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Old 04-04-2005, 06:00 PM   #1
MarcusEngley
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And so it begins... (long!)

Greetings all,

As the party line goes, I've been doing deep background research here, posting off and on with questions and tidbits and am now face to face with a bathroom that is slowly being torn apart. Figured I'd better get a handle on what's going up in its place, so here we are -- I'll update this as the project continues, with pichers coming soon.

The basics:

The bathroom is a little over 36 sq ft, measuring about 74 inches "square". Half the space is occupied by a tub/shower and a built-in cabinet/laundry chute. When we moved in there was carpet (yuck!) over linoleum (still bad, but at least not as, umm, absorbent). Carpet's now gone, as is the shelving/frame for the laundry chute. The plan is to remove the tub/shower and it's (non-load bearing) end wall, rip up the linoleum to the subfloor, maybe to the joists. Replace the lot with corner shower (porcelain tile), Jak slate with radiant heat for the rest of the space, sun tube skylight, pocket door and other generally fun things...

What's below:

Joists are 2x8 dimensional, spaced 16 oc (at most), spanning 11.5' (at most). All but one of the joists have been sistered along at least half their length, if not the full 11.5 span (confirmation to follow!). They're in good shape except for the sistered pair under the main section of the bathroom, which are both notched to about 4.5" for the last 6-8" where they hit the pony wall, to accomodate the shower drain and vent line that some idiot was to lazy to route a little lower.

Here's what I hope to do for the subfloor, depending on difficulty/cost/effectiveness (not necessarily in that order):

1. Sister the only single joist along it's full length, or at least under the bathroom to the pony wall; add a second sister to the remaining joists, including the pair that Mr. Sawzall did a number on. Hopefully this will get me to L/720. I might be able to squeeze ANOTHER sister in there too, if necessary -- it's only a matter of 4 or 5 joists, so the cost isn't the concern.

2. Beef up the subfloor as necessary -- right now I think it's a layer of 1x6 t&g plank with a second layer of same/similar on top of that. I'm not at all opposed to ripping it out to the joists and putting in 1 1/8 Advantech or two layers of BC ply, if that'd be better.

Question(s):

1. Is it a reasonable task to reroute the shower drain and its vent line down, so I can clear the new joists? How much drop is acceptable over a 4 foot run to the DWV stack?

2. Since I'm here and the plumbing isn't top-notch at the moment (DIY PVC, not that I could do better, though who knows), is it worth it to replace the whole affair with copper, or can I make the shower lines copper and mate them with PVC for potential replacement down the road?

That's all for now, since it's time for me to go home -- I'll try to post some pics tonight or tomorrow, so y'all can see what I'm talking about.

Thanks for all the help and an incredible forum! Sorry for the long-winded post -- congrats if you got this far!

Marcus in Seattle

Last edited by MarcusEngley; 04-05-2005 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Edit title...
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:01 AM   #2
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Hi Marcus,

Since you teased us with pictures I'' just wait until they arrive before commenting.

I'll get back and or one of the other amazing pros will chime in before then.

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Old 04-05-2005, 12:46 PM   #3
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Pichers!

Okay, as promised, here's some eye-candy. Note the absorbent flooring material that we've chosen to replace...

Thanks for any advice!
Marcus
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Old 04-05-2005, 01:10 PM   #4
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Smile

Is that one of them new euro curtain rods? Hey, at least you got the basement to get to the pipes so that's a plus. I assume there's a sink in there behind the door? Hmm.

Quote:
...am now face to face with a bathroom that is slowly being torn apart.
and the constant pondering and sleepless nights! Oh maybe that's just me.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:06 PM   #5
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Marcus --

Your shower drain line needs a slope of 1/4" per foot. It appears from the pics that you have enough vertical drop to lower the trap to below the joists.

For your copper question, I presume you are referring to replacing the supply lines with copper. PVC is fine for the DVW system. In NJ at least PVC can't be used for water supply. CPVC can be used. Usually PVC is white and CPVC is tan. There are CPVC to copper transition fittings, so you can install copper in the bathroom walls now, and update the rest of the supply plumbing at a later time.

In you last pic, does the DVW line that crosses in front of the window go anywhere? It looks like an open pipe just hanging there. If it is, plug up the end of the pipe to prevent sewer gas from escaping.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:08 PM   #6
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Nope, not just you!

Hi Marni,

Yup, it's a self-deploying euro curtain rod. I'm having some drapes custom made from sheets of lead.

I definitely have easy access to pipes and joists -- that's the best part and part of the reason why I'm thinking of replumbing the whole thing. Don't know if it's worth it though.

Thar be a dinky little sink behind the door, as well as the chimney for the furnace. As you might guess, the door will be relocated to either swing the other way or retract, shutterbug-style, into the wall... Jury's still out.

m
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:15 PM   #7
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DVW line and copper

Hi Jeff, thanks for the response!

Quote:
CPVC can be used. Usually PVC is white and CPVC is tan. There are CPVC to copper transition fittings, so you can install copper in the bathroom walls now, and update the rest of the supply plumbing at a later time.
Right, CPVC! I assume that's what I have in there now -- it says schedule 40, but is that just a size reference? I'll look into copper to CPVC, so the project doesn't get more involved than is immediately necessary.

Quote:
In you last pic, does the DVW line that crosses in front of the window go anywhere? It looks like an open pipe just hanging there.
The pipe in front of the window is the DVW for kitchen sink, on the other side of the house. There is an open pipe right off the main vent pipe, which I need to plug up. I assume one of those screw down rubber plugs would work well, long-term?

As for the drain, I'm pretty sure I can maintain 1/4" per foot and clear the joists -- thanks for the confirmation. Would it be worth it to replace the drain pipe all the way to the main with PVC?

Thanks!
Marcus
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:41 PM   #8
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First of all let me say that I am not a pro!! Just someone who has done a fair amount of plumbing-In my opinion, it is always better to replace as much as you can with new stuff. Especially if you have that type of access. I would redo the entire drain to the main stack and you can then sister that joist properly and locate your drain just where you want. For the price of some PVC and fittings you will have piece of mind when it is done. Also I can't tell but you might be able to plumb in the kitchen drain as well and have everything neatly tied together. Just an opinion!!!
Good luck
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:52 PM   #9
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My thoughts exactly!

Great Ed, thanks -- I'd been thinking that it'd be worth tying the shower drain into the kitchen drain to get everything all nice and neat. Do you think it'd be a problem to drop the p-trap down to the level of the lower pipe and join up there? Should the trap be at a certain maximum distance from the drain opening? I'd have to preserve the slope for the kitchen DVW, since it comes from about 15 feet away...
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:09 PM   #10
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Good question, and one I can't answer right now. When I do run into those questions doing my own plumbing, I have a friend who has a license to do this stuff and I bounce them off him. I will attempt to raise him and get back, but I suppose it will be answered by the pros before then. I do know you must always worry about the venting!!! Is the kitchen drain vented before it comes out of the wall? and what is the repair in that drain from?
Ill try and get the answer.
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:17 PM   #11
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Good question...

I'd have to get into the crawlspace below the kitchen to be sure, but I think the kitchen sink DVW is not vented anywhere along it's 15-20 foot length -- another argument to replace it and join up with the tub drain.

I'm not sure what the repair is from, but if I had to guess it may just be a coupling connecting two lengths of pipe -- a lazy man's joint, I suppose. That, as well, is one thing I'd love to see gone -- breaks up the "flow", as it were, pun intended...
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:19 PM   #12
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Marcus --

If I was going to re-plumb the kitchen and bath drains -- and I probably would -- I would also try to get all the plumbing above the window or close to it. The pipes running across the middle of the window just shout out "DIY was here!"

Can you get a pic of all of the plumbing to the right of the window?

Also I believe that schedule 40 refers to the locations where the pipe may be used, not the material it is made of. I checked leftover pipe in my basement and it is clearly marked PVC, along with a whole lot of other markings. I stick with copper for supply lines, but CPVC should be marked, too.
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:55 PM   #13
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Plumbing

I'll get a pic of the main vent tonight and post it tomorrow. It is, for the most part, just the vent and the toilet plumbing to the right of the edge in the last picture.
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:09 PM   #14
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Each fixture needs to be vented...if the kitchen sink is that far away and doesn't have a vent, you could have problems. The distance to the vent varies depending on the size of the drain line, but typically is never more than 6' or so (often closer, since most things have a smaller diameter). If you live where you must (or should) get a permit and inspection, any changes you make need to be up to code. They usually don't ding you on existing things that may not, unless they are a health hazard. Where I live, if they catch you having done work without a permit, it is a hefty fine, then you still need to buy the permit and get it inspected - my guess is it would be looked at much closer. It also makes it easier to sell the house when the time comes - inspectors for the mortgage company often will pick up on the illegal stuff, and then you have to fix it in a rush to complete the sale.
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:14 PM   #15
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Good points, Jim.

Where I live, the officials usually overlook the fines for homeowners, but still want you to get the permits and inspections. But inspections or no inspections, I always do my research and do my best to satisfy code requirements.
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