Frequency of plumbing fixture use through audio sampling
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Pipe sizing criteria, and thus building water utility connections, are currently based upon a very small statistical sampling of plumbing fixtures performed in the late 1930's. This sampling became the basis for the Hunter curves. The Hunter curves remain the industry standard and are used to size piping systems based on the number of plumbing fixtures attached to the water supply system. There is general agreement, however, that use of these curves result in inefficient or insufficient water piping supply systems. As a result of the application of the Hunter curves, the water supply configurations are often miss-sized. Incorrect pipe sizing translates into higher material and labor costs during construction. With changes in personal habits, fixture design, and building use, the applicability of these 50-year old curves is questionable. A preliminary experiment was conducted whereby the WERC building on the Texas A&M University campus was continuously monitored for one week. The experiment involved mounting a microphone on the water supply riser for a bank of water closets. Data collected was used to estimate maximal usage patterns and probabilities of the concurrent use of multiple water closets. The estimated probabilities were compared to the Hunter Curves. Although based on a very limited sample, the comparisons suggest the Hunter Curves may underestimate maximal usage patterns.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaf 22).
Shea, Kevin Bruce (2000). Frequency of plumbing fixture use through audio sampling. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from