Intro to Plumbng Fixtures and Appliances

Home | Wiring | Plumbing | Kitchen/Bath

Here is a simple guide to repair and installation of a sink, bathtub, toilet, shower, garbage disposer, dishwasher, or washing machine. Maybe you plan to install and insulate a new water heater: Or perhaps you want to know more about solar water heating systems.

Over the last century, improvements in plumbing fixtures and appliances have made our lives safer and less complicated, Yet many of the designs themselves have be come more and more complex, At least the appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, have become more complex. They are a veritable maze of automatic timers, pumps, valves, switches, and pipes. The performance and quality of these devices aren't covered by building or plumbing codes, but competition among manufacturers has encouraged steady progress over the years. When selecting appliances, compare as many as possible, Talk to friends and relatives about their experiences with the reliability and durability of various brand names. And check what the current consumer publications have to say about them.

Do not pay a lot of extra money for added complexity if you don’t need it—it is a waste in more ways than one. For instance, if you are the kind of person who divides all your dirty clothes into two piles (white and other), you don’t need 23 different fabric and temperature settings on the washer. The extra settings not only cost more in the initial investment, but they also require additional parts that can malfunction. There are very few repairs that you can make yourself on these kinds of appliances. So it pays you to purchase the simplest machine that will do the job you want done.

Fixtures and Your Health

Plumbing fixtures—toilets, bathtubs, showers, and sinks— have also been improved steadily over the years. Be cause these are located at the end of the clean water supply system and the beginning of the wastewater drain system and because they influence everyone’s health and well-being, building and plumbing code standards control their design and quality. The code requires that plumbing fixtures be made of high-quality materials without defects of any kind. The outer surfaces must be smooth, easy to clean, and nonabsorbent. The inside surfaces must be smooth and free from any ridges, nooks, or crannies that could collect waste material.

Fixtures that meet the code are made of vitreous china, porcelainized or enameled cast iron or stamped steel, stainless steel, and some plastics. The plastics are confined to gray-water fixtures like bathroom sinks, tubs, and showers. Black-water fixtures, like toilets and kitchen sinks, must be made of the other impervious materials. However, a standard for plastic toilet tanks and bowls is being developed, and many plastic toilet tanks are al ready in use. Fixtures that are constructed on the site out of tile or other materials, are regulated by a separate section of the code and must be approved by an inspection at various stages of their installation.

Plumbing fixtures must always be located in rooms that are adequately ventilated. If there is no window or the window can't provide the ventilation required by code, a duct and fan must be installed. Usually such a fan is connected to the light switch so the fan is always on when the room is in use.

Codes also require a minimum number of fixtures for each one- or two-bedroom residence. The minimum for any living unit is one toilet, one lavatory (bathroom sink), one bathtub or shower, one kitchen sink, and provision for the installation of a washing machine. Additional bathrooms or half-baths are required for additional bedrooms-the number varies with local codes.

Another part of many fixtures that's regulated by code is the overflow, which prevents flooding over the rim of the fixture. Bathroom sinks and bathtubs are the most common fixtures with overflows, although some of the newer lavatories are being designed without them.

Plumbing fixtures and appliances influence your health and well-being, so choose and maintain them well.

The code does not require overflows, but it regulates how they work. An overflow passage, whether it's built into the wall of the fixture or connected to the drain by a pipe, must empty completely. No water may remain in the overflow system at any time; the waste pipe must be designed so water never rises into the overflow. And the overflow passage or pipe must connect to the drain on the fixture side of the trap. Connecting it on the other side of the trap would make the trap useless.

A WORD OF WARNING: A cross connection is a configuration of plumbing that connects the potable water supply system to a source of contaminated water, No one, of course, would knowingly make this sort of connection, but they are often made accidentally. The most common cross connections are made with a hose. For example. a garden hose connected to a faucet may be left with its end lying in a fish pond or in a puddle of standing water. An indoor plant-watering hose connected to a sink faucet or the spray-hose attachment on a kitchen faucet assembly or in a bathtub can make a cross connection if it's left lying in a sink or tub of dirty water.

Air Gap and Why It’s Necessary: The most common way the air gap between supply and drain water is dissolved is with a hose connected to a faucet and left lying in a tub of dirty water or in a fish pond or puddle outdoors. If supply water pressure should drop suddenly, contaminated water can be sucked through the hose into the water supply system.

Virtually all sinks, toilets, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures and appliances are now manufactured according to most plumbing code regulations, and it’s not likely that you will make a cross connection by installing any of them. However, this wasn’t always the case, and it's possible that cross connections exist in older installations. If the flush valve in your toilet is below the water level when the tank is filled or if the nozzle of a faucet is below the rim of a sink or tub, you have a cross connection that should be corrected. Plumbing codes now insist on at least one inch of vertical space between a faucet and the rim of the fixture it serves.

A cross connection doesn’t necessarily contaminate the water supply, However, the potential for contamination is there if the pressure in the water supply system should drop below atmospheric pressure. Then the contaminated water would be sucked into the supply system and be in the pipes ready to go into your glass the next time you turn on the water for a drink.

Another source of contamination in a water supply system is an underground leak. As long as the pressure in the supply line is higher than the pressure of the groundwater, the leak continues. A drop in pressure, however, could cause the groundwater to be sucked into the system through the hole in the pipe.

Overflow Drains: Overflow; Lavatory drain passage; Bathtub; Overflow pipe; Overflow drain; Overflow; Lavatory drain; Bathtub.


Thursday, February 27, 2020 11:58 PST