Divisions And Subdivisions

Divisions And Subdivisions 100

A printed form of specification cannot well be prepared for plumbing work. Of course, a printed form with blank spaces could be prepared, but, owing to the fact that no two installations are alike, a printed form to be applicable to all would be so cumbersome and contain so many unnecessary clauses and conditions that it would lead to confusion and, in case of a disagreement, probably cause injustice or hardship to one of the contracting parties. Even for simple installations a satisfactory blank form of specification cannot be prepared, for a specification is simply a straight-forward, simple statement of what material is to be supplied and what work is to be performed. If a blank form is prepared and made flexible enough to cover any and all installations the composite form of the specification will be had at the expense of clearness and simplicity. When a contract is to be entered into, or a specification is to be prepared, the better

Plumbing Plans and Specifications way is to consider carefully what each party to the agreement will be required to do, then, in all fairness, reduce that agreement to a formal writing. It is not only easier to prepare a written specification than to satisfactorily fill out the blank spaces of a printed form, but for all concerned it is safer. In preparing a specification, by observing a few simple rules, the task can be reduced to a simplicity that is surprising. The chief aims of the specification are clearness and completeness; and these two requirements, coupled with conciseness, can be best secured by dividing the specifications into the four principal divisions: General Conditions; Drainage System; Water Supply; Fixtures, and treating each of these general subjects separately. The work will be still further simplified by subdividing the principal subjects into their various subheadings. A simple expedient which will be found useful at all times when preparing specifications is to have a list of titles of the various conditions that must be observed, or fixtures which might be required in a building, checking off the items as they are specified, or those that are not required. This list can be added to from time to time as new items are encountered in different types of buildings, until finally a full and complete list of the various subjects that must be considered in the planning of plumbing and writing the specifications will be incorporated in the schedule. Such memoranda will be found useful not only in writing the specification, but likewise in preparing the drawings and will prevent any item being forgotten. A form containing a partial list of items, which can be added to from time to time, follows:

General Conditions

Interpretation of plans and specifications


Permits and plumbing laws

Number and location of fixtures

Superintendence and inspection

Beginning and termination of work

Changes from plans

Removal of rubbish

Temporary water-closet




Protection of work

Responsibility for damage


Removing condemned goods

Abandonment of work

Temporary water supply

Cutting and repairing


Prices for extra work


Drainage System


The house sewer

Material for drainage system

Soil pipe joints

Location of drains

Falls for drains


Supports for drainage system

Main drain trap

Fresh-air inlet

Floor drains

Yard and area drains

Rain leaders

Subsoil drainage

Tide-water traps

Connections between iron and lead pipe


System of piping

Lead pipe


Closet and slop-sink floor connections


Safe wastes

Refrigerator wastes

Grease traps

Blow-off tanks

Mechanical discharge systems

Septic tank

Filter beds

Contact beds

Disposal fields

Stall drains

Water Supply






Hydraulic rams

Water-softening apparatus

Water-supply pipes

Pressure regulators

Service pipe



Suction tank

House pump

House tank

Street sprinklers

House supply

Distributing manifolds Air chamber Hot-water tank Water heater Smoke pipe Hot-water pipes Circulation pipes Expansion loops or joints Covering pipes and tanks Temperature regulators Safety valves System of valving Drip pipes Fire lines Ice-water pipes Salt-water pipes Rain-water pipes


Water-closets Bath tubs Shower baths Lavatories Hospital lavatories Sitz baths Foot baths Bidets Child's bath Slop sinks Hospital slop sinks Pantry sinks

Laundry tubs Kitchen and scullery sinks Urinals

Drinking fountains Bathroom scales Bathroom furnishings Hydrotherapeutic apparatus Swimming pools Manicure tables and basins Operating tables

The foregoing schedule does not include everything which is liable to be required in all types of buildings, but the items will suggest anything which is not named. For instance, Fire Lines does not mention outside fire hydrants, such as would be required for a country institution, but the item recalls the necessity for fire protection, and should suggest to an imaginative mind the necessity for hydrants. In like manner the item water-heater would suggest to the mind the apparatus to be used for this purpose, whether a coal water-heater or steam coil.

When writing a plumbing specification, a good plan is to take up one of the subdivisions at a time and state all that is to be said about that particular subject before leaving it and taking up another. Never confuse two or more subjects and jump from one to the other, first stating something about one, then flying off to a second, back to the first and then off to a third. For example, if specifying the water-supply pipe for a building, treat the subject as though there would be no valves in the system, then having disposed of the water-supply pipes, take up the matter of valving under the title "System of Valving," and state explicitly the kind of valves to be used, and where each valve shall be placed. If this system is followed, confusion will be avoided both in writing and in interpreting the specifications. To make this point clear, a paragraph is here quoted from an imaginary specification, so that it can be analyzed to point out what to do to make a specification simple, concise and clear.