About the History of Indoor Plumbing
Updated: Sep 14, 2021
While we pretty much take indoor plumbing for granted today, it has evolved through thousands of years to arrive as an important component of our households.
While its appearance and functionality has differed depending on the era of its history, indoor plumbing has had a common goal, as it still does today: to create comfort and convenience for people. Curious to where your indoor plumbing in Saratoga Springs, UT got its roots? Read on.
The Beginning of Indoor Plumbing
The very first indoor plumbing is thought to have existed in 4000 – 3000 B.C. Archeologists discovered copper piping in the ruins of a palace in what is now India. The first interconnected water systems can be credited to Crete, where the residents created drainage networks that harvested rainwater.
Egypt, Rome and the Rest of Europe
Only a few centuries after the first indoor plumbing piping, the Egyptians built fairly intricate bathrooms within their pyramids, using copper pipes. Given the era, these bathrooms were luxurious and complex, making use of sewage and irrigation systems.
Bathrooms werenʼt only found in the pyramids. The Egyptians believed that the dead needed many of the same things that the living did, which is why they implemented these bathrooms into their tombs as well.
The ancient Romans developed aqueducts, underground sewer systems, public and private baths; because of the complexity of these systems; the Romans are considered some of the best, most innovative plumbers to have emerged in all of history.
They also changed their pipe material to lead, which improved sanitary conditions a great deal. Although the Romans made significant advances in creating the infrastructure for indoor plumbing, it wasnʼt until several centuries later than indoor plumbing became commonplace in homes.
In 18th century France, in Marie Antoinetteʼs opulent Versailles palace, there was no indoor plumbing, which created low sanitary conditions. Considering the size and the scope of the palace, and the sheer number of visitors, residents, and staff that would be in the palace on a given day, having indoor facilities would have improved sanitary conditions a great deal. Instead, people used commodes, which were emptied into courtyards. Marie Antoinette and her love of fragrance is said to be linked to the unpleasant odors that wafted through the grounds.
One of the greatest advances in the last few years in plumbing is the tankless water heater. Not only do you have a reliable supply of hot water when you need it, the on-demand nature of the water heater means that you donʼt waste water or energy, reducing your overall energy bills.