TYPES OF PLUMBING FIXTURES
There are a confusing number of plumbing fixtures on the market today. What defines a plumbing fixture? What are the different types and how do residential fixtures differ from commercial fixtures?
A plumbing fixture is device or vessel that is permanently or temporarily installed in a commercial facility, residence, hospital, school etc. and maybe connected to the potable water system. That device discharges used water and suspended solids into the facility sewer line. Not all plumbing fixtures have a water connection but all must be able to remove drainage away from the device via the sanitary system.ÿ Most times you can use the water that is supplied to the fixture for drinking, bathing, cooking etc.
All plumbing fixtures must be made of a smooth, non-corrosive, non-absorbent material. These materials are naturally anti-microbial and promote easy cleaning.
Institutional fixtures have some pretty distinctive features used to accommodate their unique applications. Prisons use fixtures that cannot be broken or shattered to ensure the safety of the inmates so they are usually made of stainless steel with vandal-proof accessories. These fixtures usually have hot and cold supply buttons and integral lavatory faucets. In recent years ambulatory care facilities have been forced to try and get a toilet, lavatory bedpan washer and dialysis hook-ups into smaller rooms thereby forcing manufacturing companies to make custom modular patient care units that effectively squeeze 10lbs of stuff in a 5lb basket. Acorn, Metacraft and Whitehall are the leaders in prison and hospital patient care units (PCUs). Here are some pictures below to give you and idea of how much engineering goes into manufacturing:
Although some residential and commercial, industrial, institutional fixture designs have remained relatively unchanged for fifty years or more, many companies are constantly being engineering and re-engineering to improve performance and durability.