The contractor shall have inserted in the water main, in the street indicated on the basement plan, one l 1/4-inch tap, which shall be connected to the service pipe by means of 3 feet of double extra-strong lead pipe. All that portion of the service pipe buried in the earth shall have one heavy coat of pitch, tar or paint.

The sentence in the description of the water supply that ' 'the water-supply system throughout the building shall be of galvanized wrought pipe with galvanized malleable fittings" sufficiently takes care of the material of the service pipe, so that would not have to be touched upon again, and under the title "System of Valving" the statement "there shall be a 1 1/2-inch roundway stop cock, fitted with a long handle, located inside a cast-iron extension curb box at the curb, and a l 1/2-inch gate valve with a §-inch drip valve, located just inside the foundation wall," would take care of the curb cock and valves, and at the same time give more definite information about these points. The pressure regulator is an apparatus, and, with the accompanying pressure gauge, should be separately treated under the subheading of ' 'Pressure Regulator." It will thus be seen that, by uprooting the several tangled subjects and placing each in its proper place, the description becomes not only-simpler and easier to write, but clearer and easier to understand. To prepare a good plan and write a satisfactory specification the designer must be perfectly familiar with the various materials which will enter into the work. The object is to get the very best installation at the least possible cost, and to do so he must know the various grades of goods and be familiar with the various improvements in faucets, valves and apparatus, so that he can select the best suited to the purpose in each case and not be driven to the expedient of specifying the best and most expensive goods for installations when regular stock goods would answer the purpose as well. The designer should be so well posted in the various goods and know so well which are best for each case that he can specify the exact goods wanted. In doing so it is better to select two or three similar grades of goods, any of which will be acceptable, and specify that the material called for shall be one of the makes mentioned, than to call for one make of goods as a standard, or something "equally good." For instance, it is better to state that "all valves used in connection with the water supply shall be Fairbanks, Crane's or Jenkins Brothers's soft seat heavy pattern cast-brass globe valves with wooden handles," than to say the "valves shall all be Jenkins Brothers's soft seat heavy pattern cast-brass globe valves, with wooden wheels, or equally good." In the first case, the designer knows the quality of the three makes specified and, while allowing opportunity for fair competition, assures himself that in any event a satisfactory make of valve will be used. In the second case the door is opened for the substitution of inferior, light-weight or otherwise unsatisfactory goods, without the benefit of competition, or, on the other hand, stifles competition, for the clause "or equally good" leaves it in the designer's power to object that no valve submitted is equally good, thereby insisting on having Jenkins Brothers's valves used. To protect himself, therefore, a careful estimator will take that into consideration and figure on that make of goods, while other contractors may estimate on the goods specified as a standard, depending later on substituting "equally good" valves if permitted. That is a form of specification often used where favorites are intended to get the work. Any outsider securing the contract would have to install the standard goods specified, while favorites can rely on substituting the "equally good." When a fair, impartial specification is desired the alternative of two or more equal grades of goods is the better plan to follow. The best plan in specifying fixtures for ordinary work is to call for one make of goods without alternative. All estimators are then put upon the same footing and figure on an equally good installation. In very large installations the best plan is to select two makes of goods of similar quality, and specify them as alternatives. In selecting the fixtures however care must be exercised to see that the goods are exactly of the same quality, not specifying them because they look alike and are of the same list price. For instance, one make of closet might be almost noiseless in action, while another very similar in appearance and of the same price would be extremely noisy. It stands to reason that in such a case equal grades of goods would not be selected. In specifying fixtures and special apparatus, such as pumps, filters and hydraulic rams, some articles are so much better suited than others to the installation under consideration that there should be no hesitancy in specifying them without reserve. Manufacturers who place upon the market a line of goods of such excellence that they command public confidence are entitled to have their goods mentioned as the only ones acceptable when in the estimation of the designer they are the best for the purpose. Some hesitate to do this for fear of being charged with favoritism, and make the error of specifying certain fixtures, "or equally good." If, however, in the judgment of the designer, fixtures of a certain character are what he believes suitable for a certain installation, he should specify them by catalogue number and without alternative. His client, in placing the work in his hands, has signified perfect confidence in his judgment and integrity, and these he should exercise to the best of his ability. Having specified certain goods, for the reason that they are the best for that purpose, no alteration or substitution should be permitted. This is not to be interpreted as meaning that new materials and apparatus are not to be given a trial, for if such a principal were followed there would be no progress in sanitary matters. What is meant is, that the plumbing in a building having once been planned and specified to the best of a designer's ability, not to change the drawings or specifications to try something new just then being floated on the market. If the new article promises well, keep it in mind and, if so inclined, try it in the next installation where it will be suitable. By this method the new goods will be in mind when making the drawings and writing the specifications, which can be prepared accordingly. By following this plan there will be no danger of mixing up the specifications by altering them and thus open the door for vexatious extras.

The chief fault of most plumbing specifications lies in the fact that they are indefinite, and leave the contracting plumber to work out problems which should have been settled by the designer and the solution inserted in the plans and specifications. For instance, in a specification recently prepared by a sanitary engineer the following paragraph was incorporated:

"Ample Water Supply to Fixtures: All water closets and other plumbing fixtures must be provided with an ample supply of water for proper flushing and to keep them in a cleanly condition."

Instead of requiring "an ample supply to all fixtures," the designer should be more specific. He is in possession of data as to the source and pressure of water, and from this knowledge should calculate the sizes of pipes, both mains and fixture branches. Having calculated and specified the various sizes of pipe he knows that the fixtures will have ample supplies, and relieves the contractor of the responsibility of calculating the sizes and doing work which rightly belongs to the designer. The main thing is to be specific. For instance, instead of requiring an ample supply of water to fixtures, state that the supply to lavatories shall be 1/2-inch, to bath tubs 3/4-inch, and to closet 1/2-inch, or whatever other sizes the conditions warrant.

In the same specification also appeared the following paragraph:

"Expansion: Due allowance shall be made for the expansion of horizontal and vertical hot and circulation pipes throughout the building, and precaution taken against damage therefrom."

That is a very vague and indefinite statement to estimate on, and again places upon the contractor the burden of devising satisfactory means. The proper way is to calculate at what points expansion loops will be required, then mark the locations on the plans, show details of them, and cover in the specifications what cannot be shown in the drawings. At all events, the designer should do his own work, not pass it along to the contractor.

To briefly sum up, if specifications are to insure a good, full and complete installation, without extras, and are to provide for fair competition, taken in connection with the plans, they must be complete and clear. If they are incomplete, vague, indefinite, ambiguous or capable of more than one construction, the door is opened to favoritism, disputes, high prices and charges for extra work.

To insure fair competition the specifications must be worded so the bidders will estimate on exactly the same things; nothing should be left to the discretion of the architect, and the contractor should not be required to assume any risks for unknown conditions incident to the work.

A condition which appears in most specifications and which is a condition of weakness, as it does not insure what it calls for, is the clause that "all work and material shall be first class in every respect"; and the sooner the truth about the matter is realized the better for all concerned.

The architect or designer gets no better work and material than he specifically shows and calls for, if he shows a poorly planned and badly laid out system with inadequate water main and other defects of design, the contractor has complied with his contract when he has installed the work accordingly, although it is not a first class job, nor can he be made make it first class under the terms of his contract.

On the other hand, if the work is well proportioned, properly laid out, the right kind of materials specified and the plumber required to put the work together in such a manner that no tool marks or other abrasions will show, then the architect will secure a first class job, although the words were not mentioned in the specifications. This all comes back to the point that it is the man who lays-out and designs the work who determines the quality. If the planning is not first class, nothing the plumbers or contractors can possibly do will bring it within that class. Sometimes an architect specifies that "all goods shall be the best of the several kinds", then calls for a certain fixture without specifying whether it shall be an A quality, B quality or C quality. Under the terms of such a specification a fixture of either grade would fill the requirement, provided it was one of the best of that class. For instance, if a porcelain tub were called for under such a clause, a B or C tub would fill the bill, provided it was the best B or C tub that could be procured. Such a specification is loose in the extreme. It should state specifically whether A, B or C goods are wanted. In the absence of such a statement different contractors, according to the lights, will figure on the different grades.