Plumbing can be a tricky project – especially if you are trying to update fixtures in an already existing house. New houses are kind of easier since you can build the house around the plumbing needs, whereas older houses, unfortunately, you are fixing around the existing structure or completing a large renovation in addition to new plumbing fixtures. Regardless of which situation you find yourself in, here is what you’ll need when laying residential pipes.
A Timeline and Location
The majority of plumbing in a house is unseen: hidden behind walls and under floors so if you’re planning to lay new pipes in your home, or have been told you need to in order to meet building code, then you need to know where these pipes are. You will also need a timeline as to when each portion of the plumbing work will be completed. Since much of the mechanics are hidden it means you will need to take apart some, or most, of your house to change out these fixtures but you also won’t be able to finalize everything plumbing-related until other parts of the projects – like drywall or the flooring – is completely installed. It’s important to have a timeline for these events so you know what’s happening, and when. This will also help you to schedule contractors if the work of one is reliant upon the work of another.
If you are purchasing new fixtures – like tubs, sinks or toilets – then you need to make sure everything hooks up without issue. This is typically done before the finishing touches, like drywall or laying the flooring, are completed so that changes can be made without damaging anything if possible. Further, if you are replacing any fixtures in your home, in addition to the new pipes, then you will need to have these picked out and arrange for them to be delivered to your home.
How Your Water System Works
Every home will have one main water supply line: this brings all water into the home. From there, there will be a split. One of these lines will continue on to provide cold water, and the other hooks up to the home’s hot water heater to ensure hot water is also supplied throughout the home. After that, there are various other lines and splits that take the water to the various sinks, tubs, showers, etcs around the home. In some homes, each main section will have its own shut off valve, or manifold system. These systems will usually have a panel with red and blue vales, for hot and cold water respectively.
You need to know how your home’s water system works because when completing pipe line work it’s useful to know if you need to shut off the water to your entire house or, if you have a manifold system, you can just shut off the water in the sections you are working on rather than cutting off supply to the whole house.
Call a Professional
In most areas plumbers must be licensed in order to work. What this means for you is that these professionals have completed enough working hours to show they know what they’re doing and they will not wreck your home’s water supply or pipe lines. There is some plumbing work you can complete on your own, without too much difficulty, but when it comes to laying residential pipes a licensed plumber should always be contacted.
There are a few things you can do to help get your home ready for the plumber, and that be discussed when you’re completing the process to hire. However, to make sure everything is up to building code and you haven’t done anything to cause harm down the road, the plumber should be the person to complete most of the work.
Up Next - Laying Sewer Pipes