Plumbing problems can be a real drain, both emotionally and financially. But before you paint a bullseye on your toilet, you might want to take a moment and think about how lucky you are to live in the U.S. with indoor plumbing and the ability to enjoy a nice, hot shower every day. Take a look at these interesting plumbing facts from around the world and from other times. You'll definitely have a newfound appreciation for what you have.
Don't expect to take a hot shower unless you're wealthy. Most homes there have what's known as a shower box, which warms up a small amount of water at a time. Unfortunately, it's such a small amount that you're likely to end up freezing anyway. Oh, and don't touch the metal pipes or shower fixtures while bathing or you might get shocked. This is because the electrical wires that power the box are grounded to the wall and provide a nice little wake-up call for the "handsy" washer.
If you survive the shower and make your way to the commode, don't flush the toilet paper unless you want a mess to deal with. The pipes just can't take the extra material. But don't worry. You can just toss your used toilet paper in the trash bin.
How about a little time travel back to 18th-Century France? Most people are aware that they used chamber pots to eliminate in, which is pretty much the equivalent of the bedpan that most hospitals still use. Imagine having to toss your waste out the window every day. You'd probably want to hop, skip, or jump headfirst into a bathtub and scrub yourself clean.
Not so fast.
If you had lived during this time, you'd have believed that bathing was bad for your health, and it allowed germs and disease to infect the body. In fact, people were so against it that most went their whole lives without ever submerging themselves in water, including Louis XVI who reportedly only bathed on his wedding day. Lucky Marie! And it's pretty much a coin toss as to whether or not he used soap as this luxury didn't hit the shower stalls of Europe until the late 1700s.
What did people use to stay clean back then?
Linen. It absorbed sweat and oil, and because of this, the material was seen as a cleansing agent. So the next time you get frustrated about that slow-draining tub or your slimy bar of soap, try to be grateful that you're allowed to wash off at all and you're not forced to bathe with strips of dry linen.
Germany and the Netherlands
If you happen to find yourself in this part of the country, be prepared to get up close and personal with your excrement. In this part of the world, they like to use what's called a toilet shelf. As you may have guessed, this is a ceramic shelf inside the commode that captures anything and everything on its way down. It's commonly held that they were designed like this so the Germans could inspect what came out, examining for worms, blood, and other signs of illness.
While most disease has been eradicated in developed countries, making the toilet shelf no longer necessary, some claim they still prefer it over the "splashy" North American toilets.
Now, what's the first thing you do after going to the bathroom? You head to the sink and wash your hands with some warm, soapy water, right? In America, sure. But in most parts of the Netherlands, all you have is a tiny sink with cold water only. While studies have demonstrated that warm water doesn't kill any more germs than cold, it still remains a preference for many, especially during the cold months.
It's true that plumbing problems are no fun, but there are many luxuries to be grateful for. Call professionals like Orange Coast Plumbing to fix you plumbing problems.