Bathroom Plumbing Around the World

Americans love our indoor plumbing for its convenience and modern features. From our home bathrooms to public restrooms, we have it pretty good. Even on the go it’s easy to find a nice place “to go” when you use bathroom finder apps like Bathroom Scout or FLUSH. But have you ever thought about how our private and public bathroom plumbing stands up to plumbing worldwide? If you’ve traveled to other parts of the world, you might already have a good idea of how other countries manage indoor plumbing. In some places, it’s certainly eye-opening. Keep reading to learn more about the differences in bathroom plumbing around the world and what plumbers in other countries repair.

Raised Cisterns in England

When you think of England, you probably don’t think there’s much difference between our plumbing and theirs. For the most part, you’d be right in this way of thinking. The differences aren’t too dramatic. However, if you wander into an old English pub, you might find a relic from the past. Raised tanks were popular at one time, using cisterns to with a reservoir that’s built higher to use the full force of gravity. All toilets use gravity to wash away wastewater, but cisterns helped move the process along. These days, you don’t find as many cisterns in developed countries because plumbing technology has come a long way.


How many valves does your toilet have at your house? Most modern toilets have one handle that does all the work. However, if you have a newer toilet design such as a dual-flush toilet, you might have a couple buttons or valves to use. Throughout the world toilets have various handle configurations. Examples include:

  • Tank fill valve
  • Flapper-flush valves
  • Siphon-flush valve
  • Pressure-assisted valve
  • High -pressure valves
  • Dual-flush valves

You don’t even have to travel the world to find these different valves. Many homes in your community have different valves that plumbers work on every day.

Squat Toilets

While you might find one of these toilets out in the middle of nowhere during a hiking trip, they’re quite common in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. While Americans might be used to sitting and taking care of business, squat toilets don’t offer this convenience. Instead, homes and public places that have squat toilets have an indentation in the floor. Now, don’t get us wrong. Many homes in these areas of the world have upgraded and modernized their plumbing systems to support Western-style toilets. However, if you’re traveling in these areas, the chances of coming across a squat toilet is quite high.

As unusual as squat toilets seem to most Americans, they actually have some advantages. First, because there’s no contact with a toilet seat, they tend to be considered more hygienic. Also, the squatting position offers some physical benefits. We don’t mean to get too personal here, but when people sit while using the toilet, this actually causes the puborectalis muscle to crimp.  Squatting relieves this pressure on this muscle.


Although bidets are mostly used in Europe and other Eastern cultures, most Americans are familiar with how a bidet works. In fact, our plumbers have worked on bidets time and time again. In American homes, it’s more common to find bidets that are attached to or built into the toilet.

Plumbing in Southern California

Here in our region of the world, we don’t deal with too many crazy bathroom plumbing contraptions. Most of the homes our plumbers service have regular American toilets and other plumbing fixtures. However, that’s not saying that the plumbing in other cultures isn’t up to our standards. Plumbing standards across the globe are just different and there’s nothing wrong with that.

At Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter, we work on all types of bathroom plumbing issues from installing new toilets and fixing bidets to unclogging sewer lines and keeping your home free from dangerous wastewater. When you need drain cleaning services, faucet repair, or toilet services, call us. Our local plumbers have the experience, tools, and knowledge to make quick, lasting repairs. We offer free estimates in-person for accurate diagnosis and schedule services to fit your busy schedule. To schedule an appointment with a licensed plumber, call us at (888) 668-8922.