Fun Facts About Plumbing You Probably Didn’t Know

It’s hard to imagine a world without the existence of plumbing. What would homes be like without them? Or how would public spaces and malls be without public sewer lines and commercial plumbing systems? How will we have access to a clean water supply or dispose of wastewater?

Kind of hard to imagine, isn’t it? Thank goodness plumbing was invented and has significantly improved mankind’s living conditions even if it’s just a regular thing.

However, regardless of how ordinary and mundane it may seem, you might be surprised to find some interesting things and fun facts about it.

1. The Romans did not invent the concept of plumbing and drainage systems.

As early as 3000 B.C., the idea of plumbing was already used by the people of the Indus River Valley. They used pipes made of clay and earth to have access to clean water and to dispose of wastewater.

2. The word “plumber” has a Latin origin.

The word was derived from the Latin word “plumbum,” which means lead. Lead was a very popular material used to make water pipes because of its malleability. If you take a look at the Periodic Table, you will find that the element Lead is represented by the letters Pb.

3. Insulating the pipes on your property can save you plenty of money.

Doing so minimizes the loss of heat in your pipes as water travels from the heater all the way to the faucet. This way, you use less water in a shorter time which cuts down on your energy consumption.

4. Why are manholes and their covers round?

Have you ever wondered why most manholes are circular? That’s because it prevents the cover from falling through it if you turn it sideways.

5. How much time does the average human spend on a toilet in one lifetime?

It is purported that the average person spends about three years sitting on a toilet in his or her lifetime. With people bringing their smartphones and tablets when they go to the john nowadays, that average will be well over three years a few years from now.

6. The popular 1980’s game Super Mario Brothers have plumbers for main characters.

Yes, you read that right. Both Mario and Luigi are certified, professional plumbers. Their popularity transcends generations making them the world’s most favorite pair of plumbers. In fact, they have already been in over 200 video games since their debut in 1985.

7. Leaky faucets waste water.

Well, yes this isn’t a fun fact because we all know this. But did you know that if your faucet can fill an eight-ounce glass with water in a span of only 15 minutes, you’re looking at 180 gallons of wasted water per month? If kept in this state for a year, you would have wasted a total of 2,160 gallons. So have that leaky faucet looked at and fixed immediately.

8. The average American household wastes over 9,000 gallons of running water while waiting for it to get warm.

This also means that they are wasting about 15% of their heating costs in a year as that excess 9,000 gallons of water are heated.

9. Albert Einstein was an honorary member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union.

When asked if he would do anything differently in life if given a chance to restart, he said he would like to be a plumber.

10. Debunking the direction that water goes when flushed in the southern hemisphere.

Contrary to popular belief that water flushed down a toilet in the southern hemisphere goes the opposite way, the direction of the spin can go either way. Its spin is primarily dependent on how the toilet pipes are built.

11. Sewer systems contain heavy doses of drugs and other pharmaceutical products.

More than 90% of medicine and pharmaceuticals are flushed out of the human body through urine. Several studies have found that species of fish living near and around sewage systems contain traces of antibiotics, pain relievers, estrogen, and anti-depressants.

12. The Super Bowl’s Halftime Show is when the toilet is flushed in America more than any other time of the year.

It’s kind of amazing, yet at the same time really gross, to think about how much popcorn, chips, chicken wings, pizza, beer, and soda get flushed down in toilets all over the country in just 30 minutes.

Bonus: Rock & Roll legend Ozzy Osborne was once an assistant to a plumber before he pursued music full-time and his career skyrocketed.

It kinda makes you wonder what interesting tidbits are behind the other ordinary things around you, huh? Do you know any other fun trivia about plumbing that we missed on this list? Let us know in the comments section.

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