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Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

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  • Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

    Everyone lives in apartments.
    Most are 7-story apartment buildings which have no elevators. (This is good!)
    Just one cement stairway per section of 14 apartments. (This is bad because that stairway is the only firegress.) Though smoke alarms are made in China, no one owns any. I brought some from the US.

    Bathroom sinks, all pedestal, have no traps.
    So everyone has a cork plugging their sink overflow to prevent odors in the bathroom. (No one ever uses enough water to fill the sink, much less overflow the bowl.)
    They also must keep the stopper closed. It is thick and pivots in the drain opening.

    In everyone's bathroom sink bowl is a plastic basin.
    To reduce water bills, everyone washes hands and brushes teeth catching the water.
    Later they pour that water into the toilet bowl to "flush" the toilet.

    Hot water is from a 220-volt electric 8(?)-liter tank mounted near the ceiling with a shower hose coming from an ON/OFF/mixing valve under the tank.
    It is plugged into a 220 V 50 Hz outlet about 6-1/2 feet above the floor.
    They turn the heater on only when they will be taking a shower.
    Works well.
    The hand-held showerhead mounts on the wall and creates nice little "prickly" spray streams using minimal water.
    The tiny spray streams can feel like little stings, even though their water pressure is fairly low.

    To take a shower, you pull the shower curtain on its rod across the narrow bathroom closing off the end of the bathroom into a large, cold shower stall. (Smaller would keep the heat closer and you would feel warmer.)
    The water runs to a floor drain near a corner.
    After showering, one must sponge-mop the water to the drain which leaves the floor damp.

    The circular floor drain plasticover contains a water trap. Water enters the outside periphery grid of the cover into a circular trough of water inside of which is the water seal. The water then flows to the middle where it falls into the drain pipe.

    Near the opposite end of the bathroom is the same drain for the small clothes washer. Everyone has a piece of electrical wire strung through the cover grid so that they can pull the cover straight up and out. (If you do not keep the cover upright, you will dump the water seal out.)
    You pull out the drain cover and insert the clothes washer hose directly into the drain line.

    The toilet is a low, single-piece design which does not flush well.
    1.6-gallon which inefficiently splashes and not all flushes away.

    They now have newer toilets with two flush modes but few can afford them.

    One toilet I saw has a dry bowl with straight 2-1/4 inch flat-bottomed outlet channel sloping down to the back of the toilet.
    (If I were to use it, I would flush some water to wet all the surfaces. I don't know if they know to do that or not.)
    At the back of the channel I could see the small water pool water seal.

    Restaurant restrooms have the floor trough-toilets over which one squats. Some made by American Standard!
    Toilet paper is never furnished! In China, always carry 6 feet of toilet paper as facial tissue and toilet paper.
    One enters the mens or womens toilet rooms from a common sink area usually with two sinks. That is a good, efficient concept.

    The apartment kitchen sink hot water comes from the shower water heater.
    They use so little water that it rarely gets warm.

    Water quality is just below the threshold of potability. Maybe it is just a lack of chlorine - I could never smell any.
    (It may be thathe bottled water company bribes the water officials not to make it drinkable.)
    So everyone has a water dispenser in their apartment.
    Some dispensers heat the water so they can quickly make tea.

    From walking in the hot, humid air and then climbing stairs to someone's apartment, one is often hot and perspiring.
    They offer you a glass of HOT water! (Not in a cup with handle but in a glass glass which is difficult to handle!)
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 10-11-2010, 07:28 AM.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

    ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

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    • #3
      Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

      No pictures ?

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      • #4
        Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

        And now I have even more reasons on my list for why to avoid going to China.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

          Geez, with all the money Wal-Mart ships to China on our behalf, you'd think they'd have much better plumbing!

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          • #6
            Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

            Originally posted by stokefire7 View Post
            No pictures ?
            I'm trying to get pictures uploaded. But we have a problem with our computer.

            Outside one apartment building's entrance, some kind of thick sludge was oozing up through the sewage manhole cover. It was actually lifting the heavy metal cover.

            Residents distributed a few paving brick "steps" in the water from the sludge so that no one's shoes get wet.
            Residents complained, but who knows when the sewage department will get around to it. (Maybe waiting for a bribe before starting work.)
            Last edited by Robert Gift; 10-09-2010, 04:21 PM.
            I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
            It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
            "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

              Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
              I'm trying to get pictures uploaded. But we have a problem with our computer.

              Outside one apartment building's entrance, some kind of thick sludge was oozing through the sewage manole cover. It was actually lifting the heavy metal cover.

              Residents distributed a few paving brick "steps" in the water from the sludge so that no one's shoes get wet.
              )
              Problem solved

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

                Wow! I would never have thought plumbing could be so bad in any developed country in the world. That's tough living...
                Ideal Plumbing

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                • #9
                  Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

                  Originally posted by idlplumb View Post
                  Wow! I would never have thought plumbing could be so bad in any developed country in the world. That's tough living...
                  They know no differently and are used to it.
                  They just make do.
                  In new apartment buildings I presume they have plumbing which meets newer codes.
                  At a Ma & Pa plumbing store - single cluttered storefront room lit only by outside light during daytime and ONE CFL bulb when dark - I spotted an "S" trap for pedestal sinks.
                  Also saw a trough toilet. They must be difficult to install and repair becuase they are "buried" in the floor. I have never seen one in a residence.
                  I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                  It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                  "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

                    Is this true even in the big cities? I know many people from China here in San Diego - have never spoken to them about plumbing in China but having seen this post I will do so .

                    I do know someone here who has travelled to China and he mentioned that the public toilets were disgusting.

                    Floor squat toilets are very common in parts of Asia.

                    Dry toilets are common in some parts of Europe. I have stayed at a house in the Netherlands that has this type of toilet. Did not really care for it especially if you are not used to something like that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

                      Originally posted by blue_can View Post
                      Is this true even in the big cities? I know many people from China here in San Diego - have never spoken to them about plumbing in China but having seen this post I will do so .
                      I do know someone here who has travelled to China and he mentioned that the public toilets were disgusting.
                      Floor squat toilets are very common in parts of Asia.
                      Dry toilets are common in some parts of Europe. I have stayed at a house in the Netherlands that has this type of toilet. Did not really care for it especially if you are not used to something like that.
                      Chinese people may be too embarrassed to talk about their toilets and hole-in-the-floor showers.
                      My wife went to a small shop to get her hair cut. Their "restroom" was an outside masonry "closet" with a hole in the cement floor which held a bucket.
                      (I do not knowhere they emptied the bucket.) (Not wanting to cause anyone to empty it, I waited in much discomfort until we got home.)

                      They call a toilet "WC" after the English. In some places you may see a [WC] sign over a street pay WC. They are trough toilets and NO toilet paper is supplied.
                      No sinks to washands, either.

                      In Holland and Belgium I saw "inspection" toilets.
                      Waste piles on the bowl's "plateau". (Were I ever to use one, I would first move the flush lever enough to wet the bowl sides and create a 1/4-inch deep pool of water in the slightly concave plateau.)

                      Along with the flush rim, main flushing water descends from the back of the bowl and washes most matter forward where it falls down a front channel. (Toilets I saw had small amounts of matter sticking to the dry plateau.)

                      A woman claims this type of toilet saved her life!
                      She discovered blood in her stool and went to her doctor.
                      Successful colon cancer operation and she is now fine.
                      Last edited by Robert Gift; 10-09-2010, 05:03 PM.
                      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

                        Not having modern toilet facilities is no different than when I was in the service towards the end of the Nam war. I was stationed in West Berlin during the cold war and had to spend days "in the field" having monthly exercises without modern bath and toilet conveniences. C-rations typically provided a modest pack of toilt paper but when you ran short you typically had to being a old magazine or phone book which doubled up as toilt paper. Ever have to live in a pitched cloth tent for a week at a time?....kind of gives you a perspective how each of us should be thankful for what we have at home. Stuff we take for granted such as hot running water, bed with real linens, 3 meals a day are still considered luxuries in places as close as south of the border, villages in mainland China, and eastern European countries.
                        America...best country in the world even with all it's remaining inequities

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                        • #13
                          Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

                          In Iraq I removed a few squat toilets, what a shame. there was nothing wrong with them and we had thousands of forighn and iraqi's guys that would only use squat toilets. Didn't matter we got rid of all of them. So what they would do was stand on the seat and squat as best they could. shatting up the front of the tank was common so was breaking the tank. We always had foot prints on the toilet seat.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

                            Why go to all the effort of removing something that worked?
                            If there were several fixtures, could they leave some as is and replace others with toilets?
                            I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                            It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                            "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Just back from China. Plumbing dismal but improving.

                              God bless the usa !! We are truly blessed !
                              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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