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When were the first known plumbing fixtures found?

Plumbing was not a common usage until health concerns and the rise of the modern cities in the 19th century, but there have been some recorded plumbing in the Indus Valley Civilization from 2300 B.C. In the ancient roman civilization, lead pipes had inscriptions which warned against water theft. Typically the bathhouses would use the piper to bring heated water throughout the various baths, and remove sewage and human waste from the city. Aqueducts were the primary method of bringing potable water into the city. The 19th century was when the cesspools and open waste canals proved to be a heavy contributor to public health problems. From that point on swage received its own dedicated line and was handled as a public health problem. Plumbing therefore has a very short history, but has been innovated as time goes on. Pressure regulation is a major concern as will keeping the system in tact with the proper temperature, consistency and chemical properties for highly technical situations.

What are the common materials used in connection with the various plumbing systems?

In the ancient world pipes were commonly mad of clay, lead, bamboo or stone. This worked, but it required a lot of upkeep and for that reason metals, plastics, and thermoplastics were quickly adopted as they were developed. In the modern day a vast network of high pressure pumps and pipes are commonly made of copper, brass, plastic, and concrete as well as other nontoxic materials. Venting lines are run with alternative materials because the purity is not in question, so plastic, steel, cast-iron, and lead are commonly used for their endurance and minimal upkeep. Most of the time these pipes are made by casting them metal into a form that produces replications of the original model, but other times they are made by simple welding of various pieces together. Tubes are decided different from the pipes due to their alternative manufacturing process. The mode of extrusion is used to create highly uniform tubes that can be used in technical situations.

What does it mean when a plumbing fixture is said to have male or female fittings?

The plumbing system is held together by tightly fitted pipes with specific threading. The threading is the direction and location of the spiraling grooves that allow something to screw together. The location is what delineates whether a fitting is male or female. If the fitting is on the inside, or the liquid side of the pipe, then the fitting is considered female. If the fitting is on the outside of the pipe, around the exterior of the pipe or fixture, it is considered to have a male fitting. This may seem trivial but it is an important part of machining the tools/pipes to be sure that they interlock and form a solid barrier. Plumber’s tape is also generally applied to a fitting to be sure that there are two barriers to prevent osmosis out of the seam, beyond a well cranked fit. These two methods ensure that besides welding, you have a flawless seam, up to a certain pressure threshold. The fitting is important when mapping out the various connections that occur. Between a pipe and a hose there is a barb. The barb has a male end that fits into the hose and is wedged in place. The barb’s other end, the portion that connects to the pipe, may be either male or female depending on the specific barb. However, gender neutral piping and fixtures are available, they are generally considered wasteful, because there is no reason to tool both the interior and exterior of a pipe if it is only going to be assembled on one or the two surfaces. It is therefore important in any plumbing configuration that you note the diameter in a specific scale, metric or American standard, and the fitting that is required. For hoses the barb is always male, but a clamp is generally assembled past the barb that latches the remaining hose down onto the barb. Clamps are especially prevalent in automotive hosing, but generally piping fits together with specific fittings.

 

 

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