Plumbing is a type of system that moves fluids. We use plumbing in modern life for water sources (drinking water and showering) as well as removing waterborne waste.
Plumbing has a rich history beginning with the Egyptians and the Romans. This article will break down the history of plumbing and answer the question when was indoor plumbing invented and by who.
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When Was Indoor Plumbing Invented? Origins of Plumbing
The word plumbing comes from the Latin word plumbum, which means lead. The Romans used lead pipes when creating their plumbing systems. Romans were the second group of people to work on creating plumbing systems.
The Egyptians began plumbing with copper pipes back in 2500 BC, but they primarily created irrigation systems. The Romans brought aqueducts, fountains, and baths to their society. They also upgraded from copper pipes to lead pipes. People who specialize in plumbing are called plumbers.
Plumbers specialize in fixing the plumbing system when problems arise as well as installing plumbing fixtures.
A Brief History Of Plumbing
Pioneers of Modern Plumbing
19th Century Plumbing
Modern Day Plumbing: What Have We Achieved
There are so many new modern day plumbing advancements that help homeowners live more comfortable lives. From tankless water heaters to greywater systems, modern day plumbing gives us the ability to enjoy our home.
Tankless Water Heaters
A tankless water heater is a water heater that does not use a tank to heat water. The way this works is that the water is heated while it moves through the smaller unit, so that warm water is always available.
Hot Water Recirculation
Hot water recirculation is the method that allows hot water to be moving through the water system and maintain hot at all times. Instead of letting the hot water cool in the pipes, the hot water is recirculated in a specific system to ensure hot water is always available.
Smart irrigation allows homeowners, businesses, and farmers to control when sprinklers are turned on and off. This helps conserve water and also makes watering your lawn or crops easy (it’s all on autopilot!)
Leak detectors are placed in the water system to determine when a leak occurs. If a leak does occur, there will be an alert that lets you know. You can turn off the water system and bring in a plumber before things get worse.
Touchless Faucets and Toilets
A touchless faucet or toilet system is easy to use because it reacts to a hand placed in front of it. This keeps hygiene in check and is convenient.
A greywater system uses gently used water and moves it through a recycling system so that it can be used again. This is popular with campers, for example, but can also be used in homes.
Smart Toilets, Showers, and Water Heaters
The smart tech category is a popular one in every industry, and plumbing is no exception.
Smart toilets, smart water heaters, and smart showers are all examples of smart technology.
Smart technology includes things like overflow protection, automatic flushing, heated seating, remote control features, and self-cleaning features.
The Future of Plumbing: Where Is It Heading?
The future of plumbing is unknown, but the plumbing industry is continuing to grow each year and will continue to grow in the future. The demand for comfortable accommodations using running water, hot water, and removing unsanitary water will continue well into the future.
One of the newest trends in the plumbing industry consists of social media marketing. Plumbers are using social media to list their services and to validate their capability. If you are in the plumbing industry, we recommend using social media so that customers can see other customers who are happy with your work and learn more about your plumbing services.
Another trend that we have seen in the industry is water consumption awareness. People are aware that using too much water is dangerous for the future with climate change. Homeowners are often interested in water-efficient and water saving plumbing technology.
People also Ask (FAQs)
How did plumbing change the world?
Plumbing changed the world by giving us access to many of our modern conveniences, including showers, drinking water, toilets, and steam. Plumbing also gave us the ability to heat our water so we could take those luxurious warm showers or clean our dishes with a dishwasher.
What came first, plumbing or electricity?
Plumbing came first before electricity. Plumbing has its origins in 2500 BC with the Egyptians. However, it wasn't until the 1840s that indoor plumbing became a modern convenience. Edison helped create the first electric power grid in 1882.
When did indoor toilets become common?
Indoor toilets started to show up in British homes in the 1890s but were only found in hotels and wealthy people's homes. It was in the 1930s that homeowners of all classes began to purchase indoor toilets. However, by 1940 only half of the homes had hot water, a flush toilet, and a shower/bathtub.
What are the two main types of plumbing systems?
There are actually three main types of plumbing systems: sanitary drainage, stormwater drainages, and portable water. Sometimes people place stormwater drainage and sanitary drainage in the same category.
What year did Romans start plumbing?
The Romans started plumbing in 500 B.C. They built aqueducts, foundations, and baths to create a comfortable environment for themselves.
The history of plumbing is complex and multi-faceted. From the Egyptians to the Romans to our modern-day plumbing systems, we all benefit from this incredible invention. Easy access to showers, baths, toilets, and irrigation systems makes our lives easier and more comfortable today.
Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.