Fig. 299. Japanese Towel Racks.* them, and the various serious evils to which such accumulations give rise.
Not only then should every wash basin be constructing about for the advantages of immediate and convenient removal of the waste water after use by the mere turning of the waste water handle, and thus doing away with the sink or slop pail receiver, which, whether in America or Japan, must retain in its corners more or less sediment from the dirty water discharge, however carefully it is cleansed in the daily rounds of the chambermaid.
*From Prof. Morse's "Japanese Homes."
Fig. 279 shows some of the simple and interesting rustic towel racks used by the Japanese. They are made of bamboo and suspended in the various ways shown. "The simplest kind is in the shape of a ring of bamboo suspended by a larger bamboo, to the end of which it is attached. Another form, and a very common one, is a yoke of bamboo, the lower ends of which are firmly secured to a larger bamboo, confining at the same time a piece of bamboo which slides freely up and down on the yoke, and by its own weight resting on the towel which may be thrown across the lower bamboo. Another form consists of a loop of bamboo suspended to the side of a board which is hung against the wall.
"The towels are pretty objects, being of cotton or linen, and usually have printed upon them sketchy designs in two shades of blue."
Coming now from the appliances of other times and people to our own requirements we find the form and construction of our lavatories a matter of much greater importance than is generally supposed. We are to abolish trap venting and obtain the cleansing of our branch waste pipe system through water flushing. All our plumbing fixtures must therefore be constructed on the principle of the flush tank; that is, they must have discharge outlets as large in their clear waterway as the waste pipes to which they are connected. As usually constructed, the outlets are still altogether too small in proportion to the size of on the principle of the flush tank, but it should be so constructed as to encourage its actual use as such, or, in other words, so as to render it more convenient to use it properly as a flushing apparatus than improperly as a simple open funnel to guide the water, used running from the faucet into the waste pipe. Both economy and safety as well as convenience are dependent upon such construction.
It will be found on accurately measuring the clear waterway in the outlets of the majority of lavatories now in use that when the space and function of the strainer are considered, the efficiency of the flush is very greatly reduced, and with all lavatories of the older styles having the conventional forms of basin and sink strainers the amount of waterway is not more than equal to that of a ¼inch pipe. A very short usage soon reduces this meagre opening, through the collection of sediment and lint, to a still smaller stream. The waste pipes are usually 1¼ to 1½ inches in diameter, a capacity which is given for the purpose of ensuring the safe removal of the water delivered by two supply faucets running full force, under medium or high city pressure, and escaping through the outlet and overflow passages combined, together with a possible simultaneous discharge of other adjoining fixtures entering the same waste. Now a half or three-quarter-inch stream of waste water trickling through pipes capable of delivering many times as much, fouls but does not scour them. I have taken out such waste pipes and found them more than half filled with slime and filth, and in places where the pipe ran nearly horizontal, or made sharp bends, I have found them nearly filled with the putrefying mass. No amount of ventilation can cleanse such pipes. But the sediment was soft and gelatinous, and would easily have been swept away by the powerful discharge of a basin filling the pipes "full bore."
As already described, I caused a piece of waste pipe in which coating of sediment had been collecting for a long time to be flushed by a wash basin constructed with a large outlet after removing the plug and chain basin through the use of which the sediment had been deposited. From the new basin the water rushed at the rate of about half a gallon a second. After two or three discharges it was found that almost all of the coating of greasy sediment and slime had been removed by the powerful friction of the water.
It must be borne in mind that the scouring effect of a stream of water (irrespective of its size) which fills the waste pipe "full bore" is entirely different from that which only partially fills it. The former flows with a velocity and force determined by the weight of its entire column, or under a head equal to its perpendicular length; while the latter falls without head, because the air breaks the continuity of the water column, and then the velocity and force occasioned by the head is entirely destroyed.
Now, with a very small flushing stream an S-trap becomes equivalent to a pot trap, and its fouling tendency is as great as a pot trap having a waterway bearing the same proportion to the size of its body that the contracted basin outlet bears to the body of the S-trap, and the same holds even with a straight waste pipe itself.
As the first aim and principle of sanitary engineering is to remove foul matters as rapidly and completely as possible, so, in the present connection, our first care should be to see that our fixtures are formed with outlets large enough to fill the pipes full bore in order to accomplish this result.
Had the framers of our present plumbing laws included a provision requiring all lavatories to be constructed on this principle, instead of insisting upon the worse than useless trap and branch waste ventilation, the public would have been benefited in many more ways than one. No reason is given why the laws should now continue to exist with these serious imperfections, and no good reason can be given.
It remains to be seen how soon the good sense of the public will demand their correction.
Besides the important sanitary advantage of a rapid discharge, we have others of economy and convenience. To empty an ordinary basin with contracted outlet requires a very considerable amount of time and patience. The result is that people fall into the habit of washing from the faucet rather than from the basin, and a great waste of water is involved. A quick waste and convenient method of operating and controlling it results in a saving of water and very great convenience in usage. A knowledge that a sudden discharge of a basinful of water through the pipes acts as an important sanitary measure, after the manner of a flushing tank, in cleansing them from end to end, leads to a legitimate use of the basin, and an economy of water, a consideration which the public in times of droughts will not be slow to appreciate.
A critical examination of the leading types of fixtures now in use is necessary to enable us to understand clearly what features are to be recommended, and what are to be avoided. Such a classification is also indispensable to enable us to judge at once for ourselves the merits of any fixture we may be called upon to examine. It systematizes our ideas, and in this lies its chief difference from a mere "cataloguing" of plumbers' supplies, which oftener results in confusion. From these considerations it is evident that our drawings must illustrate, not imaginary types, but those in actual use, in order to be of any practical benefit as a guide in selection, and hence we shall in most cases select some special fixture as a standard representing its class.
Classification of Requirements for Basins.
The ideal wash-basin should possess the following characteristics :
(i) It should be so formed as to permit of a discharge rapid enough to fill the waste pipe "full bore."
(2) It should have a suitable overflow without concealed or inaccessible passage.
(3) The whole of the fixture and all of its parts should be easily accessible at all times.
(4) Its outlet passage should be controlled by a mechanism requiring but a single, simple movement to operate it, and the minimum of strength or effort.
(5) It should be easy to set, and have no parts liable to clog or get out of order.
(6) Its outlet mechanism should be so constructed as to require no fitting or adjusting.
(7) It should have a minimum of surface exposed to the water used.
(8) It should be simple, durable, economical and pleasing in appearance.