Reply To: Wax gasket maintinence?????

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In reply to message posted by plumbing:
Just to be clear the waste plumbing system and the water supply plumbing are 2 seperate systems??
–Now I am beginning that you are pulling our collective legs…(these are considered vertical elements when standing and horizontal when lying down…) But your post does raise interesting and profound philosophical questions about the nature of plumbing itself. In my opinion the essense of plumbing is the concept of the “pipe.” Such pipes contain either water or air. Some are in constant continuity with the atmosphere (i.e. “vents”) and others are not (i.e. supply lines). Supply lines may be open to the atmosphere, but only at certain points (e.g. a “faucet”) when water under pressure is released through a device called a “valve.” Some of the pipes contain clean water of different temperature (hot and cold supply lines). Others serve to conduct water that has been emptied into fixtures (by the supply lines) and used for some purpose that renders the used water more or less “dirty.” This used water is referred to as “waste” water and is carried by so called “drain” or “waste” pipes. Because of the need to keep harmful sewer gases from entering the house (or other structure wherein plumbing fixtures are located), an ingenious device called a “trap” has been created. these “traps” employ a water seal to block gases from entering the structure. In order to function properly, such traps require “vent” piping (a part of the drainage system) that is in continuity with the atmosphere that surrounds the structure and each an every one of us the world over.

Now, to answer your question of whether or not the waste and supply pipes are part of the “same” system or are fundamentally different… My opinion, and you must appreciate that this is but my humble opinion, is that they are different and indeed separate. Fot there is indeed no continuous physical connection between the two. In other words, there is no “pipe” that directly connects the two. The connection is made only by the water that drains from the former into the latter, through an interval space (e.g. between faucet and drain) that is made of nothing but intervening air…

To put it in another way, the waste and supply lines are indeed separate, yet “separate but equal.” They are the yin and the yang, the left and the right hands, the male and the female, and like these other differences, they make a whole, and the one cannot exist without the other. Yes, they are different, but as the French (who are otherwise useless except for a few bon mots) have commented, “Viva la difference…”

And, is the toilet flange a lateral connection of the waste plumbing system, part of the vertical waste plumbing system, or a connection between the vertical elements and the laterals themselves?? So, the toilet flange is a fitting to which, the lateral or vertical waste plumbing system. Thanks!!!

I believe I have answered your question.


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