Our Figs. 444 and 444a show a defective joint produced by carelessness, which is only another name for fraud. The jute has been driven beyond the end of the spigot, forming an obstruction to the waterway and the nucleus of a deposit which may ultimately choke up the drain. By careless packing of the jute, also, lead may be dropped through the crevices in the packing, and itself form an obstruction in the pipe. A large amount of lead is thus lost to the honest master plumber by his workman.

Where putty is used over the jute packing instead of lead, rats and mice may eat away the putty, or it may be cracked by jars or settlements in the building, and an entrance for sewer air be thus opened.

Loss of Water in Streets. Mr. Gerhard, in his excellent book, "Hints on the Drainage and Sewerage of Dwellings," well says: "No other part of a common plumbing job shows so many defects as a stack of iron soil or waste pipe; there is scarcely another detail in a system of drain pipes for a dwelling in which so much rascality or criminal stupidity is shown as in the manner of making joints in iron pipes, and this is especially the case whenever architects or builders tolerate such pipes to be built into walls, inasmuch as, under such circumstances, defective joints are readily covered up and brought out of sight. The manner of applying the gaskets of oakum; the quality of the melted lead; its purity; the temperature to which it is kept in the pot on the fire; the manner of pouring the lead, and, finally, the operation of caulking it after shrinking - these are all details worthy of careful consideration, but, unluckily, seldom looked after in plumbing a dwelling. * * * It has been my personal observation that honest and conscientious plumbers - with the best possible intentions to do only first-class work - were frequently unable to caulk the lead of joints sufficiently tight without splitting the hub of the pipe. In other cases the joint could not be made tight owing to the impossibility of reaching all parts of the lead in a joint with the usual caulking tools, the soil pipe being located in a recess or partition."

The Bell And Spigot Joint 485

Fig. 444.

The only method of ascertaining whether pipes and joints are sound is to apply a pressure to them after they have been in use in the house long enough to insure their having been subjected to hot and cold water effects. Before such use the minute annular openings around the spigot due to expansion could not have been formed. To apply this pressure test when all the fixtures have been connected up and in use is inconvenient, and it is very difficult to find records of such tests having been made. The hydraulic test is probably the one most used where a strong pressure test is demanded, but this test is unscientific, because it brings too heavy a pressure to bear on the lower parts of the system and little or nothing at the top. Consequently, defects in the top stories, due to hot water influence on the caulking, would not receive the test desired and might easily escape detection. A thorough pneumatic test is much more scientific.

The water supply mains for cities and towns in this country and Europe are generally of cast iron with lead caulked hub and spigot joints.

The American Architect for Jan. 13, 1900, has the following in regard to these water mains: "Accordingly, however, to Mr. James C. Bayles, whose authority as an expert can hardly be questioned, the leakage from water mains in cities is even more important than that from the gas mains. Few persons, probably, will be prepared for the assertion that at least half of all the water which enters the mains of the city water systems leaks out in the streets, never entering the houses at all; yet in England, where the matter has been carefully investigated, it is found that in the majority of public waterworks the leakage in the mains is at least one-half the total supply; that it is very frequently two-thirds, and that in many cases it is three-fourths, or even more; while, according to the English report from which Mr. Bayles quotes, in America the loss is still greater; that is, in many towns in England, and still more in America, three gallons of water are allowed to soak away into the streets for every gallon that is delivered in the houses of the consumers. Applying to this condition of affairs the same rule as that applicable to gas supply, the inference is that municipal water takers pay, in this country, about four times as much for water as they would if the mains were properly laid. Officials of water boards understand this well enough, although, as Mr. Bayles says, every engineer and official connected with water supply seems to be sworn to conceal the facts in the case; and he hints that the inspectors of houses for leaky fixtures and annoyances of the same sort are simply a solemn farce, intended to draw public attention away from the real source of waste."

"Nine gas explosions recently occurred in the sewers of New York in one day, all caused by leakage from gas mains." In one of the largest American cities the leakage from the mains is known to have averaged eight hundred and seventy thousand cubic feet per year per mile of main. * * * It is probable that something like one-third of the gas delivered from the retorts is lost before it reaches the consumers, and millions of dollars must be paid every year by householders in our large cities for gas which they do not get, but which is expended in poisoning the atmosphere which they breathe, and in endangering their lives and those of the public."

The water mains should be housed in open tunnels as described in connection with sewers in these articles.

The plumber naturally is not fond of applying the hydraulic or other high pressure test, especially after fixtures have been connected up. He knows, in the first place, that a thorough pressure test will invariably betray a host of leaky joints and defective pipes, unless his work has been done with extraordinary care, and is attended with unusually good luck, and it is not every plumber that has as yet provided himself with the proper appliances for closing all openings in a satisfactory manner in pipe and fixtures. Thus, though a pressure test is, with cast iron pipe, of the utmost importance, architects find it exceedingly difficult to enforce its application. Where it is called for in the specification and its enforcement is expected, the wise plumber raises considerably his figure in competition for the work. The hydraulic test requires an expense which plumbers can ill afford to incur.