Cabin plumbing design?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by duckcreekman, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. duckcreekman

    duckcreekman New Member

    We are building a cabin at about 8500' and need to design our plumbing system for that area. Things like a shut off on the main below the frost line outside the house. Also some way of draining the house of all the water after winter trips. Anyone have any good examples of system such as this?

  2. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Not me...but my suggestion is to install a shut off valve with a bleeder screw on the side...and have all plumbing running so that it will drain down hill...none of that up and down stuff. Use plenty of hangers to keep a good elevation and straight pipes. Insulate the heck out of it. Should be no real challenge.
  3. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Phoenix, AZ
    Not sure what to recommend BUT...
    Remember, if you are going to allow the water lines to get below freezing, ball valves are not a good choice for you - they trap water in the center when shut off and, if they get below freezing, they can crack...
    If the valve is going to be buried and not subject to freezing, it would be your choice for what type of valve to get...
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    How close are you going to be to the equator? I am having difficulty imagining the depth of a frost line at that kind of altitude.
  5. Is this a "log" cabin? If so, there are specific requirements for plumbing one of those.
  6. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    exurban Chicago
    A good local construction plumber will know what to do.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    There is a lot more to 'winterizing' than draining the water out of the water lines. Usually an air compressor is used to blow the lines clear of water. So make the plumbing to allow easy draining and so on. And you need to think of all the sewer/drain line traps and the toilets. You can use special anti-freeze for potable water systems that is used for RVs etc. for the traps. No automotive anti-freeze.
  8. duckcreekman

    duckcreekman New Member

    Cabin Plumbing

    The cabin is stick built with half log siding. The outside is complete inside is rough frame only so far. They want water lines 5' deep for freeze. I believe I use a shut off outside the cabin with a remote valve at 5' that would drain down the main comming into the cabin to 5'. To do this I guess I would have to be able to let air into the system at the manifold some how. Also plan to have a floor drain at the water heater. As far as the compressed air idea where do you introduce the air at the manifold? I'm sure a local plumber could design it in his sleep. There is not much to the system, thats why we where going to try and DIY it. That and the money!

  9. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Is that expensive, potable anti-freeze really necessary for drains, traps and toilets? Personally, I use windshield washer fluid at about a buck a gallon.

    Someone else here recently mentioned first draining the water heater, then filling it with about 40 psi air to purge all the lines in the place. To do that, you could use a fill valve in a tee in your supply line going into the heater.

  10. The very reason I asked that question was back in the mid-90's I did the plumbing on two true log cabins.

    Any time you went through the floor you would have to allow 6" clearance for any line whether water/gas/drain by using swing joints for everything in case there was settlement of the logs or humidity causing expansion.

    Also, the majority of the home was exposed inner logs so very little framed walls existed inside, had to be creative and run all plumbing within those confines along with fighting space with the heating/air guys.

    I wish I would of taken the rough-in pictures of those two....I didn't even charge more to plumb them because they were new to me and on the job training.

    They were considerably more time to do.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Maybe 3-4 times more per gal. but... what is the cost of a family pet or child that might injest some windshield washer and get very sick (pets die very quickly) compared to maybe 2-3 gallons of the nontoxic correct anti-freeze material?

    Also, it is the right material as far as going into a septic or sewer system; and any local wells will appreciate the thoughtful decision. :) That will also prevent the guv'mint from coming after the 'poluters' wanting serious volumes of dollars.
  12. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I could be wrong here, but I believe even the "nontoxic correct anti-freeze material" could make one sick if ingested full-strength. However, I had not thought about animals drinking from the toilet during one's absence, and the solution for that might be some kind of new law about locking toilet lids, eh?!

    Large quantities of almost anything can pollute, but helping our cars spread a little more washer fluid around here or there is not likely to be of concern to anyone. I have an old school bus (a poor man's motorhome) with an RV toilet in the back, and we flush it (in cold weather) with washer fluid from a pressure (garden sprayer) bottle with a kitchen sprayer on the end of the hose, then I dump the holding tank into my own septic tank ... and all of our eyes here still go straight ahead!

    But for folks who can afford cabins at 8500', your recommendation is best!
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