Any plumbers? Bathroom from scratch.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by charlie chitlin, May 9, 2021.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've done some plumbing repairs, water heater and furnace installs, but I may be about to install a bathroom from scratch.
    It's a concrete room that was used as a dog kennel. It has hot and cold and a 4" drain in the middle of the floor with its own septic.
    I want it to be 2 bedrooms and a full bath.
    What's the best way to get the toilet outlet to the drain?
    I suppose it needs to be vented, right?
    I see all kinds of mix and match plumbing these days...flexible hoses, PVC, shark bites...is it still as good to do good ol' copper and solder?
    Gladly accepting suggestions about any part of the process.
     
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  2. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm about to completely gut out our main floor bathroom and install a new tub, toilet and sink. It's a bungalow with a basement so the plumbing is easily accessible. I'm going with PEX. I'm competent with soldering copper lines though. I'm a retired Boilermaker (welder) and soldering copper was part of my apprenticeship waaay back when. PEX is sooo much easier and I've never had any leaks. I've completely replumbed two houses in the past using PEX. I made sure not to skimp on shutoffs.
     
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  3. David Meiland

    David Meiland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    If the drain in the floor is going to be reused as the main outlet, it needs to be 3", so check that first. It also need to be low enough where you tie into it that you can get correct drain slope from the fixtures to the tie-in point. Each fixture needs to be correctly vented, which usually means a vent riser near the fixture and then maybe tie-in up higher to a common vent through the roof. What you're likely looking at is either removing the concrete floor or at least cutting channels in it so that you can get a toilet and a tub/shower in the correct locations, and a branch going to the sink. Concrete walls won't help you if you want to conceal the piping, so are you going to just leave it exposed or furr out one of more walls to deal with that? As far as supply lines go, I would suggest getting PEX tools and pipe/fittings to go with it, although copper is perfectly fine and the 1/2" that you'd be using in a bathroom is easy to solder successfully.
     
  4. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm with ^^Dave^^ on this one Charlie. Time to get friendly with a jackhammer. You want your toilet next to the wall with a full vent. A toilet drain is not something you want to be sending around any turns if avoidable. Decide where you want your toilet, sink, and tub/shower to be, and then excavate as called for. Definitely test everything out before repouring concrete (if you decide to go that route).
     
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  5. Chuckster

    Chuckster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm a master plumber and I'm fighting the urge to say "Just don't."

    Not sure where you are located, but some states, like here in Massachusetts, are very strict and have very specific codes. You cannot do your own plumbing in this state unless you are licensed. Non- permitted work could affect resale as well.

    That said, if you do decide to move forward, be safe. At least take a peek at your state codes and see what is/isn't allowed. And don't use Sharkbites. Sharkbites are the plumbing equivalent of those fretboard stickers with the notes on them.

    Makes sure your drains have 1/4" pitch per foot. Good luck...
     
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  6. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

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    Would it be right to cap that 4"? He could situate the commode at his planned site with the vent behind it escaping vertical either in the wall or however he chooses. Then he could channel the 3" down to the capped 4" outlet that is capped below the floor level. Then he could concrete back over the center drain area. Just wondering. Also to the OP I have done this type of plumbing repair in my own house when adding a bathroom. Jacking up the floor is easier than you think. I even had to go under a wall once. Prep is big. Cover everything else in the area. Use white buckets or something comparable to put all of your excavation in to easily put it right back. Make sure you take out enough concrete to do the job. You only want to use that hammer once. Also make sure your work is within code for your area. In California I had to have the county inspector look at the work to sign off so it was all up to code. That way no problems on a resale. JMHOs Good luck with the job!
     
  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    This is somewhat discouraging as our new crib is in... Massachusetts.
    Ugh.
    As for the toilet drain...we would be putting in floors and everything would probably be sitting on 2x6 or 2x8, and the ceilings are quite high, so we could raise the bathroom up higher yet to get the proper pitch in the drains.
    [email protected] Mass, can I roll my own and get it inspected by a licensed plumber?
    There is an insane real estate boom in western Massachusetts right now and contractors and trades people are booked WAY out...I doubt I can wait too long.
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    If you are moving to a cold weather climate from warmer areas ... make sure you understand how pipes can freeze in the winter and put them on inside walls rather than exterior walls. And make sure you have a lot of insulation plus vapor barrier in this 'hot/cold space' addition.

    If you cap over the floor drain, make it a cleanout port with floor access.

    .
     
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  9. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    I posted these two cautions in a thread last week about mods to guitars. They apply just as well to plumbing. Paraphrased...

    If you force it, you'll break it. (This applies to pipes, floors, walls, and most anything else you touch.)
    If you don't know what you're doing anything you do will make it worse. (The worst damage occurs when you try to fix what you broke.)

    I'm not a plumber. I'm in the midst of a major renovation at home. I wisely left the jobs I'm not 100% sure I can do myself, including plumbing and electrical, in the hands of the contractor. A good contractor or plumber will make suggestions you'd never have thought of. Some will even save you money. Some will make for a better finished project. A bathroom isn't a DIY project for a first timer.

    One more thing to consider is inspection. Does your town (locale) require permits? Does the finished job need to be inspected? If the job requires permits, your certificate of occupancy will not reflect the actual property when you go to sell it. You may then be responsible for getting permits after the fact and paying any back taxes owed before you can proceed with the sale. Permits and inspection aren't a scam. They protect you from unscrupulous contractors... and sometimes from yourself.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  10. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Send a Boy to fetch the Water.
    Send a Man to get it out of there.

    Drain, Waste and, Vent is more complicated than it appears.
    You have to start at the point of attachment to the main trunk line and work your way back to the Toilet to make sure you have enough grade to make things work.

    The pipe the floor drain is connected to might not be deep enough to do the job.
    It is probably on top of a P-Trap that can give a false impression as to how deep it really is.
    The P-Tap might be connected to a Trap Primer.

    Direction of flow. Is that existing waste line running in the right direction?

    Tread lightly, do your Homework.

    If you have questions, feel free to ask.

    -ST
     
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  11. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

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    With a cement pad....hire a pro. If the drain has to be moved...which it sounds like, they will have the tools and experience to do it right.
    If you try it, and pooch it up...you could be costing yourself even more money for a pro to fix it.
    But yes....use PEX for the feeds, I don't know why anyone would use copper. Any cost difference usually washes out.
    Oh..and be warned...*everything* is hard to get right now....and expensive.
    Have the pros do the hard stuff, and do the finish work yourself.
     
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  12. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    We had two bathrooms redone last year including getting rid of wall mount rear discharge toilets for conventional floor mount floor discharge ones. Two new showers, plumbing (supply & drain), some electrical, and tile work

    With friends help I probably could have done it myself but the peace of mind knowing it was done right alone was worth the expense. Plus I figure it would have taken me twice as long and I’d have give up work for the project

    I’ll be rebuilding my pool pump this week. In the near future putting two new 220v outlets in (one for the salt generator), installing the salt generator, and cleaning up the pool plumbing.

    Refinishing the pool, new coping, & waterline tile I’m going to farm out

    At my age I know my limits
     
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  13. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    When I saw the title, I thought, “I often go to the bathroom to scratch, too...that way my wife won’t yell at me...”

    Then I read your post and realized that wasn’t what we were talking about.
     
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  14. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm a died-in-the-wool Copper fan for new Construction.
    But for remodeling, the torch can be very Hazardous. Fumes from improper ventilation, risk of injury from burns and, catching things on Fire need to addressed.

    PEX seems to be what the Kids are dancing to these days.
    A far cry better than CPVC!
     
  15. Chuckster

    Chuckster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    If you can find a plumber who's willing to put his license and rep on the line for YOUR work, I suppose you could, but it won't be free. Also, the plumber installs, the city/town inspector does the inspection to code.

    I'm certainly not trying to discourage you, so please understand that. I now work for a major manufacturer of shower valves, and one of our little company stickers says, "Plumbing is NOT a weekend hobby." There's a reason we have a 4-year education and yearly recertification. It seems easy, but its not. I understand your willingness to give it a try and admire that, but would hate for you have issues down the road.

    Perhaps you could ask around town or in the local supply houses. A lot of plumbers who work for plumbing contractors will do moonlight work. I did it for years and it worked out well for me and the customer.
     
  16. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've been a professional mechanic for many years.
    I know how to drive tools.
    How to be meticulous, how to research, and how to do things right the first time, even if it takes 3x as long as the 2nd time.
    It's so incredibly frustrating to be thwarted by rules and beaurocracy.
    This stuff, to me, is people jealously protecting their jobs and self-importance.
    One would think a passed inspection of a job well done would be enough, irrespective of who did the job.
     
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  17. David Meiland

    David Meiland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Duh, I missed the part where he said the drain is 4"... but it needs to be verified that it's at least a 3" pipe no matter what the trim looks like. If it's actually 4" he can use a fitting to connect 3" to it. The toilet wants 3" so that's the minimum size leaving the bathroom.
     
  18. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I would watch a few episodes of Mike Holmes, his master plumber Martin has done a few of those projects. It's not an easy job. I would leave the rough-in to the pros, in the end you might save money. They have the knowledge and the right tools. Is the existing "septic" capable of supporting what you want to do? The drains and vents are rather critical. When I built my house I did all of that work myself and I got a hard time from most of the inspectors but I did bull through it.
    Best of Luck!
     
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  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The house is not large with 3 bedrooms.
    I suppose, because it was a kennel, there is a huge sand mound rated for a 7 bedroom dwelling. The drain in the proposed room has its own pit that is pumped into the sand mound, something like 250' away.
    Odd, elaborate, but really good system
     
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  20. Chuckster

    Chuckster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Whoa... alrighty then. I guess my work here is done.

    Do feel the same about other licensed professionals? Doctors, dentists, nurses, undertakers, hair stylists, etc? All are licensed in MA.
     
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