Roughing in Your Drain Fittings
Running plumbing through your bathroom walls and floors is normally not an option if you want to protect your pipes and keep your bathing space looking uncluttered. The good part is, if you are undergoing a complete makeover, the framing members are already exposed so you don’t have to remove the drywall with demolition tools.
If you are new to home renovations, and this is your fist time rerouting piping through walls, just be prepared to spend two or three days cutting into walls (possibly flooring also) and running your plumbing pipes through your framing members, not to mention the time afterwards when you have to patch up your handiwork.
It would also be prudent to have working knowledge of your homes architectural structure, so you don’t accidentally cut through a load bearing wall, thereby jeopardizing the integrity of your home.
It’s also important that before running pipes through your wall and floor joists that your plans have been approved by your local municipal building authority to ensure building code compliance. Renting or owning a right-angle drill with a hole-cutting saw attachment would also be an asset along with some basic carpentry skills.
Accessing Your Lines
Overcoming plumbing problems will be a lot easier if you plan ahead. Knowing what’s in your bath walls, through your home’s building plans, will be an advantage if you have to remove a section of your bathroom wall covering (or have to remove the drywall) in order to repair or replace old plumbing pipes.
And if you don’t already know, try to open up as much of your bathroom wall surface as possible which not only allows you to effectively snake your plumbing pipes through the walls but also allows you to work comfortably without any hindrance.
Most beginner renovators think that the smaller the opening the less patch-up work will be involved in the end but the truth of the matter is that it takes very little more time to patch up a large opening than it does a small hole in your wall but the reduction in frustration as you try to run your pipes through a partially obscured small enclosed space is just not worth the hassle. So essentially you want to remove the wall surface all the way up to your bathroom ceiling.
Planning Water Distribution Routes
When developing a strategy for running your plumbing pipes through your bath walls you have to first understand the relationship of the thickness of your walls compared to the size of your plumbing pipes. For example a two-inch pipe can safely run through a 2×4 framing member but based upon plumbing codes, a modern washroom toilet needs to have a three-inch drain.
Consequently, a three inch pipe can only be installed in a 2×6 inch framing member. Knowing this information ahead of time will ensure your plumbing project goes off without a hitch. If you are unsure about any of this information contact your local building authority or you can check online as there are numerous resources that outline standard pipe sizes and sloping codes for running pipe through walls.
Drilling Holes in Studs to Assemble Tubing Sections
If you are running a new stack because you can’t re-vent to an existing stack you may have to remove your existing wall anyway. Try to cut a hole in both your floor joist (bottom plate) and the top plate of the room below your lavatory with enough room for your pipes to have a little bit of movement approximately four-and-a-half inches by ten inches.
Next cut away a ten-inch by two-foot section in your bathroom floor. Assemble your pipe and fittings making sure your drainpipe is somewhat longer than needed so you can adjust it up or down as necessary, you can always trim the pipe to size once the proper vertical distance is established.
It’s also important to make sure your drain pipe is facing in the right direction before you glue or solder anything in place. For your vent pipe you may need to cut a hole in the bottom and top plate using a right-angle drill with a hole-cutting saw attachment in order to guide the vent pipes up or your drainpipes down through your bathroom walls to connect with the rest of your plumbing system.
Stabilizing and Anchoring Conduit Assemblies
It’s common practice to anchor your drainpipes with straps. To maintain framing member integrity, it’s always a good idea when running your plumbing pipes through walls to run the pipes through the center of your framing members.
Because water is running through your pipes, the hollow space between your joist has a tendency of amplifying the sound, a good way to both stabilize and reduce pipe rattling is to either line the pipe cut-out holes with felt or slip a shim (small piece of wood) under the pipe and gently tap in place to restrict any pipe movement but still allow for pipe expansion.
Other related categories on easy home design tools. House bettering explained. Stylistic bathing space decorative viewpoints and lavatory goods reviewed for amazing home improvement projects. Here is some more perceptive advice on the distribution of water and waste you can read about.