This section is from the book "The Building Trades Pocketbook", by International Correspondence Schools. Also available from Amazon: Building Trades Pocketbook: a Handy Manual of reference on Building Construction.
Closet ranges, used in schools, factories, etc., are merely large troughs with one outlet and a flushing arrangement. They should be simple and have no mechanical parts to get out of order. There are many different kinds, but the automatic-supply range is probably the best. The combi-nations are of 3 lengths, 24,27, and 30 in. between partitions; height from floor to top of seat, 1 ft. 6 in.; height from floor to top of iron partition, 5 ft. 10 in.; depth of partition, 2 ft. 2 in.; width of range, from front to back, 1 ft. 7 in. They can be had painted or enameled. If a hot chimney is near, it is advisable to use local vent-closet ranges, and in such case allow about 15 in. extra length for a ventilating extension.
Closet Seat - Closet seats should be made of hard wood, and the grain arranged so that the seat will not warp, sliver, or fall to pieces. Quartered oak. in two or three layers crossed, or in one piece with dowels or cross-strips, seems to be the best material. The seat should be secured to the porcelain bowl. The hole should taper from back to front, and have the shape and dimensions shown in Fig. 8. The upper surface of the seat should be properly countersunk.
Many closets are provided with horns above the water-line in the bowl, for the purpose of ventilating the bowl. These are of no use, however, unless a strong, positive draft is constantly maintained in the vent lines. The size of vent pipe is preferably3 in.for each closet, and not less than 2 in.
Two or three closets may local vent into a 4" pipe, the size of the pipe increasing with the number of closets connecting to it. All closets having horns attached to them for back-venting traps should be discarded, as these horns easily break off. All connections between metal pipes and porcelain should be bolted flange joints, without horns.
The ordinary brass-bolted floor flange makes a good connection, but if it is not perfect there is no means of knowing the fact. One of the best floor connections for a closet is shown in Fig. 9. This is a water-sealed floor connection. The pipe a is continued 1 1/4 in. above the finished floor, the end being rounded and free from burrs. The floor is countersunk to receive a supporting flange 6 which is attached to the pipe. A brass flange c compresses the rubber gasket d against the porcelain when the bolts e are drawn up. An annular space is thus formed around the neck of the pipe a, which fills with water at the first operation of the closet, thus sealing the connection. If the connection leaks, this water will run out on the floor; if it does not, gas cannot escape.
There are a variety of kinds of closet cisterns on the market, some being simple and others complicated. In choosing a closet tank, (1) select for flushing qualities; (2) quietness in action; and (3) simplicity of construction.
Fig. 10 shows a plain valve cistern for wash-down closets and hoppers; its dimensions are about 23 in. X 12 in. X10 in. It is provided with a ball-cock a and an outlet valve b which is operated by a lever c bolted to a cross-bar d, the lever being worked by a chain pull. The tube g forms an overflow which discharges into the flush pipe e. A deafening pipe/deadens the noise of the incoming water. The volume of flush from this tank is irregular, depending on the time the valve 6 is held up.
A better arrangement is shown in Fig. 11. This is a siphon cistern particularly adapted for wash-outs as well as wash-downs and hoppers; its dimensions are about 19 in. X 9 in. X 10 in. A momentary retention of the pull opens the valve a and starts the siphon, formed by the shell b suspended over, and attached to, an inner standing tube, which is secured to the valve a. A refill to the bowl is obtained by a slot in the lower end of the siphon tube b which causes the siphon to break gradually.
An after-wash cistern, shown in Fig. 12, is suitable for seat action. The lever is attached to the seat in such a manner that when the seat is depressed the valve a is closed, and the valve b opens, causing a flow from chamber c into chamber d. When the seat is released a opens, b closes, and the closet is flushed.
A refill float-valve cistern especially suitable for siphon-jet closets, and wash-out closets requiring a refill to bowl, is shown in Fig. 13. When the float a is raised it remains buoyed up until sufficient water has passed through the closet, when it returns gradually to its seat. The pipe 6 serves as an overflow and at the same time gives an abundant refill to the bowl.
These cisterns are remarkably quiet in action. They are made in two sizes. Cisterns with valves away from the edges are preferable, for the wood is liable to warp and cause the lock-nuts to cut the copper.
Water-closet floor slabs are about 27 in. square, and countersunk around the closet. When ordered in a closet combination the hole is cut, and the countersinking done, by the manufacturer. They can be had in Italian or Tennessee marble, and slate. These slabs are sent with unpolished edges and corners, unless otherwise ordered. When the slabs are to be drilled for pipes, a diagram should accompany the order, giving exact distances to centers of openings.