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September 15, 2010

Hot Water is Always on the Left, Right? (Little known facts about plumbing, and the stories behind them!)

Okay, it's time for your morning shower.

But before you step in, you like to get the water just right. So, per usual, you turn on the hot water first, and then adjust the temperature with just the right balance of cold water. And now, that special moment has arrived when you reach out for the right-hand faucet to start that wonderful, soothing stream of hot water!!

Sounds absurd, right? I mean come on...nobody has their hot water faucet on the right, for pity's sake. And yet why is it always on the left, and who was it that made that decision for us?

Glad you should ask...

You see, back in the 19th century, when indoor plumbing was introduced, water was generated by a hand pump. The hand pump had but one trick: producing cold water.  And since most people were – and still are -- right-handed, the pump was placed on the right side of the sink.

Many years later, when hot instant hot water emerged on the scene, a momentous decision presented itself.  "Now let's see, where should we place that newfangled faucet? Can't go on top of that ol' pump…underneath won’t work neither…guess that leaves only that one empty spot  over yonder.”  Yep, you guessed it…just to the left of the cold water faucet.

Has that knowledge improved your life? Nah, we didn’t think it would. So while we’re having a little fun, here’s one more party conversation topic for you.

If we’re all so right-handed, why are toilet flush handles on the left? Are they really? Hmm, let’s take a second look. Early indoor toilets had pull chains connect to overhead water tanks. And guess where those were located…right again. Literally.
 
Not on the right as you face the toilet, but the right from your on-the-throne perspective. Eventually, the pull chain went the way of the Edsel and flushers stayed on the right, despite frontward appearances.

All of which is to say that the professionals at Pat the Plumber know sinks and toilets inside and out.  So the next time you have a bathroom or kitchen repair, replacement, or remodel need, give us a call at 785-478-0188 or check us out online at www.CallPatThePlumber.com.   

If new bathroom or kitchen faucets and fixtures happen to be on your current shopping list, Pat the Plumber invites you to call us at 785-478-0188, stop by our office, or check us out online at www.CallPatThePlumber.com

Thanks for sharing some time with us.
-Pat 
Pat the Plumber, Topeka

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