No matter where you go, almost every building in the United States has interior plumbing. It’s how North Houston Area residents shower, wash clothes, flush the toilet, and so much more. Unfortunately, few of us consider how new this technology is and how inconvenient it must have been when water was not readily available. Originally, early settlers knew nothing of lead or iron pipe; instead, they built with wood. Water pipes were made of bored-out hemlock or elm logs. To properly channel the water, the trunks had to be at least 9-10 inches thick and approximately 7 ft. to 9 ft. in length. The settlers used a gravity system that started from a spring or stream higher than the town or farm. This design allowed water to flow downhill. It would cut a path to the back of the house, through the barn, and flow into a catch basin. This design also allowed for the first fire station in Boston in 1652. Fire was a common hazard because the homes were made out of wood and often had chimneys. As a result, people needed immediate access to a large water supply to put out the fires quickly and efficiently. Firefighters would punch a hole into the wooden pipe along the edge of the street, insert a smaller pipe (pre-sized to fit the newly-bored hole), and harness the hose of their fire wagon, a two-man pumper. When they put the fire out, they would plug up the hole again by banging a pre cut conical stopper on the end of a long pole. The stopper was called the “fireplug,” and a portion of the plug stuck out of the ground to mark the plug so that it could easily be removed for the next chimney fire.
These wooden pipes were a regular occurrence in most towns all over the US until the early 1800s when the cities were growing too fast for the low pressure created by the wood pipe gravity system. The increased pressure from rapidly expanding streets began to split the pipes. Consequently, people changed to galvanized iron for potable water use from the late 1800s until around 1960. After that period, copper piping took over, originally with soft copper with flared fittings; however, they later switched to rigid copper tubing utilizing soldered fittings. In some areas, people also tried lead pipes; however, after World War II, people realized the dangers of lead poisoning; however, the use of lead pipes provided the term “plumbing” because it comes from the Latin word plumbum, which means lead.
Today, we have so many options in terms of piping, from copper to galvanized steel; from PVC to PEX, and so much more. Depending on the type of home or building, when it was built, and any remodeling done to the home can determine the type of pipes used. For example, mobile homes commonly use PVC pipes because they are inexpensive, light, and easy to repair or replace. Plumbing for Commercial buildings located closer to the ocean, on the other hand, sometimes use galvanized steel. Other homes use copper or PEX piping. The greatest factors in deciding what is right for your home or commercial property are location, budget, and city requirements.
Thankfully, the plumbers at Rooterman Plumbing have the tools, knowledge, and experience to handle all your plumbing installation, repairs and maintenance. For testimonials, money saving tips, and coupons visit us on the web. When you have a problem its Rooter Man plumbers to the rescue!