Newbie, first bathroom install would like some advice

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by myrightnut, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. myrightnut

    myrightnut Civil Engineer

    Oct 23, 2006
    Civil Engineer
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi all,

    I have been a visitor to the site for quite some time and have found some really amazing information... thanks!

    I am in the midst of putting in a second bathroom in the basement of our 36 year old bungalo. It is going to be a 4 piece bath (bath, toilet, shower and Lav). The house has no rough-in for the second bathroom so I have to start from scratch. I want to do the work myself (a pride thing mostly) but I also love doing this type of work around the house (i.e. I remodeled my kitchen in 2000 which included removing walls etc.). but I am worried about two things...

    1. Am I over my head with this work??? Breaking up the floor, new sewer, new vents, and new supply lines, installing everything (tub, shower etc, etc...) The concrete work, drywall, tileing etc. does not scare me but the venting and sewer work does for some reason... (Funny since I'm an inspector for the local municipality and inspect mainline sewer and water installs on the public side only)

    2. I am very interested in the PEX and or Kitec water supply lines. I have copper throughout the house with no shut offs any where except for in the new kitchen. I really think the Kitec/pex pipe is slick and would like to install a manifold for hot and one for cold water with ball valves on every line at the manifolds and replumb everything (still follow?). This work would take place at the same time as the bathroom install. Is this a waste of time? or a good idea?

    With the kitec pipe, I read the horror story about it here on the site (class action lawsuit)... and if you ask plumbers in the area, half say its the best thing since sliced bread and the others say they won't touch anything but copper. What is the concensus here? is it worth installing the Kitec/pex or just run new copper.

    Would I notice a difference in pressure using a 3/4" manifolds with 1/2 supply pipping, than to just tee off at the closest source?

    I know there is alot of questions here to ask and sorry for the longwinded expalnation. All or any responces is GREATLY appreciated.

  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Nov 8, 2005
    Hansville, Washington
    I just did that, basically, and will tell you that the plumbing is child's play compared to the concrete work. The experts here can give you excellent advice, but will probably want a fairly detailed description and rough sketch of the project to start with. I used CPVC for my supply lines, but if I had it to do over again I'd use Pex, probably Wirsbo (sp?), based on what I've read here. I ran 3/4" manifolds to 1/2" fixture supplies, but would run 3/4" to the shower if I did it again. It'd be tempting to run 3/4" everywhere -- with Pex, that might simplify the fitting and tooling requirements as well.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2006
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  4. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    I agree w/ Mikey that the tricky part is the concrete work. You just don't know what yr gonna get when you break open the slab. Nice dry, diggable sandy soil, or a tiny river.

    The second trickiest part is planning the vent. Most places require that it exits the roof through yr attic. You can get away with an AAV in some instances.

    The rest is really just careful design and redesign. With patience, planning, and guidance, the rest is quite doable.

    Make sure yr township allows homeowners to do their own plumbing and elec work. Some places don't.

    I used copper. I love to sweat, though. If I had to do it again, I'd use a PEX manifold. I have one in my condo and it's sweet.

    I'd plan good access behind your water wall so you can get in routinely to inspect and fix if necessary.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2006
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