10 Intriguing Factoids about Plumbing

At Benicia Plumbing, we find factoids about our industry entertaining, so we decided to share 10 of them with our faithful blog readers. 

  1. Indoor plumbing has been with humans since long before 1829 when the Tremont Hotel in Boston became the first hotel in the country to have indoor plumbing: archeologists have uncovered a part of a water plumbing system at the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. In addition, evidence of indoor plumbing has been found in Egyptian palaces dating back to 2500 B.C.
  2. In fact, copper piping – the primary material used today in plumbing – also was used by the Egyptians to lay their own pipes.
  3. More than 28 billion feet (about 5.3 million miles) of copper piping has been installed in buildings in the U.S. since 1963. To put it in perspective, imagine a single long copper tube going around the earth 200 times.
  4. As much as it makes for a good joke and urban legend, Sir Thomas Crapper did not invent the toilet, as evidence (in addition to that mentioned above) has shown that King Minos of Crete had a flushing water closet about 2800 years ago. The first-ever patent for a flushing toilet was issued to Alexander Cummings in 1775.
  5. The “bathroom,” has had many different terms and names throughout human history and throughout different cultures. The Egyptians reportedly called it the “house of horror.” It was called the “necessarium” by the Romans. Tudor England referred to it as the “privy” or “house of privacy,” while the French have been known to refer to it as la chamber sent (“smelly house”).
  6. How long do we spend on the toilet? The average person is purported to spend a total of three years over a lifetime. Flushing the toilet consumes about 38 percent of the average U.S. household’s water usage.
  7. A typical American home wastes more than 9,000 gallons of water running the faucet while waiting for the water to heat, which means that as much as 15 percent of your annual heating costs are wasted while you heat that extra 9,000 gallons.
  8. Queen Elizabeth I also enjoyed the benefit of a flushing toilet: her godson, Sir John Harrington, built one for her in 1596 and it’s believed that the U.S. nickname for it, “the john,” comes from him.
  9. Albert Einstein is reported to have said that if he had to do it all over again, he’d become a plumber. As a result of this remark, the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union in Washington, DC, made him an honorary member and a New York plumbers’ local gave him a set of gold-plated plumbers’ tools.
  10. Install a low-flush toilet and you can save up to 18,000 gallons of water a year!

About Benicia Plumbing

At Benicia Plumbing, we are a solutions-based company, which means that every customer will always receive a comprehensive diagnosis to resolve their plumbing issues promptly and seamlessly. Your Benicia Plumbing technician will always provide you with a complete, detailed estimate before the work begins and guarantee all parts and workmanship for a full year. And finally, if there are any malfunctions within this period of time, Benicia Plumbing will always correct it promptly at no charge and fully comply with local city and state building codes.