperture in a wall or partition through which business dealings are enacted
Service Wye 0 likes
A pipe fastener in a plumbing system which combines three pipes at 45 degrees; a drainage fitting
Serviceable Hermetic 1 like
Hermetic unit housing with a motor and compressor built with cap screws or bolts
Servo 0 likes
A servomechanism
A servomotor
Servomechanism2 likes
An automatic device that uses error-sensing negative feedback to correct the performance of a mechanism
Servomotor 0 likes
The motive element in a servo mechanism; a rotary actuator that allows for precise control of angular position, velocity and acceleration; used in robots and automated manufacturing
Set 0 likes
To place something somewhere
The change from a plastic, workable state to a solid, inflexible state; occurs in setting of mortar and cement, generally calculated by the resistance to penetration or deformation; the initial set defines the first stiffening and the final set defines substantial inflexibility
A chisel that cuts brick
Set Back 0 likes
The distance a structure is positioned from the front property line
See Offset
Set In 1 like
Distance a brick is set back from the brick immediately below
Set Screw1 like
set screw
A headless screw typically employed to secure an object within or against another object; often used to secure a pulley or gear to a shaft
Setback Thermostat1 like
Setback Thermostat
A thermostat designed to adjust the temperature according to a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day; also called programmable thermostat or clock thermostat
Setoff 0 likes
A statutory defense to the whole or part of a plaintiff’s claim; See Offset
Sett 0 likes
Rectangular paving stone or wood block
Setting Bed 0 likes
Mortar layer on which tile is set
Finishing coat of mortar on a ceiling or wall
Setting of a Circuit Breaker 0 likes
Defining the amount of current prior to the circuit breaker being activated
Setting Time 1 like
The time needed for newly mixed cement paste, concrete, plaster, or mortar to attain initial or final set
Setting Type Joint Compound1 like
setting type joint compound
A gypsumboard joint compound that becomes hard before it is dry; employed to hasten patching and joint finishing
Setting Up 0 likes
Initial drying of coat so that it cannot flow
Settlement 0 likes
Movements in a structure, generally due to subterranean freeze-thaw cycles
Settlings 0 likes
Dregs; sediment; debris
Severability 0 likes
To separate or break off a relationship into its components
Sewage 0 likes
Water-carried waste containing animal, vegetable, or chemical matter in suspension or solution that is intended to be removed from a community; also known as Wastewater
Sewage Ejector1 like
sewage ejector
A pump employed to raise waste water to a gravity sanitary sewer line; usually found in basements and locations located beneath the side sewer plane
Sewer 0 likes
A subterranean channel for transporting storm water and sewage
Sewer Brick 1 like
A greenish-blue brick made from shale or clay employed in drainage structures to transport sewage, industrial wastes and storm water
Sewer Connection 0 likes
The connection between the building drain and the public sewer
Sewer Lateral 0 likes
The part of the sanitary sewer that connects the internal waste water lines to the main sewer lines; extends from the house to the sewer line under some feet of soil; maintained by the owner and serviced by utility-authorized contractors; also called Side sewer
Sewer Stub 0 likes
Municipal sewer system junction that connected the sewer line from a home
Sewer Tap 0 likes
The physical connection where the sewer line from a home joins the main municipal sewer line
Sex Bolts 1 like
Pairs of male and female threaded bolts; employed for bolting through doors
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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