The History of Indoor Plumbing Guide

Indoor bathroom

Your Pearland, TX home is your castle, right? And you’ve got a “throne?” Not all castles were so well equipped. In the fancy palace at Versailles during the era of Marie Antoinette, there weren’t any indoor toilets at all.

This caused a number of hygiene problems because of the number of people that were in her court on a given day (thousands). Without indoor toilets, they were forced to use commodes, the hallways, and the stairwells.

The commodes were emptied communally, which was very smelly and attracted vermin. Do you love to unwind in a hot shower? Did you know that some of the earliest showers can be traced back to ancient Greece and the Olympic athletes?

They stood under metal pipes and were showered with water to clean up after the competition. Want to learn more fun facts about the history of indoor plumbing? Read on.

The Early Years of Plumbing

The earliest indoor plumbing can be traced back to ancient India. Archaeologists uncovered plumbing in the ruins of a palace. In the palace there were bathrooms that had drains. There was also a toilet of sorts, which made use of a septic tank.

A little while later on the indoor plumbing historical timeline, the residents of the island of Crete created a system to harvest rainwater and reserve it for later use. They constructed a network of pipes that supported drainage. They are also credited with a primitive flushing toilet. It had a seat and a basic flushing mechanism.

Egyptian and Roman Advances

Egyptian Bathroom

The Egyptians built complex bathrooms right into their pyramids. They featured latrines that had underground pipes to drain waste. They were able to “flush” the toilets with buckets of water. They built similar facilities into the tombs.

They did this because they believed that the dead were still living, but had crossed to “the other side.” The dead still had the need for many of the same things they needed when they were alive: food, water, and bathroom facilities.

The Romans are still thought of to this day as some of the most accomplished plumbers of all time. They built an extensive and complex network of aqueducts that carried fresh water to their bathhouses. These bathhouses provided certain luxuries, like hot running water and steam rooms (which were heated using furnaces).

Modern Plumbing Advances Today

Modern bathroom

With the high cost of water bills and a growing awareness of the need for water conservation, our plumbing needs to be designed to address those needs. Some recent advances include dual flush toilets, motion sensor faucets, and low-flow showerheads.

A low-flow showerhead works by slowing down the rate of the water, which means you use a fraction of the water, but still have more than enough to lather up. A simple change to this eco-friendly plumbing fixtures could save about 250 billion gallons of water in the U.S. every year.

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