San francisco CA underground plumbing run..

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by yater, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. yater

    yater New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    san francisco
    I have to run about 75 feet under a slab in san francisco. It is a storefront that I will use for light use. Anyhow I trenched it out and I am ready to run the line but I don't know what to run. I have been told I have to run L copper Silver Soldered/ braised (which I have never done) with the corrosion protecting sleeve, taped at penetration and covered with drainable fill. I have also been told to run schedule 80 pvc... I read that as of Jan 1 in california you can run Pex in California but I have also never used that before.. I am not having it inspected so I am not so worried about what is SF code (though I would prefer to comply). I just want some more educated ideas on what I should do. As it will be under a slab of concrete I want it to last as long as possible.. Thanks for any and all help..
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Don't expect anyone on this forum advising you on anything that is not legal. I suspect you will be courting legal trouble if you attempt to do this without a permit, and some places require a licensed plumber to do work on property to be used commercially. Codes are not in place to cause you problems, they are in place to protect people of screwed up work.
  3. yater

    yater New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    san francisco
    Well if I had the thousands of dollars it will cost me in permits as soon as i have an inspector walk in the door I would have no problem pulling permits. Sadly, I am tapped out and just trying to get water to the bathroom. I hope I haven't offended anyone.. Thanks for your reply..
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you don't have joints below concrete, then you don't have to silver solder (braze). Most plumbers have the joints above the slab and loop the copper below.
    I don't know which waste pipe you will need for Californial below the slab.
    If you loop PEX, I would put some foam insulation on it to protect it while the slab is poured back.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I am surprised the property owner is NOT requiring a permit and inspections. AND if the inspector "walks in the door", you will normally have to pay TWICE, or more, what the permits would have required in the first place. In most areas, in a commercial structure, an "occupant" CANNOT do his own work, or get a permit, and neither can the building owner. It is NOT the same as a "homeowner of a residence", and it MUST be done by a licensed contractor.. WHO did the rest of the bathroom, if it does not have water to it yet?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    A permit for a small bathroom job should cost $100 or so, NOT "thousands". Do you own the building? If not , you are placing the owner, and your lease, in jeopardy of fines. PVC not OK, CPVC or PEX is generally allowed in CA, but SF may have more restrictive codes.
    Silver braze is not a DIY project. With soft solder, you run the risk of a later leak, which will cost $$$$

    We are not trying to bust your chops, but you are asking for trouble.
  7. yater

    yater New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    san francisco
    I have done so much to this place since I bought it two months ago. Beefed up the transverse girter. added 2 posts to the structure. poured new foundation sections, run new electrical, Bolted down the rest of the foundation. Bolted the original building to an addition, replaced the DWV. The state of this place was a mess. There were floor drains that fed into the dirt (shockingly no sink holes). cracked uninsulated Pvc through the slab when you can only use cast here in SF. the main stack vent had been reduced which is also a no no here. In the bankrupt city of san francisco where they made me pay $16,000 to fix the sidewalks in front of my other place they try to get you for everything. They then turned and made me pay to put a scaffold on the sidewalk i was forced to lay. The permit prices for all i have done would have been so much here, not to mention you can't pull a homeowners permit on a commercially zoned property here. I am only able to make it work by the skin of my financial teeth. Real estate is more than most places as are the permitting fees here. I have consulted with 3 good friends that are licensed contractors on everything I have done in the place. they have inspected all of my moves. I just don't know any plumbers so I figured I would try here to see if anyone can help me out a bit. I feel like I have somehow offended people on here by trying to this work myself. I apologize, and want to thank those who replied.

    Also I called code enforcement when they opened (8am - 8:30 is the only time to call them) and asked what was legal, they said silver brazed L copper. nothing else. So I guess I will go with that. I have always used solder like any other DIY person but I guess it is always fun to learn something new... I have a torch to fill with B gas, I have just never done it before so I am a touch scared to be honest.. we will see how this goes..

    thanks again..
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" David Farragut, Battle of Mobil Bay
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Do NOT put any joints under the concrete and you will NOT need to silver solder any joints. Good plumbers NEVER make joints under a concrete slab floor. It upsets us because we DO get permits and inspections, but then a DIYer, decides he can save a lot of money if he does NOT call a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor, (all of which affect how much he has to charge for the job), but does it himself "in the middle of the night". And then wonders why "anyone" would even consider doing it correctly. Do not get any of your neighbors mad at you or they may call the city and ask them to make a "courtesy inspection" of your site.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    And that doesn't even include the messes we see on a regular basis, plumbing installed without venting, undersized, wrong fittings, and not graded properly.
    Yes, it does take time to learn how to do it correctly, but there is a very good reason that they have inspections. At least with an inspection, it gets looked at before cover, so a big mistake is not concreted in place. To think that we even have the privilege of bringing in an expert to look at our work is an amazing thing. In many countries, there are no experts, it's just slopped in. There is a good reason you can't drink the water in those places. And that you need to take your shots "before" you travel.
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