Not just repurposing, but BEING repurposed......" if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come." ~~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, July 7, 2011

World's Smallest Bathroom: The drain game!

With the electricity in place for my world's smallest bathroom project, next is plumbing. Not only do I need  it in place before I drywall -- but it's pretty important for a bathroom!!

Plumbing has two main components, the water coming in, and waste water (and other things!) going out.

This post will cover the latter and briefly explain some basics of drain lines and what I did with mine.

(I realize that most of you aren't in the market for a project like this, or don't think you'd know how, but maybe this will encourage someone to try something they didn't dare before -- it's easier than you think!)   

A DIYer can buy drain line made of PVC at their local Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.
The sizes they sell are the main ones used in a drain line system:  3" is required for lines leading off a toilet, 2" is usually for heavier flow waste water (like shower drains, washer), and 1.5" for basic sinks.

I was lucky that my lines would be in the storage room of our basement so I didn't have to worry as much about tucking and "prettiness', but there was already unnecessary goobledy-gook, so I started by removing some extra pipes, to give me a cleaner slate to work from. 

To cut off existing lines it's easiest to use a sawzall!

But once the pipe is down, you can cut it (if you dare reuse some of it!) or new pipes with a chop saw -- very easy and leaves a nice clean cut.  New pipes are sold in specific lengths, usually 10' (or 8?), 5', and 2'. 

Obviously, a straight pipe wouldn't do the trick alone.  The drain pipe will need to turn here and there and may need to accommodate incoming lines.  That same store will have bins with many different connecting parts to achieve your specific path.  Paper planning is not enough!  Plan on spending a lot of time in the plumbing aisle playing with the pieces to figure out your angles -- then plan on returning several times!! 

And you'll have to play with the pieces at home too!  Ideally you connect your fixture drains to the closest pipes -- if you can tag along at the tail end of a line and just add on, even better!  But sometimes you have to "cut in" to an existing line.  The main thing is: a drain line has to somewhere drain into another existing line, and (this is a biggie) DRAIN LINES MUST EMPTY INTO THE SAME SIZE OR LARGER, BUT NOT VICA VERSA .  Ex.: sink can lead into toilet line, but toilet can't go into sink line.  YIKES!!  AND EVEN MORE IMPORTANT: THE LINE MUST SLOPE DOWNWARD AWAY FROM THE SOURCE!!  (Gently sloping is fine, and even preferred ((.25"/1')), but some of the connecting pieces may provide a short drop.)   After playing with your pieces, if you think you've got the line how you want it, make sure to mark neighboring pieces so you put it back together exactly the same way.   

Your components will need to be permanently connected piece by piece using adhesive made just for these pipes.  The two surfaces to be connected are first "painted" with the PURPLE stuff.  After a minute or two to dry, the adhesive (I use the all purpose variety, available in plumbing dept.) is applied.  This goes on both parts and you need to make sure the contact areas are completely covered.
Don't apply the adhesive until you're ready to go, but once you do, get right to work and push and twist to get a nice, square fit -- and make sure it's lined up where you want!  Because the result of this compound is a strong, permanent, melding together of the plastic!

I realize that's a pretty brief overview of the process, but maybe seeing my work will help!  I started at the point I hacked off the unnecessary parts.  That was a 3" pipe.  So (starting from the right in the photo), I addded a piece that connected up to my laundry drain pipe (I had hacked off a hunk of that too).  Then I added a section that had a 3" Tee off of it. 
This is the view from underneath.  This "T" piece started as 3", continued on as a 3" and had a 3" turn off it. You can see it leading up to where the toilet will be.  Beyond that is a 3'in, 3"out, with a 1.5" Tee for the sink.
The 3" Tee line connects to this piece that is located in the bathroom.  Officially called a "closet flange", it is the piece the toilet will rest on and connect to.

And from the 1.5" Tee, the line continued on and eventully made it's way up to the sink area. 

It came up through the floor and juts out to eventually connect to sink drain.  This locale needed a vent, so that pipe continuing upwards is for allowing air to escape through the roof (that's a whole nother explanation!) 

ANYWAY, I don't know if I still have anyone reading this, but drain lines CAN be done DIY style.  It's not really dangerous or hard, but the greatest risk is probably goofing it up and having to do it over -- wasting time and money.  It's a little tricky.
HOWEVER, supply lines (water coming in) are much easier and more forgiving.  So if you do want to give plumbing a try, that might be a better place to start.  (Post on that coming very soon!)


1 comment:

bathroom flooring said...

It is truly amazing possessing lot of knowledge o everything and I bet you are truly great and the creative juices are freely flowing inside of you.