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Construction/Contractor/Builders/Building Inspectors Glossary

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A/C - An abbreviation for air conditioner or air conditioning.

A/C Circuit - Alternating Current. The flow of current through a conductor first in one direction, then in reverse. It is used exclusively in residential and commercial wiring because it provides greater flexibility in voltage selection and simplicity of equipment design.

A/C Condenser - The outside fan unit of the air conditioning system. It removes the heat from the Freon gas and turns the gas back into a liquid and pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.

A/C Disconnect - The main electrical ON-OFF switch near the A/C condenser.

Above Grade Wall - A wall more that is mostly above grade and enclosing conditioned space.

ABS - (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) rigid black plastic pipe used only for drain lines.

Absolute Humidity - Amount of moisture in the air, indicated in grains per cubic foot

Accelerator - Any material added to stucco, plaster or mortar which speeds up the natural set.

Access - That which enables a device, appliance or equipment to be reached.

Access Panel - An opening in the wall or ceiling near the fixture that allows access for servicing the plumbing/electrical system.

Accessibility - Level of access a building offers people with disabilities.

Accessible - Can be approached or entered by the inspector safely, without difficulty, fear or danger.

Accessory Structure - An additional building to the primary building.

Acre - 43,560 square feet.

Acrylic - A glassy thermoplastic material that is vacuum-formed to cast and mold shapes that form the surface of fiberglass bathtubs, whirlpools, shower bases, and shower stalls.

Activate - To turn on, supply power, or enable systems, equipment, or devices to become active by normal operating controls. Examples include turning on the gas or water supply valves to the fixtures and appliances and activating electrical breakers or fuses.

Actual Dimension (Lumber) - The exact measurement of lumber after it has been cut, dried and milled.

Actual Knowledge - The knowledge possessed by an individual as opposed to that discovered through document review.

Adaptor - A fitting that unites different types of pipe together, e.g. ABS to cast iron pipe.

Addition - An extension or increase in the conditioned space of a building.

Adhesion - The property of a coating or sealant to bond to the surface to which it is applied.

Adhesive Failure - Loss of bond of a coating or sealant from the surface to which it is applied.

Adverse Conditions - Conditions that may be dangerous for the inspector and may limit the walk-through survey portion of the inspection.

Adversely Affect - Constitute, or potentially constitute, a negative or destructive impact.

Aerator - An apparatus that mixes air into flowing water. It is screwed onto the end of a faucet spout to help reduce splashing.

Aggregate - Crushed stone, slag or water-worn gravel that comes in a wide range of sizes which is used to surface built-up roofs.

Air Chamber - A vertical, air-filled pipe that prevents water hammer by absorbing pressure when water is shut off at a faucet or valve.

Air Duct - Ducts, usually made of sheet metal, that carry cooled or heated air to all rooms.

Air Filters - Adhesive filters made of metal or various fibers that are coated with an adhesive liquid to which particles of lint and dust adhere. These filters will remove as much as 90% of the dirt if they do not become clogged. The more common filters are of the throwaway or disposable type.

Air Infiltration - The amount of air leaking in and out of a building through cracks in walls, windows and doors.


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