Real Estate Glossary

Our glossary is the largest dictionary of real estate and construction terms on the Internet with almost 10,000 definitions.
Wa - Was - We - Wh - Wir - Wo
Layer of mortar that is laid on top of the chimney masonry around the flue, sloping downward to allow water to run away from the flue.
Wash Coat
Extremely thin coating of paint, shellac, varnish, etc. which seals the surface so that the colors do not bleed through the final coat.
Wash Primer
Thinly applied coat of paint primer.
Circular, small flat piece that goes under a nut or bolt head to increase the hold of the fastener or to widen the bearing surface.
Washing Down
Use of a solution of water and diluted muriatic acid, or other cleaning solution, to clean masonry.
  1. Destruction or misuse by the individual in possession of a property causing a significant, permanent loss in value to the legal interest of another.
  2. The discharge from plumbing fixtures or a term used to denote the pipes that are part of that system.
Waste Stack
Vertical, drainage pipe system to which all of the plumbing, except water closets (toilets), discharge.
Waste Vent
  1. Soil or waste stack that extends through the roof of a building.
  2. Soil or waste stack that is above the highest horizontal drain emptying into the stack.
Wasting Asset
Natural resources, the value of which is decreased because it is subject to depletion through extraction of the valued commodity.
Water Blaster
Device which is used to clean unwanted coatings from wood, masonry, etc. by shooting water out of a nozzle at 2000 to 4000 psig. A nozzle is connected, by a high pressure rated hose, to the pump, which raises the pressure 50 to 100 times higher than the pressure from a water main.
Water Blasting
Cleaning a surface by using the high water pressure water blaster.
Water Chiller
Water cooling method, used to cool drinking fountain and cooling system heat exchangers which cool air, by passing it over tubes which contain a refrigerant.
Water Closet
Term used for a toilet, which is a fixture that receives human waste and flushes it into the plumbing waste system, where it is convey to a sewer or an individual septic system. Washdown Bowl - Toilet with a front trap which is flushed when water flows down and around from the rim. It is a two-piece combination toilet, where the tank is separate from the bowl, with the smallest water area and the narrowest flush passage, making it the least efficient.
Reverse Trap - Same type of toilet as the washdown bowl type with the trap at the rear.
Siphon Jet -Two piece combination toilet which is flushed when a jet of water is delivered directly to the trap, through a small hole in the bottom, with water flowing simultaneously around the bowl, which starts a siphon action to empty water through the trap. Low and sleek in appearance, it has a large water area and a wide flush passage, which operates quietly and effectively.
Siphon Action - Similar to the Siphon Jet but with a one-piece design, it is the most efficient, the most quiet and the most effect.
Water Closet Ell
The elbow shaped fitting, also called a flush ell, that connects a wall-hung water closet tank to the water closet bowl.
Water Cooled Condenser
Condenser, such as those used in refrigerant plants, steam propulsion plants, etc., which uses water to cool refrigerants or to create steam.
Water Gate
A gate used to control the flow of water in a dam overflow.
Water Hammer
Noise, created by a water surge or rapid flow change of water, in a steam system. When a change of direction is reached, by water being carried along in air, both at the same velocity, it cannot smoothly turn the corner due to its mass. When it strikes the pipe, it makes a hammering noise.
Water Heater
Device for heating and storing water. Heat is generated by gas, electric, or steam.
Water-holding Capacity
Amount of water able to be retained in an expansion tank or other type of unit.
Water Level
Surface level of water.
Water Mains
Large diameter pipes which transport water from the plant or well to the area where it will be used, with individual lines running into the house.
Water Meter
Measuring device for the flow of water in a structure, usually recorded for billing purposes.
Water Pipe
Pipe which carries potable (drinkable) water through a building.
Water Pressure
The rate, measured in terms of pounds per square inch (psi), with which water flows into a house. Normal pressure is between 50 psi and 60 psi, and should not drop below 30 psi or rise higher than 80 psi.
Water Pump Pliers
Pliers, that have extremely adjustable jaws at an angle to the handle, which gives better grip or leverage.
Water Resistant
The ability to not absorb water easily.
Water Resistant Panels
Gypsum wallboard, which has a water resistant paper covering a core that has had asphalt compounds added to it. Fiberglass mesh tape is used to tape the joints with water-resistant joint compound sealing them. Also called WR panels, moisture resistant panels, or greenboard, they are used where moisture is present, such as in a bathroom.
Water Retentivity
The ability of masonry to retain water without losing it into adjacent units.
Water Right
The legal right of a landowner to the water found on his property.
Water Service
Potable (drinking) water supply to a structure from a water main or well system.
Water Service Pipe
Piping that runs from the water main or well to the building to be supplied.
Water Softener
Appliance that removes minerals from water when it is installed in a water system.
Water Spot
Spot remaining on a surface after water has dissolved leaving minerals behind.
Water Stain
Water-based stain used on wood.
Water Supply System
The collection of pipes and valves that deliver potable (drinkable) water to a building.
Water Supply Tube
Standard tubing comes in chrome covered copper, rough copper with no chrome, plastic and corrugated copper and are connected to the sinks, toilets, and other fixtures by compression fittings.
Water Table
Level of water saturation in the ground.
Water-thinned Paint
Paint which uses water as a vehicle.
Waterfront Property
Structure adjacent to a lake or other type of water, which has a higher sale value due to greater demand.
Impenetrable by water.
Waterproof Switch
Electrical switch that is sealed so that the outside elements don't enter it. Gas tights seals would make it explosion proof.
Waterproofed Portland Cement
Waterproof additives, such as methyl metracrylate polymer acrylic, coated on Portland cement.
Application of a waterproofing substance on the exterior cement walls of a structure to prevent water from entering into the building. Crack in the wall are also patched.
  1. Land area where water collects.
  2. Dividing point that sends water runoff flowing into different drainage areas.
Construction joint, which is plugged with plastic, rubber, etc. to prevent water passing through.
Constructed to prevent water from entering.
Unit used to measure rate of electricity used by electrical appliances. A watt is equal to volts multiplied by amps in a DC circuit and in an AC circuit with a purely resistive load. One watt equals 3.41 BTU per hours.
Watt-hour Meter
Meter used by a utility company to record the usage of a building.
Device that measures the power in an electrical circuit.
Wax Sticks
Colored wood filler wax, in stick form, which hides and fills in minor blemishes in wood.
W-beam or Wide Flange Beam
Steel structural beam with wide side sections.

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LISA F. CIOFANI  Assoc. Broker
Institute of Luxury Homes Marketing

2314 Boston St.
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