Interesting Facts About Plumbing

Plumbing has a long history, considering it serves a basic human function. From the invention of toilet paper to the toilet, there are many cool and neat facts out there that you should know about plumbing.

Plumbing Solutions in Lexington offers the best plumbing services, including slab under plumbing, rough-in plumbing, sewer and water installation, and trim-out plumbing. One of our specialities includes new construction residential plumbing. Below, we’ll go over some cool plumbing facts. Call us for your next plumbing repair today!


Sewer Systems Have Been Around For Thousands of Years

Sewer systems have been around for thousands of years. In fact, the first known sewer system was in the Indus River Valley civilization in India. This system dates to 4000 BC. Most of the major civilizations had some sort of sewer system. You’d have to in order to handle the sheer amount of human waste, and even though ancient peoples did not fully understand the repercussions and dangers of having human waste mix with the water system, it’s intuitive enough that they knew they needed to whisk it away.

Evidence of indoor plumbing was found in ancient Egypt around one of the Great Pyramids, the Pyramid of Cheops, which was built around 2500 BC. Copper piping has been found dating to ancient Egypt as well. Today, copper piping is one of the most popular materials used to make plumbing pipes. However, the ancient Romans had everyone beat when it came to ancient sewer systems. They invented many things, and transporting waste efficiently was one of them. Granted, much of the waste was just swept into rivers and streams, but it was a start. The Romans began simply by constructing slightly sloping streets so the rain water would wash away waste in the streets. However, that wasn’t working the best, so they embarked on what they called “The Cloaca Maxima,” which is Latin for “great sewer,” in the 7th century BC.

Precursor to the Toilet: The Chamber Pot

The chamber pot is the precursor to the toilet. A chamber pot is basically a pot first made out of clay that people would use to go to the bathroom in, predominantly at night. Then, in the morning, the pot would be hauled out and dumped in nearby fields, streams, or other areas away from the home. The idea is nothing new; it has been around since at least the time of the ancient Greeks in the 6th century BC. The chamber pot (which has many names, depending on what culture you are in) kept people from having to make a long walk when it was cold outside to use the restroom.

The Invention of the Toilet

For most of us in the 21st century, we’d rank the invention of the toilet as one of the best inventions ever. The percentage of people who agree with this goes up as the climate gets colder. The first flushable toilet was invented in 1596 by Sir John Harington in England. A valve would release water from a tank. He was the godson to Queen Elizabeth I. The flushable toilet did not catch on; however, the nickname “the John” is from Harington.

It would take almost 300 years for another Englishman named Thomas Crapper to successfully improve upon the design (he used a siphon system) market the toilet to the masses before it became an essential component of every bathroom. “The Crapper” is another name for the toilet taken from its inventor. One fun fact you can throw out to people: the toilet is flushed the most times in a year at halftime of the Super Bowl.

The Invention of Toilet Paper

Before toilet paper, what did people use to clean themselves up? Why, whatever was available. In the woods, this would be rocks, sticks, leaves, corncobs, and wood. It was the Chinese who first used paper as toilet paper in the 6th century AD, but this idea did not catch on for well over a millennium. Fast forward to the nineteenth century, and people discovered that the Sears Catalog was great for toilet paper. It was free, and it was large, lasting a long time. Finally, in 1857, Joseph Gayetty sold medicated paper made of hemp and aloe. In 1890, this paper was put on a roll, and then improvements kept being made until we have toilet paper in its current form. On average, Americans use about 23.6 rolls of toilet paper per person. Also, the average person spends approximately three years of their life sitting on the toilet.


Plumbing Solutions in Lexington’s mission is to offer the highest-quality plumbing in the most professional manner. We do this through having a fanatical dedication to our clients, by always putting them first, and by following standard installation practices. Our quality control team ensures that all of our plumbing installations and repairs are up to our standards, and all of our service agreements are in writing, including our warranties. We offer upfront pricing, so you won’t be surprised, and we are licensed and insured. Furthermore, we are perpetually training our employees so that we keep up with the latest in plumbing technology.

If you are looking for a local plumber in Lexington who not only offers the best plumbing services, such as slab under plumbing and trim-out plumbing, but also offers the best in customer service, then give Plumbing Solutions a call today!

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