Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fun Plumbing Trivia

We came across a bunch of fun plumbing facts while surfing the web. So...from the "Did You Know Department":

The terms facuet and spigot were once used only in the Northern and Southern U.S., respectively. The terms have come to be used interchangeably (although spigot is more commonly used for outdoor connections. (more about spigot on the on

Water pipes used to be made from lead. In fact, the word plumbing (and plumb and plumber) actually derive from the Latin word for lead: plumbum. (The periodic table element label for lead, Pb, is also based on the same word).

Pipes haven’t always been made of metal. In the 1800s, both Boston and Montreal used wooden pipes made from logs that were hollowed out and tapered at the ends. (read about water pipes on wikipedia)

Lead solder continued to be used even after lead was found to be harmful to humans, all the way through the 1980s. It was believed that the amount of lead that could potentially leach into the water was too small to matter. (read more about solder on wikipedia)

Sir John “the john” Herrington is credited with inventing the flushable toilet in 1596. He called it the “Ajax,” a shortened version of “a jakes,” which was a common slang for toilet at the time. Unfortunately, Sir John’s designation for the flusable toilet didn’t stick, but his name did. (read about it on wikipedia)

In 2004, there was over 91,000 miles of water distribution piping (4″+ pipe) in the U.S. 78% of that pipe is made of PVC. (read this article on PVC milestones)

Not sure this is a "fact" (seems amazing), but we did find it on the internet...
The most recognized video game character in the world is a plumber. Nintendo’s Mario (of Super Mario Brothers fame) was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and has appeared in more than 200 games. (you can read about it on wikipedia)

In Japan, some urinals have voice-activated flush mechanisms. According to wikipedia, these urinals respond to as many as 30 different languages and several terms, including “fire.”

In 1929, a series of sewer explosions occurred in Ottawa, Canada. Contrary to initial reactions, it likely wasn’t caused by Methane gas, but rather by shop owners pouring flamable oils down drains as the still-unregulated automobile industry took off. (read more about the 1929 Ottawa sewer explosion -- and don't pour that nasty stuff down the drain!)

Hot water heat recycling is the process of recovering heat from used water (primarily from sinks, showers, dishwashers, and washing machines). Heat exchanger systems can recover as much as 60% of the heat that normally goes down the drain. (read more about heat exchangers)

There are actually two common types of plungers – a toilet plunger and a sink/shower plunger. Toilet plungers narrow at the bottom to fit into the toilet drain, while sink and shower plungers have a flat rim. (read more about 'the plunger' on wikipedia

(Small aside: Speaking of are a few tips for plunging your toilet, should the need arise: Clearing Simple Toilet Clogs.)

The fire sprinkler was invented in 1864 by Henry Parmelee to protect his piano factory. He patented the idea, but by 1883 had only successfully had the system installed in 10 factories. (more on fire sprinklers on wikipedia)

At 140 degrees, it takes 5 seconds for water to burn skin. At 160 degrees, it takes only 1/2 of a second. (source) Recommendation: Home hot water systems should be set to no hotter than 125 degrees.


So there you go. When conversation lags at your next party, you will be able to mesmerize your friends with a slew of little-known facts that are sure to get the party going. Have fun!


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john steve said...

Thanks for the info that you have share with us.
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plumber bankstown said...

Actually green plumbing stands for those plumbing or residential layouts that are maximized for efficiency and minimized for the loss of natural resources like water and energy.

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Plumber Montreal said...

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The Flushed said...

I loved your toilet photo so much, I hope you don't mind me posting it on my blog:

Riley Jenson said...

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plumbers in Calgary said...

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John Wilson said...

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akon said...

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Plumbing said...

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hometechplumber said...

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Courtney Galler said...

These are so think that some pipes used to be made out of wood... I wonder what knowledge has been passed from plumber to plumber. They all seem really good at what they do.

Kate Perry said...

Your blog is extremely brilliant especially the quality content is really appreciable.

Jennifer Anderson said...

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Mariya Disuja said...

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