For many centuries, lead was the favoured material for water pipes, because its malleability made it practical to work into the desired shape. (Such use was so common that the word "plumbing" derives from plumbum, the Latin word for lead.) This was a source of lead-related health problems in the years before the health hazards of ingesting lead were fully understood; among these were stillbirths and high rates of infant mortality. Lead water pipes were still widely used in the early 20th century, and remain in many households. In addition, lead-tin alloy solder was commonly used to join copper pipes, but modern practice uses tin-antimony alloy solder instead, in order to eliminate lead hazards.
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Where plumbing had been a mostly locally regulated matter for most of its history, the federal government became involved in the early 1990s. Until the 1950s, toilets generally used five or more gallons per flush (GPF). During the decades that followed, the plumbing industry reduced the standard volume for toilet flush tanks to 3.5 gallons. A further reduction in volume resulted from the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which in the name of conservation mandated that all new toilets made in the United States must use no more than 1.6 GPF. The same legislation also regulated the flow in shower heads and faucets. Although the first low-flow toilets proved un-satisfactory and were met with public disapproval, redesigned equipment employing new technology has removed most objections.
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I was disappointed with the pressure of a tub and shower that were plumbed with 1/2 supply lines (2nd floor). Could be low pressure from the street, but I want to replace with 5/8. Plus, I'd like to have 2 back to back showers, one inside and one outside. So, I had intended to bring a 1 supply to both, then branch up to valves and shower head with 5/8. Finally, I thought pressure from the street was typically 55 to 70 psi and I am concerned if pvc can take that.Any thoughts?