Why Are Bathrooms Called the Head?

Bathrooms in ships are different because the toilet seat is present at its bow side. It is present above the ship floor, but its pipes are open into the sea.

Why Are Bathrooms Called the Head? Bathrooms in the ships are called a head due to their presence on the head portion of the ship. It does not contain all four components, including a bathtub and shower, like a standard bathroom. In addition, it provides easy access and privacy as it is a small, enclosed compartment.

It is one of the several famous terms that officials use for marine activities. It does not contain proper plumbing materials, so they are not exactly the same as bathrooms in your homes.

Why do you call the bathroom the Head?

People derived it from the Latin word “lav, ” meaning “to clean.”

The ship contains a heavy body and a pointed head for better sailing in water. It cannot sail straight into the ocean due to wind pressure if it does not have pointed corners.

Sailors do not have private toilets on the ship, so they have to use a common toilet. They call it head because it is present on the head portion of the ship.

It is present on any of its corners, whether it is the front corner or the back one. It originated in the late 1400s and remained popular for many years but lost its popularity in recent years.

The holes in these ships allow the waste to flush into the sea directly. They have several modern plumbing materials to compete for stylish bathrooms.

What is the difference between a bathroom and a head?

There are many differences between a standard bathroom in the home and the Head on the ship.

Drainage system

Its structure is the same as that of the standard toilets in your homes, but the drainage system is a significant difference.

It is a form of a toilet seat that you place in a hole on the bow part of the ship. Many pumps are present in it, which facilitates the arrival of seawater in this toilet.

Sea water comes into the chamber when the ship moves forward in the sea. There is no proper storage system for waste accumulation, so this seawater flows human waste with it.

Some ships can store the trash for a temporary period, so they dispose of this storage box in the nearby offshore area. It is legal to get rid of the waste into the sea and nearby offshore areas.

Storage capacity

Bathrooms in your home have several storage cabinets to store different essential items. You can put shampoos and other cosmetical products in these cabinets.

You have several hanging rods to place towels and toilet rolls that provide easy access to such things.

They provide safety because you do not search them in the house and find them in the same place daily.

Heads do not have such a facility to store these items because they do not have much space for such storage cabinets.

They do not provide safety to such things because everyone on the ship uses this toilet, so the chances of their misplacement increase. 

Bathing facility

Heads on the ship do not have a bathing facility for the sailors. It becomes hard to drain the water and human waste at a time because of high water pressure.

There is one main drainage line that serves to excrete water and waste outside the ship. Small ships have hand pumps that cannot control the heavy flow of water.

Water pressure increases when a ship moves in deep water. On the other hand, Bathrooms in your homes have proper plumbing materials for bathing purposes. You install a shower and bathtub with all related items to fully utilize the space.  

Size difference

The significant difference between a bathroom and a head is a different size. They have adequately maintained rooms with all facilities related to bathing.

Some people make toilets next to the bathroom to utilize the space. They have an efficient drainage system equipped with pumps and valves to control the water flow.

It contains four components: a sink, shower, bathtub, and toilet. On the other hand, ship toilets do not have all these components because they are smaller.

They cannot install them due to poor drainage systems on these ships.

They only have a small compartment to adjust the toilet seat, so there is no space left for other components. It also provides privacy on the crowded ship.

What are the benefits of the Head?

They have many benefits as sailors use the Head on the ship for their needs. 

No bad odor

The toilet smells bad due to a blocked drainage system and clogged vents. The human waste remains uncleaned for a longer time in the drainage system due to blockage in pipes.

It creates a bad odor when you do not flush it out properly. The heads in the ships can keep the environment odor free because of their shape.

It does not have storage capacity, so water flows all such waste material and cleans the toilet. It becomes odorless when there is no waste left behind.

Do not apply bleach on the toilet because chemicals can damage the inner structure of the bathroom due to splashes of high-water pressure.

A high wind pressure blows the bad odor produced in its toilet seat and helps relieve the sailors. This high pressure also keeps the deck area clean due to high water splashings.  

Easy access

Sailors can easily reach the head as it is present at the bow side of the ship. The captain has his toilet, but other sailors do not have the authority to use them.

Sailors have to remain on the upper portion of the ship all the time, so they have this head toilet on this portion. This function becomes significant when there are more toilets in the lower area of the ship.

Sailors cannot leave their work for much time to go on that portion for this purpose. So, this head is essential to save their time.

You can use the lee side toilet that is against the wind pressure because it does not allow waste to stick on its inner walls. 

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