Plumbing fundamentals / theory book?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by yumbrad, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. yumbrad

    yumbrad New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    CA
    I did search the forum (good search is "book" in titles only), but didn't find what I'm looking for. I'd love a good book a step back from "how-to" - about the fundamentals of plumbing. The terminology, the physics of water flows and vacuums created, the mechanics of washers, gaskets, pipes, slip vs compression vs threads... A whole chapter on washers would be nice - plastic, brass, rubber, reducing, flat, tapered, flanged, thin, thick - a book explaining *why* things work and what general problem fittings/etc. are trying to address, rather than a case-by-case how-to. I understand this is the kind of thing you only TRULY learn via experience, but the same can be said for philosophy and I really benefit from reading Kierkegaard :)

    I've been trying to fashion my own low-algae, low maintenance, low cost chicken watering system and have iterated because of leaks / low flow / algae :) (too much light goes right through 5 gallon bucket HDPE). I'd love to have a better feel for materials and fittings and when and why they're applied, such that I'd be able to design, say, my own bulkhead by choosing from among a few appropriate materials and components. Thank you for this forum, it's a wonderful place! I'd like to get to the point where I could offer help as well as ask for it :) ... So, any recommendations for deep books on fundamentals?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    There are lots of books on plumbing, from code books, to 1-2-3 how-to books, and some (usually older) training manuals for apprentice plumbers. I would say that NONE of them cover what you ask. You learn about fittings by visiting manufacturers websites and looking at spec sheets ( Watts Brass and tubular, Charlotte Pipe, Nibco, Watco etc) and mostly by going to a supply house or hardware store and getting your hands on stuff. That is the way most of us learned.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF there WERE such a book, it would be several volumes, but NO ONE would bother creating it, because it would have such a limited viewership, (in fact YOU might be the only one who would bother reading it, and even you would probably get bored a quarter way through volume 1), that it would not pay to publish it.
  4. yumbrad

    yumbrad New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    CA
    LOL hj. You're probably right, although you may underestimate my capacity to be fascinated by detailed, well written theory I *hope* to apply someday. (I've read a lot of farming theory and philosophy and still live in the suburbs).
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,125
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    My family used to be weekend farmers in Eastern Washington. We lived and worked in the Seattle area, but then would work the farm on the Eastern side of the state on weekends.

    This Winter I will be going to India, the birthplace of so many religions. I just got my inoculations for Tetanus, Influenza, Typhoid and Polio. I still need to pick up my malaria pills.
    I'm looking forward to seeing and being the middle of the old past, and maybe the future. My brother James P Love goes there often.
    I'm sure it will be a reminder of how much good plumbing has done for us here. I was told to keep my mouth closed while showering, don't drink water, and no food that doesn't have a rind, a peel or hasen't been cooked.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You might be someone who actually would like to read some code books. They are expensive ( the UPC costs about $150 from IAPMO) but sometimes you can discover a code online somewhere. In fact, the accompanying Study Guide to the UPC, and training manual will explain how and why to do some of the things, because the code only says....do this...don't do that!
  7. Yersmay

    Yersmay Writing, constructionDIY Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yumbrad,

    Out of sheer curiosity, I did a search for a book of plumbing theory... There is a series of books called Questions and Answers on the Practice of Sanitary Plumbing by Robert Macy Starbuck. They come under the heading of Plumbing Theory. Try Amazon. For the helluvit, I ordered one for myself. I hope it fits the bill.
  8. yumbrad

    yumbrad New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    CA
    Eastern Washington/north western Idaho is an area I'd like to live/farm in. Perhaps someday, lots of ties here via my wife...

    Have a great trip to India. I bet it'll make you feel fortunate to have visited and fortunate to live where you do. Indeed our plumbing infrastructure and techniques are some of the pillars of our society. Taken for granted too much I think...
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  9. yumbrad

    yumbrad New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    CA
    Great find, I will check that out tomorrow. Post your impression when you get it!
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Starbucks book was published in 1923! And what you can buy is a digital reproduction, but not an update. The THEORIES of waste, venting, and water supply have not changed a lot, although the codes have. e.g. the book may show S-traps, which are now illegal, for good reason. But the materials and practices have changed! The book probably shows how to use an alcohol torch to melt lead for poured and wiped joints. Info on galvanized and brass piping for supply. Acetylene and copper not invented yet! Nothing about plastic tubular drains, flexible supply lines, etc. etc. No PEX, PE, CSST, etc. So once again I suggest that your best source of information about modern materials is mfg. websites and hands-on at the store. But this book is probably very interesting, and not at all a waste of time, because as I said, the basic theories have not changed.
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