Hilarious Things About Plumbing You Wouldn’t Believe

happy laughing woman pointing finger at something depicting funny plumbing facts

Alfred Hitchcock once said, “Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house.” While we can all agree that plumbing is a rather convenient luxury, the problems that come along with it are enough to make the calmest people have a nervous breakdown. No one wants to go diving into those hidden pipes solely meant for flushing dirty water. Thankfully, plumbers all over the world come to the rescue every day, and many have some hysterical stories and funny plumbing facts to show for it.

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Amusing Aspects About Plumbing That Will Make You Laugh

Keep reading to explore some interesting aspects about the plumbing industry.

Rise Up

image of a flushing toilet

The word “plumber” comes from the Latin word “plumbum”, which is funny even for those of us over the age of ten. And while it is a common belief that the inventor of the first toilet was a man named Thomas Crapper, he was actually the guy that bought the patent rights to it and made it popular. The idea for the toilet originated back in 1596 by a man named John Harrington. So is this just a major coincidence, or is this why many of us refer to our toilets as “the crapper” or “the john”? On the other hand, there are numerous other names for toilets as well, including potty, the pot, the dunny, the hopper, the loo, the can and the porcelain throne.

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Clean Up

toilet paperOne of the world’s greatest debates is whether the paper goes over or under. In a quest to find out which way is more preferred, researchers spent $100,000 to study people’s toilet paper-hanging habits. They discovered that three out of four people prefer the paper to hang over, with the flap up.

Another great debate is folded versus crumpled. Almost half of people prefer to fold their toilet paper after doing their business, while the majority of us crumple it up. Interestingly, some companies urge you to throw away toilet paper rather than flushing it. After all, loads of toilet paper going down the pipes may be responsible for that dreaded clog we all worry about. Other items plumbers have found that items that contribute to clogs include tampons, Q-tips, toothbrushes, cat litter, children’s toys, dead animals, and even our beloved smartphones.

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Heads Up

We have all heard the stereotype of women insisting the toilet seat (and lid) go down instead of being left up, but as it turns out, there is good reason for this. Most injuries that occur in the bathroom are due to people falling in the toilet, which is disgusting as well as funny. In fact, a person’s chance of being hurt by a toilet in his lifetime is about one in 10,000! There have even been a few instances of a person dying on the loo. One of the most famous is the story of Elvis Presley, who suffered a heart attack while on the john. But long before that, Great Britain’s King George II died from falling off of his porcelain throne.

Hurry Up

sitting on toilet while looking at cell phone

The privacy we are afforded while sitting on the toilet may urge us to pull out our phones for some mindless scrolling, even if we do lose track of time. However, you might not want to get too distracted while you’re in there. The average time spent on the potty in one’s lifetime is approximately 3 years. So the next time you wonder why you don’t have enough time in your day, consider how many funny memes you saw while distracted on your can.

Come Up

Mario & Luigi

Can you guess the world’s most famous plumbers? It’s Super Mario Brothers’ Mario and Luigi, of course! Originally, they were meant to be carpenters. Once Nintendo realized that the characters would spend most of their time in the pipes, they decided Mario and Luigi would make better plumbers than builders. Despite the fame, these games are not a great source for insight into the work of a real plumber, who doesn’t spend his days ducking into giant pipes before piranha plants rise out of them. Although, there are times when plumbers have to wiggle into very tight spaces. In manufactured homes or small houses with tiny crawl spaces instead of basements, plumbers often have to do their work with their bodies laying on the ground outside while just their heads and arms reach into the home.

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Set Up

Kids tend to be fascinated by the floating ball in the back of the toilet, which is responsible for the flow of water. It’s called a ballcock. As giggle-worthy as the name is, you may want to withhold that information from the little ones. In other countries, there are funnier names for bathroom-related things. For example, the most interesting name for bathroom is “la chamber sent” as they say in France. The direct translation of this is simply “smelly house”, which is also the most fitting. If you ask the British though, they refer to a French toilet as “a hole in the ground”.


Switch Up

Albert Einstein dappled in the plumbing trade back in his day. Down the line, he admitted that if he was young again, he would choose to pursue plumbing over science. Meanwhile, in another decade, Ozzie Osbourne was a plumbing apprentice before choosing the rock n’ roll life.

“My plumbing is all screwed up,” Demetri Martin once explained, “Because it turns out, I do not own a garbage disposal.” This quote reflects something we’ve all been guilty of at some point, which is letting things go down the drain simply because it is easier that way. Sooner or later, these mistakes come back to haunt us. But hey, at least you’re armed with some funny conversation starters for the next time you’re making small talk with the plumber who comes to save your day!

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