Professional opinions on this plumbing job, please.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Kimster, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Hi everyone,

    I really respect all the professionals on this forum and would like an honest opinion on this particular plumbing job. Would you have done it this way, is there a better way, drawbacks/advantages to this configuration, potential problems, etc.

    This is 1/2 inch Uponor AquaPex with stainless cinch clamps at the fittings. They put shutoffs at the ends of the pipes because they didn't have end caps at hand.

    I don't want to start closing up the walls just yet.

    The following three pictures are of the bathroom. Shower will be on the left (no tub), sink in the center and toilet on the right. CI stack section replaced and height of sink outlet moved up in accordance to sink specs (Duravit wall-hung sink). Stack is solid but is not supported at the floor of the attic. It is supported at the roof. When they cut the hub section out, it came down about 2 inches, but in the attic, it all looks sealed and no water has come in after 3 days of rain.

    DSC_0766.jpg
    DSC_0765.jpg
    DSC_0767.jpg

    The next two images are of the plumbing in the basement where it has been branched from the original copper lines. One section, past the shutoffs goes to the washer. Lines to the washer have been surface-run because the dryer vent is in the wall and that area gets quite hot.

    DSC_0771.jpg
    DSC_0770.jpg

    Thanks everyone! If anyone needs closeups of the connections or any other part, I can do that. I just want the job done the best way possible before I start putting this thing back together.
  2. bpetey

    bpetey New Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    CA
    You need to install nail plates before closing the wall up
  3. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Thanks bpetey, strangely, they said it wasn't necessary to pass code but I surely will do that.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The lavatory drain is COMPLETELY incorrect, it CANNOT turn upward as it is now. The toilet and lavatory elbows are not anchored. I would NOT run the PEX exposed on the wall down to the washing machine. I would also NOT extend PEX out of the wall with the compression stops attached directly to it. All in all, I am not impressed with the ability of whoever installed that system.
  5. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Ahh, hj, I was hoping you'd chime in.

    So, the lav drain has to run straight across? Right now it runs straight for a few inches, the 45s down and then straight to the vent. How come that's not OK?

    I was going to cover the PEX lines on the wall with some kind of molding so they aren't really exposed. Would that be OK?

    The compression stops you're referring to -- those are the valves on there right now? What should be there instead?

    Here's the thing. I had originally wanted a mini manifold system where the manifolds would be soldered into the existing copper, then, two hot would come straight up from the basement without elbows (one to the shower, one to the lav) and three cold lines would come up for each of the shower, lav and toilet. This would mean that there would be 5 connections downstairs and the pipe going up would be solid until it had to 90 out to the fixture. Is there any advantage to this or is the current config OK. Will I lose flow the way it's done now?

    ETA: Also, how come this fitting is different from the others? Was there a reason for that? Is it also a compression fitting?

    DSC_0768.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  6. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Here's the big problem. Cinch rings are not approved for use with Uponor Aqua Pex.

    The lav drain is unacceptable because the trap weir is above the stack inlet
  7. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    So, Wally, what would result as far as the lav goes is that the water would be sucked out of the p trap because of the angle of the pipe to the vent? I'm just trying to understand this, not knowing the proper plumbing words.

    As far as the Uponor AquaPex goes, I just got off the phone with Uponor and they said that depending on the manufacturer of the ring and the number on it, it may be fine. They used to manufacture them but have stopped. For instance, the fittings say 1877 on then and so does the pipe. I'd have to take a look at the rings to see if they comply but I could always call them back with the manufacturer's name.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,911
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The vents should come off at the same level as the trap arm.
    This prevents the traps from siphoning. Now is the time to cut it out.
  9. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Thanks everyone. I will have the vent redone properly. Sigh.

    Any more thoughts on the PEX? Should I have that redone and do a remote manifold so I have less connections in the wall? Should I use PEX straight to the shower valve (not installed) or should I go back to copper for that?
  10. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Further to the question about the ss cinch clamps. The ASTM code on the clamps is F2098 MURRAY and according to Uponor, those are fine for use with AquaPex.
  11. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Why copper to the shower and not pex? Everyone argues the difference in ID between pex and Copper will increase flow but it's a bit of a sham because if you look at the water inlet ports on the shower valve itself they're TINY compared to the 1/2" piping you're feeding them with. So for that reason I've never really understood that argument.
  12. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Hi Doherty,

    It's not so much about the water pressure at that point because if I keep the lines the way they are, there isn't going to be a significant restriction in flow just before the valve. I just read somewhere that it's a more stable/rigid setup if you use copper around the valve -- easier to clamp down. It could all be baloney and not make any difference. I'm really just trying to make sure I have the best setup possible.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,924
    Location:
    New England
    Some rough-in valves have holes for screws so you can anchor it to blocking, many don't. SO, the only way to anchor the valve is with rigid pipe and straps or clamps. A short restriction in a water path just causes the water to speed up through that small port, and doesn't affect the total flow rate a lot. A long section of restriction has more friction and will affect total flow. Now, running a homerun with pex with fittings only at each end may not have as much restriction as one done in copper with lots of angles in the fittings. Regardless of what you use TO the shower valve, use copper to the tub spout and showerhead, or you'll likely have problems. You might get by with pex to the showerhead, but make sure you use a fitting and anchor it for the shower arm to screw into.
  14. 3m

    3m New Member

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    NY
    Whats the measurement from the studs to the center of the drain, its hard to judge but it doesnt like like its right going by the picture
  15. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Thanks for that, Jim. Turns out this shower valve does have eyelets for screws in three places so I can go ahead and use Pex to that. There isn't going to be a tub in this bathroom, so no worries about that. The line that will be going to the shower head -- it's going to be one of those hand-held shower heads on a slider bar so it'll be a short stub-out from close to the valve (since it doesn't have to go to that 6 or 7 foot height to a fixed shower head).

    jnaas2, I'm assuming you're talking about the sink. The pipe isn't at the right length for the sink at this point because I don't have the sink yet. Now that you mention it, it'll have to be a whole lot shorter because it has to be flush with the tiles once they're in. It's a wall-hung sink that's going in and I wanted the water lines and drain tight to each other in case I want to put a shroud over the whole works. I gave them the drawing from Duravit and they got the height right but the hot water line needs to be moved closer to the drain (they didn't notch out the stud to make that happen, either). Matter of fact, that stud could come out completely and be of no consequence.

    Just more work.

    Another question for you guys. What would you pay for this job? If you didn't complete what was supposed to be done and you did the sink drain wrong and left your client with valves at the end of the water lines and a couple of sharkbites on the pipes in the basement? I mean, I offered these people half of what was agreed upon. At this point, I don't even know if they did the closet bend retrofit correctly. I'm assuming it's OK.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You have to understand hydraulics. A "short" small opening is somewhat irrelevent, because the flow velocity can increase while going through it. (Automobile carburetors depended on that feature to make your cars run.) The same thing does NOT occur when the restriction occurs over a longer distance, such as a section of piping. In a pipe, laminar flow resistance slows the water/liquid down, reducing the volume available. As for your question, the accumulated resistance of all those fittings, is a factor that would NOT occur if the lines were installed in one piece with it curved at the corners.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  17. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    hj,

    I think some people are afraid to curve the lines thinking that they will kink. The specs say that this stuff has a 5 inch turning radius which is way smaller than the curves needed to go from the basement to the first floor. From what you're saying, it would be better to run 3/4 pex (ID slightly more than .5) with as few elbows/tees as possible to the point where it has to convert back to 1/2 inch for the valve and then run 3/4 out the shower head? Maybe I'm not getting it or maybe I am.
  18. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    It might be my eyes but your water lines for your sink look too high, don't forget you need a backing board for the sink also that needs to be flush with the studs, the measurments come with the (EXACT SINK) you are putting in.
  19. Kimster

    Kimster New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Hi Shacko,

    I supplied them with the measurements from the sink manufacturer's website. The center of the drain needed to be at 25.5 inches from the finished floor and the water lines 2 inches above that. I added 1/2 inch for the cork that we'll be laying down. They also needed to be 3 1/8 inches apart horizontally from each other (which they are definitely not).
  20. iminaquagmire

    iminaquagmire DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    207
    It looks to me like somebody's first pex job. The advantage to pex is that you can run continuous supplies that snake around obstacles without having to use lots of fittings. If they had done like you wanted and used a mini manifold, it would make more sense to use the pex. As it is, its only slightly easier than using copper. Also, the drain is totally wrong like HJ pointed out and could potentially siphon the trap dry. I don't know if it warrants not paying entirely, but they definitely need to fix their mistakes. Did you get other quotes? If so, were the installers' on par with the others' quotes?
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