With the advent of modern fixtures and modern methods, the bath room of to-day may become, with a comparatively small outlay, a room of great beauty, and when it may be installed regardless of cost, it may become a place of almost marvelous beauty.
No other part of the plumbing system so fully illustrates the many advantages which the open-plumbing system has over the closed or sheathed-in system.
No one attempts to make a comparison of the old-time sheathed-in bath-room work with that of the present day, as far as beauty and artistic effect are concerned. Furthermore, the open system is far more sanitary.
Plate XIX. Bath Rooms
Connections for Bath Room
When plumbing fixtures were sheathed in, neither light nor air could circulate about them, with the result that there was constantly a musty, if not foul, odor present. The sheathing absorbed more or less moisture and filth from the careless use of the fixtures, and there was abundant opportunity for the collection of dirt in crevices and corners in the use of sheathing.
The bath room of to-day can indeed be made as clean and wholesome as the parlor.
The connections for the bath room shown in Fig. A of Plate 19 show one point of excellence which is seldom sought for by the plumber or considered by the architect or owner. Each fixture waste has a separate entrance into the soil-pipe line. When fixtures are installed under such conditions, the stoppage of one fixture can in no way affect any other fixture. It will be of interest to compare the work of Fig. A with that of Fig. B. In the latter the lavatory and bath are connected into the same trap below the floor. Without doubt this method often saves expense, but the trap - any trap, in fact - is almost certain to be stopped up at some time, and when this occurs, not only one fixture but two fixtures are affected, both remaining out of use until the trouble is repaired, and thus causing a double annoyance. In addition, the trap which serves two fixtures must become stopped more often than the trap which serves but one.
Furthermore, quite a length of waste must be run from the lavatory before it enters the trap, and the filth of the interior of this trap is bound to give off impure odors into the bath room. To prevent this result as far as possible, each trap should be placed as close to its fixture as circumstances will allow.
The work of Fig. A is free from these troubles, which arise from not entering each waste separately into the stack.
There is another serious objection to be found with the work shown in Fig. B.
The waste after leaving the drum trap, instead of being connected into a Y-branch on the soil-pipe line, is connected into the horizontal arm of the lead bend. Now, if a stoppage occurs in the lead bend, every fixture in the bath room is immediately put out of use, and the waste under these conditions often sets back into the bath tub and water closet. A less number of fittings, and doubtless less labor, is necessary in constructing such work, but if troubles of the nature mentioned do not sometimes occur, it is simply a matter of good fortune.
Usually a slight additional outlay would have made such evils unnecessary. The wiping of the waste into the lead bend is also accompanied by the liability that sharp points of solder have run through inside the bend, forming projections against which paper and other material may catch and form the starting point of a stoppage. The only favorable thing about this lead-bend connection is that in the present instance it is made on the horizontal arm rather than into the heel of the bend, where the connection would be much more likely to be followed by trouble.
It is a fact that many cities operating under strict plumbing ordinances, and maintaining a high standard of plumbing construction, allow both the lead-bend waste connection and the use of a single trap to serve the lavatory and bath. It is also strange that certain cities will allow the kitchen sink and laundry tubs to be served by a single trap, and that occasionally one of these connections is allowed and the other prohibited.
It must be acknowledged that the plumber is often at fault in allowing such connections to be made. However, it must also be stated that it is often almost impossible to gain a separate entrance for each of the three fixtures, owing to lack of working space, location of fixtures, shape and size of the room, etc.
Many times a separate entrance can be provided for the lavatory, if located near the stack, by running the waste back to the wall and using a half-S trap, as shown in Fig. A, the waste fitting coming so much above the other fittings as not to interfere in any way with the rest of the connections.
The architect could, in a great many cases, arrange his work to a great deal better advantage than he usually does.
For instance, the fixtures, with a little study, may be located in such a way that the advantages just mentioned may be obtained. The shape and location of the bath room, the location of pipes, etc., may usually be worked out so that the plumbing may be installed to the best possible advantage. It is not the good fortune of the plumber often to work from plans which show that the architect has given much consideration to, or has much knowledge of, the requirements of the plumbing system.
The plumber often finds, for instance, that in order to run the soil pipe as shown in the plans, an offset on the vertical line must be used, which is always detrimental. He also finds, especially in bathroom work, that he must cut into floor timbers and into uprights in order to conceal his work, and indeed, often cut through timbers and make use of a header to support it; whereas, if the architect knew the requirements and put this knowledge into his work, many of these difficulties might easily be avoided.