Really Small Plumbing Drawings

In the late 1970’s I was working as a job captain on construction documents for a large regional mall. We drew the plans at 1/16″ = 1′-0″, which was an appropriate scale for showing large plan areas. We drew enlarged architectural plans for areas like toilet rooms that needed more detail.

Romeo, the plumbing engineer, who worked on a different floor in the same AE firm, decided to stick with one scale for his drawings in order to save time and avoid going over his department’s budgeted hours.

Soon after construction started on the mall, I received a call from the plumbing subcontractor. “You’re a better man than I am if you can read these drawings,” he said. Romeo had drawn everything, including single-user toilet rooms, at 1/16″ = 1′-0″. Those rooms were quite small, so he had drawn waste and vent and hot and cold water lines in the same place, literally on top of each other. Romeo knew how the plumbing lines were supposed to relate to one another, but anyone else reading his drawing – without a video record of his drafting – would be hard pressed to decipher the drawing.

Posted in Gosh Darnit

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