I'll bet that's a title you never thought you'd see! But there's actually some rationale behind the subject...
I know a fair amount about plumbing, but a question occurred to me tonight which I didn't have an answer for.
A little bit ago I was re-reading the thread here about an apparent fire/water-main leak high up in the WTC buildings after one of the planes
Someone in this thread mentioned how the leak might have been from a waste drain line (i.e. the sewer) (a gruesome thought indeed). Anyway, this got
me to wondering about something. It's a crappy question, I know.
How does a waste riser in a 80-100 floor building actually work? Surely the waste can't be allowed to free-fall for 80-100 floors, can it? Are there
baffles or something to slow the waste down? In an extreme skyscraper the velocities would be in the triple digits by the time the waste gets to the
bottom floor, easily enough to shatter some pretty HD ductile iron pipe. How does this work?
And while we're on the subject of S# falling from the sky, a second question...
All of that falling waste must create a pretty good vacuum (or negative pressure) condition in the pipes above it, what keeps the pipes (and fixtures)
above from collapsing and/or having the water sucked out of them? I assume it's vents, but wow, that must be a hell of a venting system (not
something you'd ever want stand anywhere near, else you'd get sucked in!)
And, a 3rd crappy question...
Down near the bottom of these waste risers there must be a pretty big (like huge) over-pressure condition. What keeps the toilets on lower floors from
not erupting like a giant volcano of poo? No P-trap would be able to stop that! (have this image of someone on the 2nd floor flushing the toilet and
being ejected through the ceiling tiles!). What keeps the pipes from blowing apart?
I don't know why I never thought about any of this before.
Anyway, sorry for all the crappy questions, and thanks in advance.