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plumbing, piping systems inside buildings for water supply and sewage. The Romans had a highly developed plumbing system; water was brought to Rome by aqueducts and distributed to homes in lead pipes—hence the name plumbing from the Latin word plumbum for lead. During the Middle Ages, however, plumbing became almost nonexistent. In fact, London's first water system after the Middle Ages (c.1515) consisted partly of the rehabilitated Roman system; the rest was patterned after it. Modern plumbing began in the early 1800s, when steam engines became capable of supplying water under pressure and cheap cast iron pipes could be supplied to carry it. The common materials used today in water supply pipes are steel, copper, brass, plastic, and lead. Plumbing for sewage is made of cast iron, steel, asbestos cement, copper, and plastic. Water pressure is usually insufficient to supply the needs of tall apartment and office buildings; in such cases storage tanks are installed on the roof, into which a pump lifts water. The water then flows through the piping system of the building by gravity. Smaller buildings may have a pneumatic tank for the same purpose. The tank is partly filled with air, which is compressed when water is pumped in so that it will force water through the pipes. Sewage and drain systems typically have a trap, often a loop-shaped section of pipe, to seal off vapors in the pipes from the rest of the building. Vent pipes lead these vapors to the outside of the building; they also eliminate any suction in the piping and thus prevent the siphoning of water from traps when a nearby fixture discharges. In the 1970s and 80s flexible polybutylene plumbing was widely installed in standard and mobile homes. When unprecedented numbers of these plastic pipes began leaking because of exposure to chlorine and other chemicals in tap water, homeowners brought class-action lawsuits against the manufacturers, which were settled in 1995 for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Working as one harmonious unit, the two pipe networks which make up your residential plumbing system have very specific functions: whereas water pipes supply fresh water to your home, the drain system (known as DWV) takes out contaminated water. To ensure the harmonious flow of your plumbing system, ask your local plumber to perform routine maintenance checks.
"If you EVER need an affordable plumber make sure you reach out to North Texas Plumbing Services 817-230-7586. Justin went above and beyond to work with us. We had a broken pipe under our concrete slab that needed to be replaced. Contacted North Texas Plumbing Services, they came out to give us a quote that day. We called them to accept their bid that same night, and the very next day they had their digging crew to begin the tunneling process. Everyone did a great job of keeping us updated throughout the entire process! After the pipe was replaced the diggers informed us we would have extra dirt left over and asked what would we like to do with it? We told them we would like it placed in the back yard, and unexpectedly, they also spread it out neatly for us."
You are sitting in your living room and hear what sounds like water dripping. You check all the sink faucets, toilets, tubs, showers, spigots. Nothing is on that you can see. You return to your chair. You still hear the sound. It’s not the dishwasher or washing machine either. Not the ice maker in the freezer. What is making the sound? You retrace your steps, this time checking inside the cabinet under each sink. Ah ha! There it is. Your kitchen drain pipe is dripping. Leak detected.
So thankful I made the call. The front office associate was very pleasant and shared the practice of what to expect on my service day. Technician Randy arrived within my service window, immediately introduced himself and presented me with his business card. I was also introduced to his assistant Tim who was also very polite. They also had shoe covers they placed on before entering my rooms (how thoughtful). The service was reviewed and cost to complete the job, authorization given and Randy started the task. I am pleased with the job, great TEAM. Thank you!
In urban areas, the emptying of chamber pots straight into the street, and the accumulation of piles of human waste, resulted in disease and an unpleasant urban environment. Night-soil men were often employed to collect excreta, which was spread on the fields as fertilizer. Although Sir John Harrington had developed an indoor flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth I in 1596, it was not until the rise of mass industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth century that domestic toilets were mass-produced in northern England. Flushing technology was improved through the efforts of inventive manufacturers such as John Shanks, George Jennings, Alexander Cummings, and Thomas Crapper in the United Kingdom (Reyburn 1969) and Thomas Maddocks, John Randall Mann, William Campbell, and Henry Demarest, among others, in the United States (Palmer 1973). Early toilet manufacturers were generally companies that had first made their name in the manufacture of china and earthenware. Such English companies as Minton, Twyford, and Doulton adapted their production processes to make porcelain toilet bowls and pans. Toilet design was based upon the “sit” rather than “squat” mode of excretion (which required nothing more than a hole in the ground). The sit approach required a specific and highly marketable consumer product, the “pedestal” toilet, along with all the plumbing fixtures, such as taps (faucets), cisterns, basins, and fittings that together made up the “bathroom.” Interestingly, urinals for men, although a common feature of public toilets, are not generally a feature of private domestic bathrooms. These artifacts were exported from Britain to the rest of the world as a sign of modernity and Western progress, and were rapidly adopted for fear of being seen as “backward” or “dirty,” in spite of the fact that the majority of the world’s population squats when eliminating waste, a position that is ergonomically more healthy and efficient.
Beginning in the 1950s plastic pipe, most notably that made of polyvinyl chloride, has been used in ever increasing amounts. In the following decades, other plastics were introduced into pipe manufacture. However, by the last years of the century a number of plastic-pipe failures had occurred. Problems were attributed to defective manufacture and, in some cases, a chemical reaction taking place between the material used to make the pipe and chlorine in the water that it carried. These events led to class action lawsuits and a general reevaluation of the use of this inexpensive and easily worked alternative piping material.