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A Fun History of White House Plumbing

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Plumbers in Timberwood Park, TX, Share Fun Facts About White House Plumbing

Fun and Interesting Facts About Plumbing in America’s House

Presidents Day is here, and one of the best ways to celebrate is to take a trip back in history. The White House was like any other house; it was a product of its time. And with it being such an important place, many people would assume that it always had all the modern conveniences available. However, that has not been the case throughout much of the famous house’s history. It was late getting running water and a flushing toilet, among other things. Read on to discover some little-known fun facts about the White House’s plumbing. 

The First Installation of Running Water in the White House

The first glimpse of running water at the White House wasn’t for what many people expected. During John Quincy Adams’ presidency, from 1825 to 1829, the famous house received running water from a well at the neighboring Treasury building. But it wasn’t water for drinking or bathing. It was for watering plants! 

President Adams had a love of gardening, so he needed a way to water his plants. So, an iron pump with spout holes was fixed up, and the White House had its first running water. A few years later, after Andrew Jackson moved in, the White House had its first running water for drinking and filling storage reservoirs to protect the house in case of fire. 

The White House’s First Flush

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Although the White House received an early iteration of indoor plumbing under Jackson in 1833, it was another 20 years or so before the first flush toilet was installed. While Adams will go down in history as the first to bring running water to the White House grounds, and Jackson for bringing it into the house, President Millard Fillmore is credited with installing the first flush toilet (he didn’t do the actual installation, of course). It wasn’t until his successor, Franklin Pierce, took office that the White House had a fully functioning modern bathroom similar to those people enjoy today. 

More Fun and Interesting Facts

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The history of bathtubs in the White House is also interesting. Although basic bathtubs were around at the time, John Quincy Adams preferred to bathe in the Potomac River. According to some historians, he would take a dip in the nearby river between sunrise and sunset. However, this presented some complications. One day, someone made off with Adams’ clothes while he was cleaning himself, and he had to yell for a boy to bring him more from the White House. 

Although there is some contention about this, some say that the first bathtub in the White House was installed in 1814 when James Madison lived there. The water had to be heated on a stove and then brought to the bathtub. It wasn’t long before the British set fire to the White House, so that particular tub was short-lived.

About Primo Plumbing

The friendly folks at Primo Plumbing have been serving Timberwood Park, TX, for over 50 years. Their technicians are all expertly-trained and certified. They offer personal, reliable service and up-front pricing. Contact them today to receive White House-caliber plumbing service in Timberwood Park.

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