What is Tap?

Definition of Tap in Construction

A tap is the utility connection of a lateral to the primary utility system in the street ,or the connection of a secondary line to an already established piping system. There are varying types of taps for different utilities and different types of pipe. In many cases, the tap can be a ” wet ” tap, which is performed without the necessity of shutting down the primary utility line. This technique is preferred, due to the ability to tap the line, without interfering with the actual flow of the water or other fluid, or requiring the interruption of services to other customers on the same utility line. Utility contractors that specialize in water taps are extremely popular and busy, especially in the larger Cities and Towns.

Taps are also important in the chemical and industrial industries, where equipment is changed out, for replacement or updating. The small waterline required for the ice maker in a refrigerator, normally requires a wet tap into the primary domestic waterline, and is performed by the residential customer. The proper scheduling of taps by the general contractor is an important scheduling element of a large construction project. The necessity to shut down a utility, if a wet tap cannot be performed, or coordinated, requires substantial notification to customers along the utility line. In addition, the scheduling of any tap is important to the completion of a construction project. No testing of sprinkler lines, domestic water lines, or other systems requiring piping systems to be live, can be performed, until the tap has been completed and the water is flowing.