Hard to Reach Piping
Posted by Tom Rogers on August 15, 1999 at 03:02:21:
I own a 70 year old, upostairs/downstairs duplex in San Antonio, Texas. Recently I began a major remodel of the downstairs with most emphasis on the kitchen. I removed all of the plaster\lathe from the walls and ceiling to expose the wiring and plumbing. I replace (almost - except one instance where the line continues on upstairs) all of the galvanized steel plumbing with new rigid copper. Now that the plaster is off the walls I can see about 80% of the old plumbing in the upstairs unit. The bathroom is right next to the kitchen, (both units have identical floor plans), so all of the plumbing is concentrated in those two rooms. Here's my dilemma. I would feel guilty about closing the walls back up in the downstairs unit with replacing the plumbing in the upstairs unit too but getting to that extra 20% that goes to the upstairs bathroom is going to be tough. My first question involves the tube copper pipe. Would it be best to use that product instead of rigid so that it can be bent into shape once I get into a tight spot? I've never used the tube before and don't know how flexible it is - especially in short runs. I'm also curious how dependable that product will be over the long haul. I don't want to have to do this twice and expect to own the property for some time. My second question involves long drill bits. If I am going to be able to get pipe runs to the shower, (opposite wall from the kitchen), I'm going to need to drill a hole through several floor joists over a distance of about 7'. Is there a drill bit that is available for this or do you have any suggestions. My last question is somewhat hard to ask to give you the full picture. I know I can readily get to the upstairs HW heater, the upstairs kitchen sink and the upstairs bathroom sink. However, the toilet connection is hidden behind some kitchen counters that have ceramic tile on the counter and backsplash. To burrow a hole to that connection will be a major, messy job. I'm really tossed on this. Part of me says, "Do it now - this is the time", but the other part says, "You'll never be able to get to the toilet so why bother". All lines are connected so once I cut off one I'm comitted to this thing and I'm trying not to cut off the water for a very long time and inconvenience my upstairs tenant. I know these are tough questions without seeing the job site but any suggestions or 'tricks of the trade' would be helpful.

>> Tom Rogers

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