Express Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

With the November Presidential Election coming up. We thought it would be fun to write about the plumbing that the White House has. As well as some history on when it was installed. So the White House is like a super hotel that contains all the high-tech appliances available.

The President’s home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue hasn’t always been a luxurious address. So many presidents had to tolerate poor living conditions, including poor plumbing and heating. The White House had a reputation for being behind the times in domestic improvements. Theodore Roosevelt established the title “White House” by executive order.

Did you know that every president except George Washington has lived in the White House? It wasn’t until November 1800 that second President John Adams and his wife Abigail moved in. Since there was no plumbing of any sort. So the staff had to lug water into the house from a spring in Franklin Park, five city blocks away. Candles were the only light and there were no bathrooms. There was no chief staircase. The family had to enter the house by temporary wooden stairs and platforms.

In 1902 plumbing renovations began. So all the plumbing fixtures are of high-quality standard construction. Because all piping above the basement is concealed in places where its renewal would be difficult and expensive. Durable brass pipes are used to minimize the necessity for repairs. Low noise flushing valve outfits were installed in each toilet. Cast iron is the drainage piping below the basement.

Bathrooms on the second floor have drinking water faucets. Showers are provided in the bathrooms on the second and third floors. The second-floor showers are separate enclosures, those on the third floor are over the bathtubs. Water temperature regulators are in each shower. Before the renovation, no baths connected with the guest rooms, and overnight visitors had to walk across a hall. Now all guest rooms have adjoining baths. The president’s tub is a good seven feet long as well!

Brad Jordan

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