Every sanitary provision in the bathroom has its importance. The faucets, the shower, the mixer, the diverter, the chinaware, accessories such as towel rail, soap dispenser, toilet paper holder and the cistern, all have to be in fully workable condition. If just one provision turns non-operational, it leaves the user stranded. The house owner has, therefore, to keep a check on bathroom fittings for their repair or replacement as and when any fitting starts giving trouble.
Among these multiple provisions, a few are to be provided in WC (washroom cubicle) area for washing and cleaning purposes. There were times when only a tap was provided near the water closet for the user to draw water and clean. The options are many now.
The tap: There were times when the Indian water closet or universal water closet was provided in the bathrooms in India. There would be one near the seat to draw water in a container. These days, English or European seats have replaced Indian seats. Doctors advise against squatting on Indian seats in view of increasing knee problems. With this changeover, the provision of tap near the seat has also been dispensed with. In the modern houses, no tap is now provided near the water closet to draw water to wash oneself.
Toilet paper holders: Every bathroom is today equipped with a toilet paper holder provided near the water closet. Toilet paper holders are produced in multiple designs by the manufacturers. Some of them are with a flexible flap or without a flap. It becomes difficult to remove toilet paper from the holders with a flap. However, the flap saves the toilet paper roll from getting wet under splash of a shower. In case space is available to provide a toilet paper holder near a seat but away from the shower, one should choose a toilet paper holder without a flap. U-shaped toilet paper holders are cheap and best. Sometimes, in large-sized bathrooms, spare toilet paper holders are also provided by the people, just to keep a standby roll. However, their provision should be avoided and extra paper rolls should be stored away in the wash basin vanity. Location of paper holder should be carefully decided to avoid damage to tissue paper due to sprinkling of water during bathing or during the use of health shower near the water closet.
Toilet paper rolls: It is important to choose toilet paper rolls of the right quality. Toilet paper must be soft, but strong. Companies are working on producing and providing pre-moistened toilet paper rolls, which shall be definitely preferred by users. Usual width of toilet paper roll should be 4.5 inch and not less than 4 inch in any case. Each sheet should be easily detachable. There are 2 ply and 1 ply toilet papers, but 2 ply toilet papers having double tissue sheet are lesser in use than 1 ply papers because of cost difference. Toilet paper must be soft but thick and strong and easily dissolvable.
Now, there is a right way to put toilet paper roll into place. When the roll is put on to the toilet paper holder rod, it should be checked that the paper rolls out over the roll and not under it. It is difficult to dispense toilet paper sheet from the roll when it is hanging under the roll whereas it can be easily detached when hanging over the roll.
Health Faucets: Health faucets are an alternative to toilet paper. They are installed near the water closet at a suitable location so that the user may reach one and use it while sitting over the seat. These are also called hand showers. These days, health faucets have become a popular provision as Indians are used to wet washing themselves. Health faucets should be chromium plated and provided with at least one meter long flexible tube for their easy use. Flexible tubes having chrome finish should be preferred so that the stop cock, the tube and the faucet, all look like one piece.
Seat Jets: Water jets fixed over the pot or the seat itself have become popular in India. Almost every family prefers seat jets over water closets for washing purposes, the reason being their convenient use. Seat jets are nothing but 3 to 4 mm diameter chrome finish pipes, bent at 90 degrees, with one end fixed to a chrome finish or PVC flexible pipe fixed to a stop cock and the other end fixed over the water closet below the seat cover to emit a sharp water jet. These seem to be an Indian innovation as many friends coming from abroad are unaware of their availability and some of them prefer to buy and take away a few pieces of these seat jets with them back home. A user should, however, check their practical use as the plumber can adjust the jet stream according to the requirement. However, some studies have advised against use of jets as it is feared that too sharp a stream may cause fissures or piles; but such cases might be rare as use of seat jets is continuously increasing.
Soap dispensers: While discussing the fittings in WC area, it shall be logical to discuss about soap dispensers also. Many people don’t like to use the already used soap cake kept near the wash basin. In such cases, it is better to avoid the provision of a soap dish. Go for a liquid soap dispenser instead. These are available in multiple designs. Swivel type soap dispensers are rotated at 180 degree to draw soap liquid out of them and when released, these gain their original position. Also, there are bottle type soap dispensers in metal or glass, which are filled with liquid soap. These are provided with wall flanges and can be fitted on the walls. Automatic soap dispensers provided with a sensor are also now available. Like a hand dryer, these can sense the palm spread below them and emit liquid soap on to it.
The writer is HoD and Engineer-in-Chief, Civil Engineering Department, in a Punjab PSU
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