This section is from the book "American Plumbing Practice", by The Engineering Record. Also available from Amazon: Plumbing: A working manual of American plumbing practice.
(Published In 1893.)
The plumbing in the new Abbey Theater, Broadway and Thirty-eighth Street, New York City, was executed by Messrs. Rossman & Bracken, in conformity to the requirements of J. B. McElfatrick & Son, architects, and does not differ essentially from standard metropolitan work, except in some practical details of connections which have been sketched to illustrate the convenient and advantageous methods used. The system consists substantially of a pump plant, tank and street supply, hose connections, hotwater supply, toilet-rooms for the theater, public, office and private use, and washbasins. The automatic fire extinguishers are a separate installation.
A 4-inch street connection directly supplies the suction pipes of a 20"x10"x10" fire pump and a6"x4"x6' house pump, both of Worthington make. The fire pump is commanded by an automatic governor placed on the steam pipe between the throttle valve and the cylinder, so that, the throttle being open and steam continually on, the governor will exclude it when pressure in the discharge pipe is 100 pounds, and admit it and start the pump the moment the pressure falls in the discharge pipe. The fire riser has three hose cocks and reels with 100 feet of hose in each corridor (12 in all). Great care has been taken to assure the reliability of the fire apparatus in case of an emergency, and its magnitude is indicated by the statement that the fire pump has a capacity of 750 gallons per minute, or more than 1,000,000 gallons in 24 hours, enough to supply 50 gallons per capita per day to a city of 20,000 inhabitants. The automatic apparatus is so arranged that in case of fire anyone can run out a length of hose, open the valve, and instantly turn on a fire stream, while the pump simultaneously automatically starts at full speed without signaling the engineer, thus gaining time that may be of the utmost value. The house pump supplies the house tank and steam boilers and is controlled by hand. It delivers into a 5,000-gallon iron roof tank, the supply in which is indicated by an electric high and low water alarm of Bracken's patent. The house supply of cold water is from a 3-inch tank pipe branched to distribution pipes in every story above the street which is supplied directly from the street pressure. A separate 1½ - inch supply from the tank connects with the 500-gallon hot-water boiler, which is heated by a 2-inch brass live-steam coil about 70 feet long. The water pipes are all galvanized iron except where exposed in toilet-rooms and at fixtures, where they are nickel-plated brass. There are in all 90 washbowls, 35 water closets, 26 urinals, two bathtubs, six slopsinks, and eight ordinary sinks, which are installed for the public and private uses of the theater, for rented offices, clubrooms, and other tenants of the building. Washbasins with marble slabs and hot and cold water and handsome fixtures are a noticeable feature in all of the 36 dressing rooms. When the main riser lines were run it was impossible to locate fixtures with precision, but the tees, Y's, etc., were set as nearly right as possible and closed with screw or calked caps, and a water-pressure test was applied. Afterwards everything but the tee or Y was built in or plastered up, and when the washbowls were set they were connected up with special adjustable pieces which allowed for a variation in position of several inches.
PLUMBING DETAILS IN ABBEY's THEATER, NEW YORK CITY.
Figure 1 shows the connection of the washbowl waste and overflow to the soil pipe S by means of two slip joints, the lower one of which is screwed on to the projecting end of a brass tee " Y " B, which is united by wiped joints to the lead pipe branches connecting it to the brass ferrules F F calked into the cast-iron hubs of the main pipes.
Figure 2 shows the connections of the basin supplies, which are all made with a ⅜ x½ - inch angle gallery the water-closets, etc. are placed, and they can be approached either from the steps- of the swimming bath or the gallery. Here also are two shower baths for the bathers. At the opposite end is the barber shop. Gas and electric lights are both provided for evening use. and a swimming master is always in attendance. Turkish and Russian oaths are also provided. A room 23x24 feet is devoted to dressing-rooms and lounges; a steam-room with marble terraces is 14'6"x9'6"; the " hot-room ' is 9x6 feet, a hot-room with plunge is I2'6"x 18'6", one side of which is terraced. A spray and needle bath occupies one corner of this room, marked S N. The temperature maintained here is about 1000 Fahr., while a temperature of 160c Fahr., is maintained in the dry hot room. The scrubbing-room is 18'6"x8\ and the cooling-room 12'x11' 6". A study of the plan of this floor will show the relative positions of the adjoining rooms of the baths and closets.
V and short nickel-plated pipe P screwed on to the tee T, after the bowl is set. The coupling C is connected to the foot of the cock by a ground joint N, and the distance between it and valve V being measured, a ⅜-inch nickel-plated pipe A is cut to fit and connected up with a packing nut D, thus making an easy screwed job, claimed to be perfectly tight and durable and to be not much more expensive than lead pipe and wiped joints. One man has fitted up six such bowls in a day.
Figure 3 shows the connection of the two 3-inch Thomson meters M M to the 4-inch supply S, thus avoiding the use of a 4-inch meter and providing a by-pass to enable one meter to be cut out for repairs, etc., without interrupting the supply.