Diy bathroom plumbing refers to the do-it-yourself people. I like people that are willing to step outside of their comfort zone and really tackle something new. This stuff isn’t terribly hard, you just have to be willing to give it your best shot.
I do a lot of things, I’m just not too good at any of them. Some things aren’t rocket science, so it doesn’t take a genius to do them. That’s how plumbing is. Plumbing involves pressurized water lines and gravity flow septic lines.
Most of us have been involved in some kind of home plumbing repair project.
Home plumbing repair is fine for the novice homeowner, but diy heating plumbing projects can sometimes end up in disaster. You need to have a good plan to cover your bases. Every home bathroom plumbing plan should have a good outline.
Part of the contents you should have in a basic outline should include things like the components of plumbing to get a better understanding of how the pipes all work.
I have also included information on fresh water systems to help explain how fresh water lines work. I’ve also included how to connect copper pipes in case you aren’t allowed to use pex tubing. There’s a part that explains plumbing fixtures which includes stuff like sinks, toilets, showers, and faucets.
The nasty part of plumbing includes the drain and waste section which is important all the time, but more so when it fails.One of the things that helps plumbing go so well is the plumbing and venting part of running the pipes.
Before you get into plumbing, you’ll need to have the local codes from the Health and Plumbing Inspectors. There are usually a few differences between local and National codes that pertain to the local environment conditions. The differences are usually small.
Most Plumbing and Health inspectors give you a list of code requirements when you apply for a permit so you’ll know exactly what you have to do before you get started.
Let’s get started with Plumbing because there’s a lot to cover. We’ll begin with the water lines. The idea is to build a house as inexpensively as possible so if we can use plastic water lines, we’ll save a lot of time and money. I’ll cover copper lines also because there are quite a few nay-sayers when it comes to plastic plumbing.
First of all, I think Pex (plastic water lines)is an excellent product.
So far, Pex has performed very well. See the pic of Pex tubing.
Pex is perfect for plumbing in your bathroom because it’s so easy to work with. Each fixture will have its own dedicated waterline.
You just run all the tubing through the walls to each fixture like the kitchen faucet, washer, bathtub, sinks etc.. The Pex fittings are easy to put on. You’ll need a pair of crimpers and the fittings. Crimp rings clamp on with the crimpers and the fittings are permanent.
All the waterlines run from each fixture back to the manifold. The manifold has the main water supply input at the bottom. The cold outputs are on one side with one cold mainline coming out from the top that goes to the water heater.
The water heater has a hotline going back into the top of the manifold on the hot side with all the hot outputs on the side.See the pic. Most bathroom plumbing projects done by the hobbyist are done with PEX
Now let’s see what it looks like when we put it all together. It’s such a simple way to do things. Pex performs much better in the cold than copper does. It can freeze several times and it just thaws and returns to normal. Copper doesn’t do so well when it freezes with water in it.
The fittings are attached by a process called sweating. This is a drawing of an ugly man sweating. Sweating pipes that is.
That guy kind of looks like me a little bit.
You will first have to cut the pipes with a pipe cutter or a hacksaw. Cutting the pipes always leaves burrs behind that have to be removed with a deburring tool or steel wool. Even sandpaper works fine.
Once the pipe is smooth, you will brush a solvent called flux onto both the male and female ends of the pipe and fitting.
Next, assemble the pipes and fittings and get ready to heat them up. Heat the pipe up all the way around. Once it’s hot enough, apply the solder to the joint. The pipe will actually suck the solder in and create a tight seal. Apply the solder all the way around and wipe off excess solder with a thick towel. Remember, that bad boy is dang hot!
This takes a little bit of practice, but in no time you will be working on your own plumbing projects like a professional. You just have to be willing to put in the hard work.
Now, it’s time to move on to the septic lines. The plumbers term for these lines are “DWV” (Drain, Waste, Vent)
There is more to it than just hooking up a bunch of pipes so the water and nastiness can get out of our lives forever. All though we can’t see it, we are all under a lot of pressure. No, I don’t mean stress, I mean atmospheric pressure.
That’s where the venting regulations come in to play. The septic lines have to be adequately vented to equalize atmospheric pressure so the water in P-traps doesn’t get sucked out and the pipes drain without any problems.
Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult. I just wanted to impress you with all that atmospheric pressure talk. Basically, this septic line stuff is all just potty talk.
If your code regulations let you, put in plastic pipes. These have a much better track record than plastic waterlines. Still there are a few places that prohibit the use of any plastic plumbing parts. If that’s the case, then you’ll have to do the waste system in iron pipe. That’s really hard.
The two types of plastic pipes are PVC and ABS. Both are perfect for diy bathroom plumbing projects. They are a snap to work with. ABS has had a few problems with breaks in the past, but I still use it.
This is ABS pipe. The fittings are glued on with ABS cement. It’s very permanent!
The white pipes are PVC. They are slightly stronger than ABS and a little more expensive. There are a lot different tips for working on your own plumbing, but the best thing is just practice.
We glue the pipes to form whatever we need them to do. The wide turn fittings are used for draining and the short turn fittings are used for venting. The larger pipes are called soil lines. They are 3 or 4-inch lines. They are used for toilet lines. Most water drainage lines like shower water, dishwater, laundry water, can be 2-inch lines and vent lines can be 1 1/2-inch lines.
Let’s put them all together to see what they do. Even somebody that is just starting out with doing their own plumbing work can do work that passes inspections and that they are proud of. Just make sure to take your time, gather information, and put together a plan.
Diy bathroom plumbing top of page
Components of plumbing
How to Install fresh water lines
Plumbing with copper pipe
Various Plumbing fixtures
How to Install drain plumbing
Plumbing and venting
Installing or replacing an electric water heater