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Want to Learn About the History of Indoor Plumbing?

You count on your indoor plumbing every day in Albuquerque, NM to provide you with many modern conveniences that we pretty much take for granted.

But have you ever wondered about the path that your plumbing has taken over history to its current form and function? Indoor plumbing has a lengthy and fascinating history. Want to learn more? Read on.

Indoor Plumbing: The Very Beginning

It is believed that the earliest indoor plumbing dates back to about 3000 B.C. to the Indus River Valley (India). Copper pipes serviced a bathroom in the ruins of a palace. The bathroom had a drain and a toilet of sorts that used a septic tank.

In Crete, rain water cisterns were developed to harvest rainwater for many household uses. Archeologists discovered pottery bathtubs from Crete that dated back to about 1500 B.C. They also found a primitive toilet that had a seat and a flushing device.

Historical Plumbing Facts from Egypt, Rome, and France

Egyptians built intricate networks inside the pyramids with copper pipes to support bathrooms with irrigation and drainage systems. They also built similar bathrooms right into the tombs so that the dead would have access to the same conveniences that they had when they were alive.

The Romans were great plumbing innovators. They used lead to build their pipes, which made great advances in sanitation. They also fashioned a complex aqueduct infrastructure that fed their bathhouses with fresh water. The bathhouses had drains and irrigation, as well as hot water, heated with furnaces. These bath houses weren’t just for hygiene, but were a mark of status in their society.

In the 17th century, King Louis XIV installed a main sewer pipe at Versailles. Despite having the infrastructure, Versailles didn’t get indoor toilets for many, many years. During the 18th century at Versailles, Marie Antoinette’s court numbered in the thousands.

Without toilets, people went outside to use the facilities, or used commodes that were emptied communally in the courtyards, creating a foul stench. One of Marie Antoinette’s interests was perfume- mainly strong floral fragrances. Perhaps this was why.

Eco-Friendly Advances

Plumbing today calls for innovative technology to help homeowners conserve water to help the environment. Did you know that your toilet accounts about a third of your household water use?

You can greatly reduce that by installing a dual flush toilet, which lets you choose how much water you need to use (more for solid and less for liquid).

Another modern day innovation is the tankless water heater, which works “on-demand”, saving both water and energy.