The cheapest serviceable bath fittings are a Double Cock and Connected Waste and Overflow. These are shown in Fig. 10. Bell Supply and Waste fittings, a special type of which is shown in Fig. 11, are singularly popular, the water being retained by a ring valve attached at the bottom of the overflow pipe, and operated by means of a knob projecting above and through the top of the waste standpipe. This takes the place of the ordinary plug and chain used with the simple overflow. The supplies are made and fitted in combination with the waste arrangement, with the valve handles projecting above the rim of the bath, the two supplies being delivered into a common yoke-piece, where they mix and flow through a common passage to the bell-piece fitted through the vertical wall near the bottom of the bath. With the usual slotted-bell delivery, these fittings are a nuisance in one respect. Water cannot be drawn into a vessel through the bell for any ulterior purpose; and as no vessel of considerable capacity can be filled at the lavatory faucets, or at a sitz or a foot bath, the sink faucets are the only resort unless a slop sink is available. Nozzle-delivery bells, which afford some relief in this respect, are made; and hand sprays used in conjunction with them avoid the expense of special shower fixtures, which would otherwise be essential if shower or spray were desired at all.
Fig. 8. Showing Central Location of Fittings and Waste Outlet in Roman Bathtub..
Fig. 9. Standard Double Bath Cock.
Courtesy of Federal-Huber Company Chicago.
A modification of these fittings, termed "Top-Nozzle Supply and Waste"(Fig. 12), overcomes this objection to the strictly "Bell Supply" type. It has a high nozzle delivery projecting into the tub, and is fitted for spray attachment. The inward projection is much less than with a double cock, which, in a short bathtub, would occupy much needed space. The noise of falling water, obviated with the bell placed low, is the same as with the double cock; and the mixing space, intermediate between that of a cock and the regular bell delivery.
An element of danger is inherent in a bell-supply outlet placed so low down as to be submerged when the tub is in use. If the supply is opened when the tub contains dirty water, and the pressure of water is lowered by accident or by opening faucets elsewhere, it is quite possible that the fouled water will be drawn back through the bell or nozzle into the supply pipes, thus, perhaps, contaminating the water for domestic use. For this reason, cocks which discharge near the top edge of the fixture, are being more frequently used as the faults of the bell fittings are well recognized. For private use, where both children and adults are to be regularly served, the bathtub is the only fixture answering the requirements. As the physical conditions of the members of the family are, or should be, mutually known, and the tub will be regularly cleansed between baths, any possible chance of communicating humors of the skin through the bath can be guarded against. For institutions and general public use, the tub bath is open to serious objections, some of which apply as well to private use. The water for a tub bath is at its best when first drawn into the tub; and the person, before bathing, is certainly in condition to pollute it more or less. As the bathing process nears completion, these conditions are exactly reversed. Tubs used by the public may not be carefully cleansed between times of use, and the bather is ignorant of the condition both of the tub and of the person who used it previously. In institutions for the insane and feeble-minded, unscrupulous attendants have been known to bathe several persons in the same water. Large pools are better, but still not ideal; nor are they always suitable or practicable.
Fig. 10. Common Type of Double Cock and Connected Waste and Overflow ..
Shower Baths. Shower or rain baths are commonly installed in barracks, gymnasiums, and schools, and are no longer unusual in private dwellings. Some of the objections to the tub bath, which have been stated, are entirely avoided by the shower fixture with its supply of running water.
Those who have studied the hygienic effects produced by the action of jets or streams on the surface of the body, urge very strongly that the impact results in stimulating the proper action of the skin. This is the opinion of most persons who have had experience with such apparatus.
The older forms of showers, which direct the water vertically upon the head of the bather, are not so desirable as those in which the outlet is inclined and placed at about the level of the shoulders, thus avoiding wetting the head unless desired. Indeed, all the essentials of a bath of this form are met by a water-supplied rubber tube discharging at about the level of the waist over a tight floor or pan provided with a drain. Aside from the shower baths that may be provided in conjunction with a bathtub, one type of which is shown in Fig. 13, many designs are fitted to floor-pans, called receptors, usually having a curtain, as in Fig. 14, thus providing for private installations a great variety of complete showering and spraying appointments. The receptors may be enameled iron, porcelain, or marble. A cement or asphalt floor, sloping to a drain, is simple and effective.
Fig. 11. Bell Supply and Waste Fittings..