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A Plumber's History of the Toilet

A Plumber's History of the Toilet
September 18, 2017

A Plumber’s History of the Toilet

Your family flushes your toilets every day. The modern world has made the convenience of bathrooms common place, but it hasn’t always been so simple. Have you ever wondered how your porcelain throne was created? At Mr. Rooter, we provide professional plumbing services for residents and businesses in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Suwanee, Stone Mountain and other nearby Metro area communities. As certified plumbers, we’ve learned a lot about the history and origin of the toilets and pipes and want to share the fun with our customers. Toilet Repair Atlanta

The Origin of Plumbing

The ancient Romans are well known for having one of the first plumbing systems in human civilization. Their large population required extensive pipes and aqueducts to properly dispose of waste. In Latin, “plumbum” means lead. Those who were responsible for care and maintenance of Rome’s lead pipes became known as a “Plumbarius”. Eventually, plumbing systems became more complex and new cities became heavily dependent on the quality of their pipes, lending a great deal of prestige and respect to the profession. 

The First Toilets 

Prior to the 10th century, most toilets were just chamber pots, outhouses or holes in the ground. The first official indoor bathrooms were found in medieval castles. They were all built in a column on the exterior walls, so that all waste and debris fell into the moat below. These kinds of early bathrooms were called garderobes, because castle dwellers would often hang their clothing in the shaft and kill fleas with the ammonia fumes. Obviously, conditions were far less luxurious than the bathrooms we have today

Toilets that Flush

Finally, in the late 1500s, John Harington invented the first flushable toilet after being temporarily exiled from Queen Elizabeth’s court. However, the Queen herself eventually purchased his invention after a trial run at his country estate. The device used multiple levers and weights to release water from a cistern. The water pressure would open the valve when a handle was pulled. Few people had access to these novel latrines, and it took quite a while for flushable toilets to develop a demand from the masses. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the idea of flushing toilets caught on, thanks to Thomas Crapper’s “Valveless Water Waste Preventer”. Within a few decades, toilets began to make their way into homes across America until what was once seen as a luxury item became a modern day essential. 

New Advancements

Toilets of today have received even more great features as technological advancements has transformed the world of plumbing. New toilets are much more efficient than in previous decades, and can help homeowners and businesses save on their water bills while doing their part to help the planet. However, these extras are just a sampling of the latest innovative options to choose from. Here are just a few examples of interesting models that are available in the market today:

  • Eco friendly systems that recirculate greywater for flushing. 
  • Laser sensor toilets for germ free, hands off flushing.
  • Seats with warmers so you can be comfortable during winter bathroom breaks.
  • Self-cleaning toilet bowls for busy homeowners who want to shorten their chore list.
  • And More on the way!

Are You Ready to Upgrade Your Toilet? Give Mr. Rooter a Call

Is it time to bring your toilet into the new millennium? If you’re ready to get a new toilet installation, call Mr. Rooter today. Our licensed and insured plumbers will have your brand new toilet ready to go in no time, for a rate that will keep you under budget.