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15 Interesting Facts About Plumbing

Plumbing student working on piping

Plumbing is something people rarely think about – unless they’ve got a burst pipe or their boiler stops working – but there’s much more to plumbing than you may think.

Do you know how long plumbing dates back? And you’ll never guess which famous music star was one a plumber’s apprentice.

15 interesting facts about plumbing that you probably didn’t know…

1. The word ‘plumbing’ originates from ‘plumbum’, which is Latin for lead.

2. A low-flush toilet can save up to 18,000 gallons of water a year.

3. The first patent for a flushing toilet was issued to Alexander Cummings in 1775, but he was not the original inventor. The creator was John Harrington back in 1596.

4. The most famous plumbers in the world are Mario and Luigi.

5. Flushing the toilet makes up 38% of the average U.S. household’s water usage.

6. King George II of Great Britain died falling off a toilet on the 25th of October 1760.

7. Albert Einstein admitted that he would be a plumber if he could do it all again.

8. The toilet is flushed more times during halftime of the Super Bowl than any other time of the year.

9. A leaky faucet dripping once per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water in a year.

10. The Egyptians reportedly referred to the bath as the ‘house of horror’. Tudor England called it the ‘privy’ or ‘house of privacy’. The French sometimes refer to it as ‘la chamber sent’, translating to ‘the room smells’.

11. Standardised plumbing dates back to 3000 B.C.

12. On average, a person will spend three years of their life on the toilet.

13. $100,000 was spent determining whether people have their toilet paper with the flap in front or behind. It turns out that 3 out of 4 people have it in front.

14. Ozzy Osbourne was a plumber’s apprentice before entering the music industry.

15. In 1939, Al Moen invented the single-handle faucet that can control hot and cold water in just one turn.

All data correct at time of publication.