Plumber's Handbook Revised

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Learn what will and won't pass inspection in drainage, vent, and waste piping, septic tanks, water supply, graywater recycling systems, pools and spas, fire protection, and gas piping systems. Includes multiple choice questions after each chapter, with answers and explanations, and a full sample plumber's exam.

Weight 2.1000
ISBN 978-157218-171-7
Page Count 352
Author Howard Massey
Publisher Craftsman Book Company
Dimensions 8-1/2 x 11

This edition shows what will and won't pass inspection in drainage, vent, and waste piping, septic tanks, water supply, graywater recycling systems, pools and spas, fire protection, and gas piping systems.

Covers common layouts for residential work, how to size piping, select and hang fixtures, practical recommendations, and trade tips.

It's the approved reference for the plumbing contractor's exam in many states.

Includes an extensive set of multiple choice questions after each chapter, and in the back of the book, the answers and explanations. Also in the back of the book, a full sample plumber's exam.

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You're reviewing: Plumber's Handbook Revised


Chapter 1
Plumbing and the Plumber, 5
The History of Plumbing, 5

Chapter 2
Designing Drainage Systems, 7
Isometric Drawings, 7
Fixture Abbreviations, Definitions and Illustrations, 9
How to Size the Drainage System, 15
Review Questions, 30

Chapter 3
Designing Vent Systems, 33
Types of Vents, 33
Problems Created by Inadequate Venting, 37
How to Size the Vent System, 39
Special Venting Systems, 42
Vent Terminals, 49
Aggregate Cross-sectional Area Pipe, 50
Review Questions, 51

Chapter 4
Fixture Traps, 53
Building Traps, 53
Fixture Traps, 53
Review Questions, 61

Chapter 5
Cleanouts, 63
The Importance of Accessible Cleanouts, 63
Cleanout Material and Design, 67
Review Questions, 69

Chapter 6
Interceptors, Special Traps and Neutralizing Tanks, 71
Grease Interceptors, 71
Greasy Waste Systems, 76
Laundry Interceptors, 78
Gasoline, Oil and Sand Interceptors, 81
Other Types of Interceptors or Separators, 83
Review Questions, 86

Chapter 7
Indirect Waste Piping, Receptors and Special Wastes, 89
Piping Material and Sizes, 89
Types of Indirect Waste Piping, 89
Receptors, 91
Special Wastes, 92
Storm Water Drainage Systems, 94
Review Questions, 100

Chapter 8
Installation of Drainage and Vent Pipes, 103
Standards for Plumbing Materials, 103
Joints and Connections, 1l0
Installation Methods, 1l4
Review Questions, 124

Chapter 9
Septic Tanks and Drainfields, 127
Definition of the Septic Tank, 127
Septic Tank Construction, 128
Sizing Septic Tanks, 130
Installing Septic Tanks, 131
Types of Drainfields, 132
Sizing Drainfields, 134
Review Questions, 138

Chapter 10
Mobile Home and Travel Trailer Parks, 141
Toilet Facilities for Trailer Parks, 141
The Park Drainage and Vent System, 142
The Park Water Distributing System, 144
Review Questions, 146

Chapter 11
Graywater Recycling Systems for Single-Family Residences, 147
The Older Water Conservation Methods, 147
A New Water Conservation Method: Graywater Recycling, 148
Review Questions, 156

Chapter 12
Public Water Supply and Distribution Systems, 159
Water System Components, 159
Sizing the Water System, 161
Sizing the Water Service Pipe, 164
Review Questions, 168

Chapter 13
Hot Water Systems, 169
Design Objectives, 169
The Water Heater, 169
Safety Devices, 171
Energy Conservation, 174
Common Hot Water Circulating Systems, 174
Review Questions, 176

Chapter 14
Installing Water Systems, 179
Materials for Water Systems, 179
Installing Water Service Supply Pipe, 182
Installing Water Distribution Pipe, 183
Threaded Pipe, Fittings and Valves, 185
Review Questions, 190

Chapter 15
Private Water Supply Wells, 193
Well Water, 193
Well Installation, 194
Suction Lines, 195
Pressure Tanks, 197
Review Questions, 200

Chapter 16
Fire Protection, 201
Standpipe Systems, 201
Combined and Automatic Sprinkler Systems, 207
Review Questions, 210

Chapter 17
Swimming Pools and Spas, 213
Swimming Pools, 213
Spas, 218
Review Questions, 220

Chapter 18
Harnessing Solar Energy, 223
Domestic Hot Water Heating, 223
The Solar Collector, 224
Water Circulation, 227
Solar Storage Tanks, 231
Troubleshooting Guides, 232
Review Questions, 234

Chapter 19
Gas Systems, 237
Kinds of Gas, 237
Gas Piping and the Plumber, 238
Sizing Gas Systems, 238
Residential Gas Sizing Example, 240
Review Questions, 242

Chapter 20
Materials and Installation Methods for Gas Systems, 243
Materials, 243
Installing Gas Piping, 244
Review Questions, 250

Chapter 21
Plumbing Fixtures, 253
Installing Plumbing Fixtures, 253
Plumbing Fixture Clearances, 259
Fixtures for the Handicapped, 261
Minimum Fixture Requirements, 261
Roughing-In, 265
Review Questions, 273

Answers to Review Questions, 275
Practice Plumber's Exam, 321
Examination Answer Key, 338
Definitions and Abbreviations, 339
Index, 347

Plumbing and the Plumber

If you've chosen plumbing as your profession, you should find it one of the most challenging and satisfying of all construction trades. The many variations in design, layout, and installation methods present a challenge to any competent professional plumber.
But notice that word competent. If you don't have a good knowledge of practical plumbing methods and of the minimum requirements of modern plumbing codes, you're going to be discouraged, frustrated, and confused.

Learning plumbing from a code book is a very difficult task. That's the reason for this manual. It's intended to help you grasp the important design and installation principles recognized as essential to doing professional-quality plumbing work. What you learn here should be applicable nearly anywhere in the U.S., regardless of the model code adopted by your jurisdiction. And if you're just learning the fundamentals of plumbing, you'll find this book much easier than reading and understanding the code.

Remember, however, that this book is not the plumbing code. All plumbers will have to refer to their local code from time to time. I'll emphasize the minor variations in model plumbing codes throughout this book, so you should easily recognize them as you read and compare sections of this book with your local code. But the basic principles of sanitation and safety remain the same, regardless of the geographical location.

The History of Plumbing

The art and science of plumbing came into being as mankind struggled against disease. The history of civilization is the history of plumbing. At the dawn of civilization, when two or three families gathered together to make a tribe, people drank from springs and streams. They made no provisions for the disposal of sewage and garbage. We can assume that when their site became fouled with kitchen refuse and human waste, they just moved on. If disease killed members of the tribe because they neglected the laws of sanitation, they didn't understand the cause and effect. They didn't know that lack of cleanliness breeds disease.

Archeologists, while digging in various parts of the world, have confirmed that even ancient civilizations developed plumbing systems for protecting health. At Nippur, in Babylon, archeologists uncovered an aqueduct made of glazed clay brick that dates back to 4,500 B.C. This aqueduct contained three lines of glazed clay pipe. Each section was 8 inches in diameter and 2 feet long, with a flanged mouth. Other excavations have revealed glazed clay pipe in jar patterns, concave and cone shapes and a sewage system complete with manholes.

On the island of Crete, some of the palaces of ancient kings were equipped with extensive water supply and drainage systems. The glazed clay pipe was found to be in perfect condition after 3,500 years. Archeologists even discovered evidence of plumbing fixtures constructed of hard clay.

In ancient Greece, further advances were made in cleanliness. Greek aqueducts took pure water from mountain streams into cities. Sewers, which exist to this day, carried away waste to the surrounding rivers. They understood that bathing was a desirable habit. Greeks portrayed Hygeia, the goddess of health (from whose name we get the word "hygiene", as supplying pure water to a serpent, the symbol of wisdom.

The ancient Egyptians also realized the value of sanitation. Moses was acquainted with the sanitary science of the Egyptians and used it in framing the code of laws found in the book of Leviticus.

The Romans in the time of Julius Caesar developed the principles of sanitation to a high art. Unlike the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, they were familiar with lead, which they imported from the British Isles. They called it plumbum. The word plumbing is derived from the Latin word for a worker in lead. The Romans used lead in many of the same ways we use it today.

Two thousand years ago the city of Rome had an adequate water supply and sewage disposal system.
Water was piped from hills and mountains 50 miles distant from the city. To bring this water into Rome, great overhead aqueducts and underground tunnels were built of masonry. Branch lines carried water into the homes of the upper class for private bathrooms long before the development of the great public baths. Some baths in Pompeii had floors and walls of marble, with brass, bronze and silver fixtures.

From as far back as 600 B.C. Rome had an elaborate drainage system called the Cloaca Maxima. This main was 13 feet in diameter and was joined by many laterals. It was constructed from three concentric rows of enormous stones piled one on the top of another without cement or mortar. It still exists and is used today in the drainage system of modern Rome.

When Rome set out to conquer the world, they took their bathing habits with them. In what is now Great Britain, in the city of Bath, archeologists uncovered a Roman bath 110 feet long and 68 feet wide.

In the 12th century, trade guilds were first organized in England. The first apprenticeship laws were passed in 1562 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. These laws required an apprenticeship of seven years and made apprenticeship in all crafts compulsory. It was not until 1814 that the compulsory clause was removed and apprenticeship was made voluntary. The first known master plumbers' association was organized in England and incorporated in the College of Heralds of London.

With the discovery of the New World, man, like his ancient ancestors, sought to escape the dark and dirty cities of Europe for a fresh campground.

Although America has become a symbol of high standards in plumbing and sanitation, progress in the early development of sanitation and plumbing was very slow. As the population of the early settlements increased, conditions deteriorated. Garbage and sewage dumped onto the ground and seepage from earth-pit privies polluted nearby wells.

Health conditions became so intolerable that eventually public sewers had to be installed underground and extended to each building. Although New York in 1782 installed the first sewer under the streets, Chicago is credited with having the first real city sewage system, constructed in 1855.

Plumbing as we know it today traces its roots back many centuries, but was not really perfected until the twentieth century. Many older Americans, reared without indoor plumbing, still remember the open well, the pitcher pump, the outhouse, and the Saturday night romp in the old wooden tub. The modern bathroom, city water, and the sewers of today are taken for granted. But don't forget that plumbers protect the health of our nation and the world.


Explains in simple terms how to install plumbing systems that will pass inspection - the first time. Every chapter is clearly illustrated with diagrams, charts and tables that make it easy to select the right material and install it correctly.

It covers all of the plumber's trade: vents, waste piping, drainage, septic tanks, hot and cold water supply systems, wells, fire protection piping, fixtures, solar energy systems, gas piping and more. There are even chapters on mobile home and travel trailer parks and graywater recycling.

An appendix provides common plumbing definitions and abbreviations.

You'll also find help in preparing for the journeyman or master plumber's exam. Each chapter ends with a set of questions on what you should have learned. Test yourself, your workers, or your students. The correct answers are given in the back of the book, and include the actual page number where the topic is covered. The book concludes with a sample exam - 200 multiple-choice questions of the type you can expect to find on most plumber's exams. Again, the answers are in the back, with the page number where you'll find the topic explained. Whether you're installing plumbing and piping systems that have to pass inspection, or trying to pass the plumber's exam, you need this new edition of Plumber's Handbook.

The Author

Howard Massey is in every way an expert on the plumbing code and plumbing principles. He entered the field as an apprentice, advancing quickly to journeyman and master plumber. He was for 15 years a plumbing contractor and served for 14 years as assistant plumbing chief and plans examiner for Dade County, Florida.

Having seen plumbing work from all sides - as a plumber, plumbing contractor, inspector, and plans examiner - he knows where the problems lie. He has seen just about every mistake a tradesman, architect, engineer and plumbing contractor can make.

Since every plumber must have complete, up-to-date knowledge of the current plumbing code, Mr. Massey has revised and supplemented this manual to comply with significant code changes and new materials and methods that have appeared since the last printing of Plumber's Handbook. That makes this volume one of the most complete and useful guides available to the plumbing trade.

Other books by Mr. Massey are Basic Plumbing with Illustrations, Plumber's Exam Preparation Guide, Planning Drain, Waste & Vent Systems, and Illustrated Guide to the International Plumbing & Fuel Gas Codes.