Plumbing, very simply is the process of connecting a series of pipes together in order to transfer either water or other liquid products. The term comes from the ability to "plumb" the pipes; to seal them together in such a fashion as not to leak. Plumbing is used more widely today than ever before in history. Still, its history is very interesting.
While most people may think of indoor plumbing as a relatively new concept, plumbing as we know it has been around for thousands of years. Recently, a number of brass valves were found in Roman ruins that are virtually identical to the ones commonly in use in outdoor plumbing today. They were used to control the flow of water the same as we use them today. They were installed on pipes that brought fresh water into the viaducts and from the viaducts to the homes. They were also used, though not as extensively, in the sewer systems of Rome. Today, plumbing is used more vastly than ever before in history.
There are many different types of plumbing that are very common today. Not only do we have commercial and industrial plumbing but in most nations around the world, the vast majority of people even have plumbing in their homes. While this is not true worldwide, it is the case for most people in developed nations.
There are many concepts of plumbing that most people do not even take into consideration. Plumbing is used extensively to pipe oil products from the very beginning when it is pumped out of the ground, to the finished products of gasoline, diesel and oils. Liquid tanker trucks are fully plumbed with a unique design to insure that the more volatile products can be safely transferred with as little risk as possible.
Plumbing is also widely used in factories and large production facilities for much more than just their water. Many industrial bakeries have large plumbed setups for the transfer of liquids such as chocolate, syrup, juices and other ingredients. The setup may be different, but the concept is still the same. Many of the large mills use plumbed pipes to transfer water and other materials.
Commercial Laundromats often have plumbing setups to transfer soaps, bleaches and other hazardous materials. This not only is more effective, but also gives them the added benefit of being safer for their employees. Different types of plumbing are used for different purposes. The most common type is standard, low-pressure plumbing. While this is the most common form, it is not by any means the only one.
High-pressure plumbing is used frequently for purposes most people do not even associate with the term. Hydraulic systems run on a series of high-pressure hoses. While it may not fit many people's idea of plumbing, it is still based on the same principles and has to be properly plumbed in order to work.
Systems such as this are used in everything from cars to a lot of the automated equipment in factories today. The uses for plumbing in the world today are more diverse and more common than ever before in history. The next time someone mentions a plumber, you may want to take into consideration that there is more to the concept than just "some guy who fixes toilets.".
S. Stammberger is the editor of Plumbing Helper. Get expert advice on plumbing, home repair, maintenance, warranties, inspection, repair costs, and hiring professionals.