Water softener, metal studs, water meter, copper pipes...

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by pghsebring, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. pghsebring

    pghsebring DIY Member

    Oct 23, 2008
    Here is the situation:

    Water softener blew up. So i figure i might as well correct any other issues at the same time.

    Here is what it all looks like now:


    Now, what i want to accomplish:

    - Frame out the wall with 2 x 6 metal/steel studs
    - replace all the valves with ball valves
    - place all plumbing in the new wall and insulate the wall
    - tee off before water softener for outside spigot so i stop wasting softened water
    - replace water softener in roughly same place

    Here is a sketch of my plans:


    - BLACK LINES are where the studs will be, approximately
    - BLUE DOTS are where new valves will be
    - RED SQUARES are where i will put "access panels" which will be the cold air return vents

    Around the water meter, i figure i will leave that whole area open. Other ideas? Should i stuff insulation behind it? How much space should i leave around the water meter when i frame the wall?

    Speaking of insulation, any of you ever see inexpensive insulation that i could leave exposed, instead of having to drywall this wall? Eventually this wall will be in a mechanical room/closet, so it will not be seen.

    Finally, i've never drilled through the top plate or bottom plate of a steel stud - any tricks i should know of? I should just aim for the center and drill, correct?

    Any problems you see (besides spacing issues of studs - its hard to mock up in "Paint")?
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Jan 5, 2008
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Land of Cheese
    A few thoughts-

    As far as heat loss, you would benefit the most by getting the inside of your rim joists sealed up with spray foam.

    Moisture can be a problem when building against a foundation wall. Steel studs can rust, wood and insulation can harbor mold growth. To prevent this, do not use any type of vapor barrier below grade as foundation walls can only dry to the INSIDE of the building.
    The inside of the foundation wall is best insulated with rigid foam board sealed with tape or mastic at all seams. (fiberglass insulation is not recommended on a foundation wall) The frame wall can then built to the inside of the rigid foam.

    It looks like your pipes might only be 1/2". If so, think about switching to 3/4" coming off the meter to improve volume through the softener and to for the hose bib. Then you won't have to tear into the wall if you need to upgrade later.

    Steel studs drill like butter with the proper bits. All holes must have proper grommets installed where pipes and wires pass though holes.

    Drywall normally starts with the ceiling first. You cannot close off the existing electrical boxes in the ceiling or walls, they must remain accessible. You can use a a mud ring to extend the box through the drywall along with a proper cover or put an access plate in the drywall.

    Personally, knowing it is going to be a utility room, I would keep the piping and valves outside the finished wall.
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  4. ilya

    ilya In the Trades

    Dec 10, 2009
    home repair -I am not licensed and never represent
    Akron Ohio
    While you're at it, put that romex feeding the receptacles and switch in conduit to a minimum height of 8'.
  5. pghsebring

    pghsebring DIY Member

    Oct 23, 2008
    I had just left it exposed like that knowing the wall would eventually get studs and the romex will be run through the top plate, down the wall, and into a receptacle...so don't worry, it will be up to code soon enough...as soon as i get all the answers to the plumbing questions above...
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