This section is from the book "Plumbing Plan and Specifications", by J. J. Cosgrove. Also available from Amazon: Plumbing plans and Inspection.
OF ALL classes of buildings the home is the most important. Here the family spends most of its time, and no detail which will conduce to its convenience or comfort should be omitted. Of all details which enter into the building of a home, nothing adds so much to the comfort and welfare of the inmates as plenty of water. This necessity for plenty of running water in residences is reflected by the tendency of the times toward a bath room in connection with each sleeping-room or in connection with each suite of rooms. Where lack of space or other considerations prevent the installment of a bath room in connection with each bedroom, one bath room is made to serve two or more rooms, and in the more moderate-priced houses one bath room is made to serve for the whole family.
Where bath rooms are not provided in connection with sleeping-rooms, provision is made, where cost permits, for running water in every bedroom. With a lavatory in each sleeping-room or in a dressing-room adjoining the sleeping-room, one bath room can be made to serve very nicely for the whole family, provided there are toilet accommodations in the servants' quarters. When considering the cost of installing stationary lavatories in the various sleeping-rooms, it should be borne in mind that, if stationary lavatories are not provided, portable basins, pitchers and wash stands will be required in the furnishing of the bedrooms; and, unless the runs of pipe are particularly long and difficult, stationary lavatories will generally be found the cheaper of the two methods.
Where only one bath room is provided for a family, a good plan is to locate the water closet in a small compartment adjoining the bath room and accessible from either the bath room or the hall. By this arrangement the closet will be accessible while the bath room is in use, and, conversely, the bath room will be accessible when the closet compartment is occupied.
This requirement of separate bath-room and water-closet compartments is not necessary where there are two or more family water closets in the building, and, on account of space, it cannot always be had in buildings where there is only one bath room. The layout is worth bearing in mind, however, for use in places where it can be applied.
In the ordinary small dwelling-house there is no crying need for slop sinks, but in great rambling country homes or large city residences slop sinks scattered throughout the building on the various floors will save their cost in wear and tear on other fixtures which otherwise would become damaged by pails and other vessels used for drawing water and emptying slops. Besides, if slop sinks are not convenient on the several floors servants are liable to use lavatories, bath tubs or like fixtures in their stead, a practice which would be anything but commendable. When slop sinks are installed they may be located in closets or small rooms which serve the purpose of containing the pails, brooms, mops and other articles required by the servants in cleaning the rooms.
For the large house which contains a nursery it is well to bear in mind that there are children's fixtures which may be fitted up in a child's bath room located conveniently near. The child's closet is only 12 inches in height, and made in proportion, while the child's bath tub is set on a pedestal intended to raise the fixture a convenient height, 30 to 33 inches, for the nurses to bathe the children without discomfort. So far no lavatory has been designed for children, but they can be made on demand and are only awaiting the order. No doubt low-down fixtures designed in proportion to their height would find a ready field not only in nurseries but in foundling asylums, schools and other places where a large number of small children are housed.
A kitchen sink with a suitable drain board is the only real kitchen fixture if the hot water tank is omitted. Of course, in some kitchens the laundry tubs are likewise located there, but laundry tubs belong properly to a separate compartment - the laundry. If an ice box is to be located in the kitchen or pantry, provision should be made for carrying off the drip; but outside of such fixtures no other provision need be made in the kitchen of a residence.
If the house has a pantry, a pantry sink will be found desirable. This may be of any material, but porcelain or copper is preferred, with high goose-neck pantry cocks. Usually the cold-water pantry cocks have hose ends for attaching so-called "filters." The little reversible strainers attached to them, however, fall far short of being filters. Indeed, they are more in the nature of incubators where innumerable colonies of bacteria are cultivated, and the water is better drawn direct from the cock without passing through the strainer.