What Are Plumbing Fixtures?
Plumbing fixtures: What are they?
If you ask anyone what a plumbing fixture is, they will most likely answer a faucet. In fact, before writing this article, that’s what I thought too! However, imagine my surprise when I learned that, in a general sense, a plumbing fixture could be any device connected to a plumbing system and interacting with water (whether it’s supplying water or draining it).
Each plumbing fixture is designed for a specific use. While the basic construction of many of them is the same, the use and design may be different; depending on the device, they may be practical or decorative and usually designed to serve the same function.
The Most Common Fixtures In The Home: Bathtubs
A bathtub is a large container filled with warm or hot water and allows a person to take a bath while fully immersed. Modern tubs are made of fibreglass and acrylic, but more expensive and often more durable tubs are made of enamel, cast iron, steel, and luxury water-resistant wood.
The tub is usually in the bathroom and often has a shower head that allows a person to stand in the tub and take a shower, which gives the regular tub more versatility.
Most modern bathtubs have an overflow, drain and taps (faucets) to help draw and drain water – in the past, water was often heated in the kitchen and poured into the tub in buckets. With the development of manufacturing technology, the number and variety of baths offered have increased. The most common bathtubs are:
- Western-style bathtubs: These are the modern bathtubs found in most homes. They are long and usually quite slim and allow you to immerse yourself in the water fully. They are usually mounted to the wall and covered by a vanity unit, so the plumbing is not visible.
- Oriental-style bathtubs: shorter and deeper than Western bathtubs, allowing you to bathe standing up.
- Clawfoot Bathtub: This late 19th-century luxury item is the predecessor of the modern bathtub. While antique clawfoot tubs are made of cast iron, modern clawfoot tubs are made of modern materials, such as acrylic, and therefore cost less. Clawfoot tubs usually hold more water than standard tubs and are designed to stand alone without requiring a vanity or fixture. They add a certain elegance to any bathroom.
- Whirlpool tubs: Many new homes install whirlpool tubs. They are often designed for two people and have jets that release air (or sometimes water) to provide a relaxing massage. They are usually larger than a standard bathtub but require cabinets. They are usually mounted to the wall. To correct estimate of plumbing cost for new construction read this article.
- Hot tub: Essentially, a hot tub is a very large tub that seats up to 8 people. It is usually installed outdoors and maintains a constant water temperature (usually around 98 degrees Fahrenheit). A hot tub can use the same water for three months or more, even with chemicals and filters in the winter. Hot tubs can come in a variety of configurations, with different types of jets and seats.
Sinks: Kitchen, Bath and Utility Sinks
A sink is a bowl-shaped plumbing fixture usually used to wash hands, dishes, and other small items (including my Toy Terrier!). Often referred to as a sink, there are usually several sinks in every home. To install sinks in kitchen or any possible place you can call plumber in Etobicoke area.
The sink has a faucet (or faucets) that supplies hot and cold water and sometimes with a sprayer that provides a steady, strong stream of water. Sinks usually have a drain and sometimes built-in soap dispensers.
Sinks often clog due to debris, soap, and dirt that get stuck in the pipes; the clog can often be cleared out yourself, although you may need to call a professional plumber in extreme cases. Sinks come in many shapes and kinds. The most common are:
- Self-retracting sinks: These are often used in kitchens and are installed in a “hole” cut into the countertop. They hang over the rim, and when properly installed, the seal between the sink and countertop is maintained.
- Bottom-mount sinks: These sinks are clamped under the countertop, so the opening must have a finished edge. It is usually more difficult to ensure that the seal is watertight. Bottom-mount sinks cost more (including the extra cost of “finishing” the opening) but are considered more modern and stylish than self-flush sinks.
- Solid surface sinks: Modern techniques allow sinks to be made from the same material as the countertop and bonded together, providing a seamless connection between the countertop and sink; some are made from stainless steel and welded in place.
- Butler sink: These are commonly found in bathrooms and are rectangular sinks with a rounded rim that fits into a wooden countertop or wooden surface. They are smaller than kitchen sinks.
- Freestanding sink: These sinks are finished on all sides, and usually, the sink is mounted on a “leg” or piece of furniture. These are the most adaptable sinks, allowing for a wide variety of designs. Often they do not include any storage under the sink. In my experience, these sinks are more difficult to maintain (especially when clearing clogs) because the plumbing is often on a very small “leg,” and you have to disassemble the entire sink to get to the plumbing.
Toilets: Lou, Swamp, John, Toilet, etc.
A toilet is probably the most important plumbing fixture of all unless you are a nature lover and like to spend time in the woods! A modern toilet is a flush system that transfers the waste to a septic tank or municipal sewer system.
A toilet is one of the most complex plumbing devices with a complex system to refill the tank used for flushing, complicated plumbing to ensure proper waste flow, and the most confusing element of all – the humble toilet lid – men around the world still have not figured out how to use it properly! Don`t forget discuss shut off valve location with plumber. The ability to quickly shut off the water in a home can save thousands of dollars worth of property. If you already have a central shutoff valve, read our article on how to turn off water to house.
There are many forms of the toilet bowl, the most common being:
- Flush toilet: This is simply a toilet that lets you sit while you “walk” and then flushes the waste. Modern toilets have flush systems designed to reduce water consumption. Although these are the most common toilets in modern society, they have humble beginnings dating back to the “holes in the stone” in ancient Greece.
- Urinals: These are designed to allow people to stand up and “pee”-usually not installed in homes, but more commonly found in public places. Their design can range from one urinal for one man to one long urinal for several men. As many men can attest, they are very useful and can be extraordinarily fun-I’ve even seen some with targets painted on them!
- Dry toilets are frequently used as portable toilets at rock concerts, construction sites, and other events. They’re useful where there isn’t access to water since it’s the goal: all the waste goes into a large “pit” through a “hole.” The pit contains chemicals to enhance decomposition and long-term use of the toilet.
- High-tech toilets: Today’s newfangled toilets have automatic flushing, often with automatic cleaning, and sometimes even water jets that “clean” your organs (similar to a bidet). Some toilets even check your blood pressure, body temperature, and blood sugar levels. I’ve even heard that interactive toilets allow you to play games as you go. Purpose plays an important role here!
The typical shower has remained virtually unaltered since the late 19th century. A shower is a simple plumbing device that uses a nozzle to squirt hot (or cold) water in the direction of a standing person. The form of the nozzle can be modified to produce various effects and pressures, but the basic idea remains intact.
The shower can be part of a bathtub or a separate stall. The standard shower types are:
- Water showers: the standard shower, common in most households, showers with one (or more nozzles). It uses the water pressure in the house to move the water.
- Electric shower: as with water showers, it uses an on-demand heating system to provide an instant hot shower. Some of the more expensive electric showers can also increase the pressure of the water jet.
- Air Shower: Not common in households, this shower uses a pressurized stream of air to blow extra dust off people — mostly used in “clean rooms.”
- Steam Shower: An inexpensive version of a water shower that directs steam around a person’s body.
- Bucket shower: An outside shower in which cold water flows out of a bucket through a small hole.
- Beach Shower: Usually, a simple faucet from cold water pours over a person to help wash away the sand.
Faucets, faucets and taps
A faucet is a plumbing fixture with many uses in the home and beyond. It is essentially a valve used to control the flow of water (and other substances such as beer, gas, etc.).
Faucets are very common fixtures used in the home, and not just for plumbing – the most common faucets are: faucets vary from country to country – for example, in Canada. Usually, two taps are connected to one “outlet” so that the flow and temperature of the water can be controlled; older homes will have separate taps for hot and cold water.
- Water taps: They allow you to pour hot and cold water into a sink or bathtub. Water taps come in many shapes and sizes, and some are even electrically operated. In my experience, it’s worth spending a little more money to buy quality faucets and faucets, as they are the most frequently used plumbing fixtures in the home and tend to have the highest breakage rate.
- Faucets: Often in the home, a faucet that allows you to shut off the entire water flow is an important part of home plumbing. Often there are shut-off taps near toilets, etc., so that you can quickly shut off the flow of water to prevent spills.
- Other taps: you can find taps on beer kegs and gas equipment. These taps are essentially the same as water taps and control the flow of liquid or gas on the same principle.