Some toilet facilities are necessary for the workmen while engaged in erecting the building, and temporary closet accommodations are always provided for in the specifications for large installations, unless the temporary accommodations have been provided for before the plumbing contract is let. Ordinarily one water closet or its equivalent in a range closet will be sufficient for each fifteen men engaged on the building. The location and manner of connecting the temporary closets to the drainage system are so much a matter peculiar to each installation that no further information regarding them can be given.
Architects often unreasonably assume that because they have specified certain work to be installed, without stating in detail how the work is to be done, but have inserted a salvation clause to the effect that "all work must be done to the satisfaction of the architect," materials not shown on the plans or called for in the specifications, either specifically, or by implication as obviously necessary to the completion of the work, must be provided to fulfil the contract. Such a position is unwarranted and unreasonable. Under the salvation clause mentioned, any work actually specified can be made to conform to the architect's satisfaction, provided the unusual is not exacted.
For instance, if extra heavy soil pipe be specified for the vertical stacks of soil, waste and vent pipes which are shown run exposed, and nothing is said as to what make of soil pipe shall be used, any merchantable grade of pipe will comply with the requirements of the specifications. Of course, there is a vast difference in appearance between different makes of soil pipe. The product of some manufacturers is straight, smooth and of the very best workmanship, while that of other manufacturers is rough and not of such good quality.
It is customary in writing plumbing specifications to state that the pipe "shall be sound, cylindrical and smooth, free from sand holes, cracks and other defects," but in the absence of any such clause the architect would not be justified in condemning work and requiring the substitution of a better quality of pipe or the filing and sandpapering of that already in, because it is exposed and he wants the work to present a smooth, attractive appearance. If any such unusual requirement was in the architect's mind, and was to be enforced, it should have been stated in the specifications, and if it was not, any good quality of pipe would comply with the wording of the specifications. Further, no salvation clause can read materials into a specification that are not specifically or by implication called for. To illustrate: in the foregoing example of soil, waste and vent stacks, if thimbles are not shown on the drawing nor called for in the specifications where the pipes pass through walls and partitions, nor escutcheons required at floors, ceilings and walls, such materials would not be required according to the correct interpretation of the plans and specifications, and to insist on them being installed as part of a contract, on the ground that the work must be done to the satisfaction of the architect, is reading an element into the plans and specifications which does not really exist; and is an injustice to the contractor as well as dishonest in the architect or engineer. The rule is that any-work called for or materials specified must conform to the standard for such work. Interpreting a salvation clause strictly as it should be interpreted gives that much and no more authority to the architect. Insisting that the work specified conform to his satisfaction does not give the architect power to insist on work not specified, and require that it be up to the standard of the work actually specified.
Honesty and fair dealing must obtain between architect and contractor, if both are to be satisfied and successful in their respective callings. If the plumbing contractor is constantly trying to misconstrue provisions in the specifications into some advantage to himself, it will not be long before his name will be dropped from the roll of eligibles in the various architects' offices. The architect, on the other hand, if he exact more than his plans and specifications call for, on the ground that he will withhold payment until his unreasonable demands are complied with, will soon find that contractors have learned his work is not worth having and will refuse to estimate on his contract.
When such a state of affairs comes about the architect will find himself in the position of a couple of big institutions in the country where, for fear they will secure the work, all contractors double the cost of the estimate and add from 50 to 100 per cent. for profit. It is needless to say that the institutions spoken of pay for their plumbing work more than double what a like amount and quality would cost fair-dealing individuals.