This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
In a work like this, the publication of which is extended over a somewhat long series of months, it is impossible for all the contributors to bring their treatises up to the date of the issue of the last Part Sometimes also an author omits to mention matters about which the reader may desire information, or at any rate dismisses them in few words. It is thought, therefore that an appendix may with advantage be added for the purpose of drawing attention to some of these new or unnoticed inventions and processes. It must, however, be considered rather as a series of notes than a regular treatise.
Sanitary Plumbing. A common objec-tion to the use of lead soil-pipes and rainwater-pipes is that they are so easily damaged by blows; the difficulty is some-times avoided by encasing the lowest length of the lead pipe in an iron pipe. Brighton & Venning's patent lead-lined iron pipe is apparently a development of this idea, and deserves notice. The patentees claim for this pipe that it has the strength of iron and the internal smoothness and non-corrosiveness of lead. The details of the invention are shown in Fig. 743, from which it will be gathered that the lead-lining extends throughout the socket of the pipe, and is turned back over the spigot-end. When these have been placed in position, the joint is completed by pouring into the space c molten lead or by caulking cold lead rings into the space. All kinds of bends
Fig. 743. - Brighton and Venning's Patent Lead-lined Iron Pipe and junctions are made on this system, suitable for soil-pipes, anti-syphonage-pipes, and drain-pipes.
Sanitary Fittings. - Improvements in bath-overflows have recently been designed, among them being that in Shauks's "Perfecto" bath. The upper part of the foot of the bath is splayed back, and the overflow, which is quite straight and of rather large area, extends vertically downwards from this splay; it can therefore be easily cleaned. The waste-valve is at the foot of the overflow, and is of large area, so that the bath can be quickly emptied. The grate covering the waste-opening is hinged, for convenience in cleaning the trap.
Lavatories are now made on the syphonic principle, but do not appear to possess any important advantage over the older kinds. A distinct disadvantage is that, if the basin is filled above a certain level, the whole of the water is syphoned out.
In the chapter on sinks nothing was said about enamelled fire-clay sinks with more than one compartment. Sinks containing as many as three compartments are now made in one piece; of these may be mentioned Twyford's "triple vegetable sink", which measures 6 ft. by 1 ft. 8 ins., and is provided with india-rubber plugs and cleansable overflows. Another example is the same firm's butler's sink in three compartments, the whole measuring 5 ft. by 2 ft., and fitted with standing waste, copper strainers, and teak draining-board.
The most recent novelty in water-closets is the closed cistern. One of these is made by Messrs. Evered & Co., and is described as a "patent pneumatic closet with automatic seat attachment to valve, and high-pressure closed cistern The basin is of the wash-down type, and possesses no features of particular interest, but the cistern is a closed galvanized-iron cylinder which remains empty until the seat is pushed down. Pressure on the seat actuates a valve, and allows the water in the supply-pipe to flow up the flush-pipe into the cistern, where the contained air is compressed to an extent corresponding to the pressure of the water. With a water-pressure of 70 lbs. the necessary two gallons will enter the cistern in less than a minute. As soon as the pressure on the seat is withdrawn, the supply-valve closes automatically, and in BO doing opens the flush-pipe down which the compressed air in the cistern forces the water therefrom to the closet-basin with great velocity.
Messrs. Dibble's " automatic waste-water flushing closet" has been designed to operate with a very little fall from the sink to the closet, and consequently does away with the long shafts which were so objectionable a feature in the earlier forms of waste-water closet With this apparatus the floor of the closet need be only about a foot below the floor of the scullery, and the surface of the water in the closet-trap only about 6 or 8 ins. below the closet-floor.
Drainage. - Three methods of testing drains have been considered, namely, olfactory tests, the smoke-test, and the water-test, but a fourth deserves mention, as it possesses several advantages. This is the pneumatic test, and consists in forcing air into the drains until a certain pressure is reached; any reduction in the pressure will show that the drains are not perfectly sound. The apparatus required is very simple. Fig. 744 shows the "Jensen" apparatus, a being a force-pump arranged for screwing to the tube above at D; B is the pressure-gauge, C the safety-valve, and E an air-cock. The end of the tube at E is attached to another tube passing through the stopper fixed in one end of the drain, and alter the other openings of the drain have been plugged, air is pumped into the drain until the required pressure of 2 to 5 lbs. per square inch has been attained. The cock at D is then closed, and if the drain is sound, tin-index of the gauge will remain constant. The advantages of this test over the water-test are, that it is much simpler in application, less liable to damage the joints of the drain, and gives an equal pressure throughout the drain, whereas the water-test gives increasing pressures according to the fall of the drain.
Sphonic flushing-cisterns for drains have been described in considerable detail, and mention has also been made of flushing tumblers or tippers, but a new form of tumbler deserves notice, as it discharges the water with great velocity and with little or none of the jarring inseparable from tumblers of the ordinary form. This new flushing apparatus is known as Allen's "revolver", and consists of a receptacle of metal, in shape about three-fourths of a cylinder, but with one lip of the metal turned slightly outwards; when full of water the cylinder turns completely round on its axis, discharging the water with great rapidity. This apparatus will be useful not only for flushing drains, but also for slop-water closets and trough-closets.