IN discussing the many things which the sanitary plumber requires to know before he can properly sanitate a house, it is most refreshing to be able to turn to a branch of the subject which in itself is inviting, - to the subject of baths and lavatories; for I suppose no one would care to dwell for ever upon certain branches of a subject, which, though so closely connected with the purifying elements, - air, light, and water, - is not the sweetest in the world.
2. It is passing strange that a bath or lavatory, wherein we may " wash and be clean," should be so constructed that any of its parts should ever become foul. And yet scores of baths and wash-hand-basins, if they were examined in their overflow arrangements, would be found to be most repulsive. A secret overflow, where much soap is used, soon becomes corroded with decaying soapsuds; for with every desire to keep the bath and lavatory clean and wholesome, the housemaid could only wash out such pipes by allowing the bath and basin to overflow, i.e., the bath or lavatory would have to be filled up to within about two inches of the brim before the water would flow over from the secret stand-pipe into the combined overflow-pipe; and as it would still be necessary to leave the supply-cocks running for a time to cleanse such pipes, it would appear to the servant a waste of water, together with some risk of washing down a ceiling or doing some other kind of damage.
Nor would the servant have any clear idea of the necessity of such a duty, for the secret-pipes, however filthy they may have become, would be out of sight, and therefore out of mind, if not quite out of the sense of smell. The fact is, the water would not be allowed to flow through the secret overflow except by accident, and often when this occurred it would be at a time when the pipe had become so corroded with soap that it would not allow the water to flow away fast enough, and an overflow from the bath would then bring the plumber upon the scene, to disclose this soap-corroded secret-pipe in about as filthy a state as it could well be.
The bad air which would be thrown off from such pipes would pass freely enough into the room in which the bath or lavatory was fixed. A look into the interior of a secret overflow arrangement of a lavatory, and even of a bath where much scented soap had been used, would suffice to dispense with the sense of smell.
3. No matter what kind of bath may be fixed, whether copper, tinned iron, enamelled cast iron, zinc, or earthenware, both its waste-pipe and its overflow-pipe should be so arranged that no part belonging to them or to the bath itself should be able to get foul.
4. Whilst it is important that the overflow-pipe to a bath or lavatory should be equal in carrying capacity to the supply of water from both the hot and cold supply-cocks, in case they were left running by accident, the mouth of the pipe should be kept at such a height that in the ordinary use of the bath or lavatory no water or scum should flow into it, to foul it. The overflow-pipe can be so fixed to a bath that it may readily be disconnected and scalded out and cleansed when necessary. And in the case of a lavatory, the overflow can be so formed in the side of the basin, as shown in fig. 151, that it may readily be cleansed by the housemaid, either by pouring water into it or by the use of a little mop.
Fig. 151. - Lavatory with Accessible Overflow.
5. In order that the bath water might be utilized for washing out the drain, a 5 ft. 6 in. bath should be made to empty itself in two minutes, and a 2 in. waste-pipe will do this well enough, provided that the trap, waste-valve, and grated outlet of the bath are all made equal in area to the fully charging bore of a 2 in. pipe, as shown at r f j, fig. 153.
6. Instead of connecting the trap to the safe in a way for the latter to drain into it, in case of an overflow from the bath, or for the bath-waste to be turned down into its dip-pipe, as shown at m, fig. 152, the inlet of the trap should be connected directly with the bath-waste or waste-valve, as shown at R, fig. 153, or by a continuous pipe-connection, so that, in the discharge of the bath, no water, clean or otherwise, should be able to well up into the safe, or to escape outside the bath-pipe, waste-valve, trap, or waste-pipe to foul any part which could not readily be cleansed again by a flush from the bath; i.e., the bath-pipe, waste-valve, trap, and waste-pipe should all be self-cleansing.
Fig. 152. - Showing one Trap receiving Waste-Pipes from more than one fixture. bad arrangement
7. Where a bath is inclosed, it should have a lead safe fixed under it, the full size of the inclosure, inside; and the stand-up on each side should not be less than 4 in. The floor under the safe should be made to fall all ways towards the mouth of the overflow-pipe.
8. The overflow-pipe from the safe, going out preferably from one end of it, should never be connected with the bath-trap or bath-waste, but should be carried out through an external wall to discharge into the open air, as shown at y, fig. 153. Where such a pipe would empty into a street, the overflow-pipe from the bath should not discharge into the safe, bat should be connected to the outlet side of the waste-valve, in a way not to become fouled.