*"Plumbing: The Modern, the Old and the Advanced Systems." Lecture by Wm. Paul Gerhard. C.E., of New York, reprinted from Bulletin of Vermont State Board of Health.

"In northern latitudes where soil and vent pipes above the roof may become closed by frost, traps will readily be syphoned under such conditions.

"Trap vent pipes increase the liability of the seal of S traps being destroyed by evaporation. The trap vent pipe, if placed much below the trap seal, does not protect the pipe against self syphonage or loss of seal by momentum. This is a point to which very little attention has been paid.

"The late Colonel Waring stated that, 'Continued experience and observation tend more and more to confirm the opinion that the back-venting of traps, aside from its great cost, does more harm than good; that is to say, that a trap is more likely to lose its seal if it is back-vented than if it is not.'

"An English expert on drainage called 'a diagram of house plumbing protected by ventilation pipes as prescribed by most American authorities a bewildering nightmare of complicated ingenuity,' to which statement many of you will doubtless heartily assent.

"The fact is, S traps with vents are perfectly safe only if the vent pipes are of sufficient area, if they are not of too great length, if there are no sudden bends and not too many of them, if they are free and unobstructed, and if their fixture is used every day. The conclusion is therefore inevitable that, as ordinarily arranged, vent pipes are useless complications.

"I wish that time would permit me to make a more elaborate comparison between the two methods in order to impress upon you the important fact that the improved and simplified system is far superior to the one commonly required by rules and regulations.

"To the health officers of these towns or cities which are about to make plumbing regulations I suggest that the better way is to make it at least optional with the architect or owner of a building whether he will choose the common or regular system with double piping and incur an unnecessary expense, or use the advanced, improved, simplified and safer method.

"I am more than ever convinced that the 'one pipe system,' as I have sometimes called it, is the coming system, and that within the next few years even the rules and regulations of our larger cities will be amended accordingly."

Speaking of the cost of venting Mr. Gerhard says: "Trap vent pipes increase the cost of plumbing and the money paid for them to plumbers is spent quite uselessly. A calculation undertaken by a careful investigator showed that the amount of piping is increased by thirty-three per cent, and the number of pipe joints by sixty-six per cent."

"Modern Sanitation"* has the following in the number for September, 1907:

"The pendulum of opinion, like the pendulum of time, ever swings from one extreme to the other; and what is considered good practice in one decade in the light of subsequent research proves to be no better than other methods that are condemned.

"It is only within the past four years, however, that the efforts of the advance guard of sanitation have borne fruit and that recognition of non-syphon traps has been accorded in the plumbing codes of cities.

"Cleveland is the latest city to be added to the list." Section 21 of the Cleveland code reads as follows: "Antisyphon traps that stand the test prescribed may be used without back venting on fixtures requiring two-inch and smaller traps, provided the developed length horizontal or vertical from a soil or waste pipe stack or house drain does not exceed ten feet."

*Published by the Standard Mfg. Co., Pittsburgh.

"A condition," continues "Modern Sanitation," "of the foregoing provision that recommends itself to all who are interested in sanitation is the requirement that non-syphon or refill traps successfully withstand a prescribed test before being put on the approved list. By having a standard test for traps, and a code that permits the use of any trap passing that test, the door is shut against favoritism or a discrimination against any individual or firm who wish to have their goods used. A standard test for non-syphon traps that is fair to manufacturer and at the same time safeguards the public should be adopted by every city in the Union having plumbing laws. This test should be uniform throughout the state and should have the approval of the American Society of Plumbing Inspectors and Sanitary Engineers, or some equally representative body of men, who in all fairness would prescribe the tests to be withstood. Such a condition in the plumbing trade is much to be desired; then if a firm or individual designs a new type of non-syphon or refill trap, they can submit it for a test without fear of favor and have it adopted or rejected on its merits or demerits.

"Objection to the use of non-syphon and refill traps in many quarters arises from the mistaken opinion that the use of such traps, by cutting down the amount of plumbing work in a building, interferes with the profits of the plumbing contractors. Such an opinion is wholly wrong. In fact the converse is true. More profit is to be realized from the sale of goods than from the labor of installing them, and a house owner who can install two bath rooms or one bath room and some bed room lavatories with non-syphon traps for what he could pay for one bath room with a whole lot of unnecessary vent piping concealed in the walls and partitions, will install the former every time. The plumbing contractor makes his percentage of profit on an installment of equal amount without an equal amount of work, consequently his profit is greater, for if he turns over a 10 per cent profit in two weeks, his net profit, time considered, is greater than if the same work took four weeks. Furthermore, with a given capital, a greater volume of work can be handled each year, thus increasing the gross profit in a business.

"As a corollary to the foregoing, it can safely be said that the plumber who gives his patron two bath rooms with non-syphon traps for a certain price, will meet with far greater success in his business than his rival who fits up but one bath room with vent pipes for the same price. It is pleased customers that advertise your business, and the best way to please a customer is to make every dollar paid show in fixtures."

"The Inland Architect and News Record" for November, 1905, urged the following: -

"Boards of health or plumbing inspectors should equip themselves with apparatus suitable to test the appliances they allow to be used, that the public may be relieved at once of the burden of back venting if it be found that it is continued solely for the benefit of dealers in piping. We would suggest that the architects, both personally and through the American Institute and its various chapters in the large cities, where they are obliged to charge their clients with this expense, lend their influence to urge the authorities to appoint such expert commissions as may seem to them to be best, for the purpose of making the investigations we have advocated."

Fig. 549 shows the standard test ing apparatus suggested by "modern sanitation" for general use.

It consists of a fifty-gallon tank ten feet above the trap connection, with a 2-inch down pipe and a quick opening valve on the pipe above a V branch for the trap.

The method of testing to consist of discharging the entire contents of the tank by opening and closing the valve every five seconds. No movable parts to be allowed in the trap when the test is being made. A short time ago a prominent lawyer, for whom I was building a house and an office building, said he had in mind to test the right of the building authorities to oblige him under the law to install back air pipes with his anti-syphon traps, on the ground that the form of such traps, together with their inlet and outlet pipes, provided in themselves the best possible and only permanently reliable back air pipes, because their efficiency could not be destroyed by clogging or evaporation. Closure by clogging would stop the outflow of water and render cleansing imperative. Their principle of construction was such as to allow the air of the room to pass through their own seals without injury to them and then to pass on and up to the roof through their waste and soil pipes, thus attaining what the law must accept as the only permanently effective back air pipes possible. He claimed that the inspector could not oblige him to adopt that one of two methods of back airing which had proved without question to be both unreliable and short lived, when another method was contained in his anti-syphon traps and their waste pipes which was now well known to be both reliable and permanent.

Fig. 549. Trap Testing Apparatus.

Fig. 549. Trap Testing Apparatus.

In conclusion I submit herewith a plumbing code which I believe will prove beneficial not only to the public, whose welfare should, of course, be peramount since the law is made for them; but also to the architects, engineers and plumbers, and all whose business it is to serve the public in this domain.