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Jargon Buster

Read something you don’t quite understand? Our jargon buster contains the definitions of some of the most commonly used terms at Hydralectric.

Ambient: Surrounding temperature, neither heated or chilled

Bar: A metric measurement unit of water pressure

Barb: The jagged part of a fitting that is usually inserted into hose or tubing

Bore: The diameter of the inside of the hose

Braided: Interlaced strands of material. Our hoses are braided with 304 stainless steel, which varies from 8 strands up to 12 stands depending on the hose bore

BSP: British Standard Pipe refers to a technical standard for screw threads that has been adopted internationally. There are two types of BSP threads: Parallel (BSPP) which have a constant diameter. Tapered (BSPT) threads mean the diameter increases or decreases along the length of the thread

Compression: Compression fittings are used extensively for hot and cold water faucets (taps) and toilet stop valves. Compression fittings have brass olives inside which are malleable enough to manipulate under pressure to create a seal. Compression fittings allow for easy disconnection and reconnection

Counter Top: This can apply to either a water cooler or drinking water boiler. (See Table Top)

Cut length: This is the length of the hose without any fittings attached

DM: DMfit® manufacture our Push-Fit fittings which offer great value alternatives to the widely recognised John Guest Speedfit range

DN: Diameter Nominal refers to the internal diameter of a hose

Dynamic Pressure: The kinetic energy per unit volume of a fluid when it’s flowing

Duty Cycle: Usually expressed as a percentage or ratio, duty cycle is the fraction of one period in which a solenoid valve is active. A period is the time it takes to complete an on-and-off cycle

Female Swivel: An end connection which is tightened over the top of a fixed male thread. Female swivel fittings include a nut which tightens around the male thread to create a secure seal

Ferrule: A metal cap that is fitted onto the end of a hose to prevent the stainless steel braiding from fraying. Once the fittings are attached to the hose, the ferrule is swaged which secures the fittings onto the hose

Flat-face: Used to describe female fittings, flat-face fittings to not have a retained feature for a washer

Food-grade: Suitable and approved for carrying food & drink products

Homologation: The process of certifying or approving a product to indicate that it meets regulatory standards and specifications, such as safety and technical requirements

HVAC: Abbreviation for heating, ventilation, and air condition

In-cup drinks: Commonly used in drinks vending machines. Cups with pre-dispensed ingredients already inside where the vending machine just adds hot or cold water before dispensing

ISO Valve: Another term for an isolating valve, these valves – either plastic or metal, are fitted in modern plumbing systems instead of traditional gate valves. Usually screwdriver operated, they require just a quarter turn to open and close and are fairly unobtrusive

Leak Detector: Fitted at the bottom of the machine these activate an automatic shut off of the water feed if they get wet

Male BSP: Male fittings fit into female connectors, usually with a threaded end. Male fittings are either parallel or tapered (See BSP)

Micron: A description of the size of the holes in a filter. 1 micron = one thousandth of a millimetre. Obviously the smaller the holes, the finer the filtration

Mono: Also known as mono-bloc fittings, mono fittings are made of nickel-plated brass, most commonly used on tap connectors – or tap tails, which are sold in pairs with one short and one long mono fitting in the pair

Nut & Olive: Commonly found in a compression fitting, which comprises of an outer ring which is used to tighten the fitting (nut), and an inner ring (olive) made of brass which forms around the connecting pipe to form a seal

NSF: The NSF mark assures consumers, retailers and regulators that products have been rigorously tested to comply with all applicable American or international standards for a particular use

OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturers

Overall length: The full length of a flexible hose assembly  with the fittings attached

Parallel: Refers to the thread shape of a male fittings (See BSP)

Pilot operated: A type of solenoid valve, also known as floating diaphragm solenoid valve. Under the correct pressure conditions the coil, when energised creates an electromagnetic field in the top section of the guide tube. This force pulls the core and pilot seat upward, opening the pilot valve. Read more here.

Potable: Mainly refers to drinking water, but also used to describe water intended for human consumption – including water used in bathing, showering, and even dishwashing

Point-of-use: Used to describe water machines that are fed from the water mains rather than by a bottle

Push-Fit: Designed by John Guest, push-fit connectors are a type of easily removable compression fittings that can be used to connect a flexible hose to a water supply without the need for tools

Pressure Reducing Valve:  A valve fitted onto the water cooler inlet in the case of high mains pressure

Retained: Used to describe female fittings, retained fittings have a feature for a washer to hold it into place

Service Life: The time period during which the performance of a component meets or exceeds initial requirements

Standpipe: A fitting used to replicate traditional copper pipe, ideal when there is a requirement to extend existing pipework without changing the connections

Static Pressure: The energy per unit volume of a fluid when it is not flowing

Swage: The forging process of securing the flexible hose around the fittings by compressing the ferrule

Table Top: Also referred to as Counter Top. A smaller water cooler or water boiler that is essentially the top third of a floor standing machine with all the workings crammed in. More convenient where worktops & counters are the best place for the machine e.g. cafes

Tap connector: A hose used in the installation of either kitchen or bathroom taps. See mono-bloc.

Tapered Refers to the thread shape of a male fittings (See BSP)

Tectite: The brand name of the most recognised brass push-fit connector used for plumbing

UV: Stands for Ultra VioletDirect exposure to UV light can eliminate bacteria. However, UV exposure may also have destructive effects on plastics and support the growth of algae. Black hose liners block out direct sunlight, minimising microbial growth.

Water Block: A specific valve which is set to allow a certain quantity of water to pass through it in one go before shutting the supply off. Designed to prevent catastrophic floods they are usually set to allow enough water that anyone might drink to pass through, but if the flow is constant & extended, they will kick in 

Water Boiler: A drinking water boiler. Not to be confused with a boiler to run your central heating!

Working Pressure: The range of bar pressure that the component is designed to operate at without fault

WRAS: Water Regulations Advisory Scheme. WRAS approval is a conformance mark that demonstrates an item complies with The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 in the United Kingdom