Don’t be fooled – just because you can’t see it, plumbing design is a critical element of your home. The bad design causes inefficiencies and uncomfortable circumstances like cold showers and drains backups. Learn these five vital design tips and design your plumbing for optimal operation and value.
A plumbing system consists of incoming water, drainage for the wastewater, and ventilation for the gases that build up. Without those three elements working together in a well-designed system, your plumbing will be a failure. The path of the water needs to be efficient, the gases need to have a clear way out and the wastewater needs to be drained thoroughly at all times. Good plumbing design will achieve all three of those things.
Tip 1 – Follow Building Codes
These guidelines have been drafted to provide protection for you, your neighbors, and the surrounding area. Within these codes, you have plenty of freedoms, but outside of them you could be in danger and risking major liabilities.
Tip 2 – Think of What Is Yet To Come
Include future plans and possibilities in the renovation of today. What that means is that you need to design and install plumbing now that will handle the needs of the future. Include rough-ins for extra bathrooms and size your plumbing pipes to accommodate for that eventuality.
Tip 3 – Wait For an Inspection
As part of the building permit application your plumbing project will be subject to inspection. Take this in stride and allow your project to be looked over and assessed by a trained and certified professional. Simply following the codes is not enough; the job must be watched carefully while in progress.
Tip 4 – Different Materials Signify Different Preferences
Certain materials are generally accepted as better for certain jobs – ABS, for instance, is most often used with ventilation and in wastewater direction. Copper or PEX can be used for the incoming water, but every plumber will have a reason why they prefer one type over the other. Price, layout, and the plumbing contractor are all factors in your decision.
Tip 5 – Calculate, Then Add More
Plumbing calculations take into account the length of pipe, the direction water needs to be pumped, and the drainage location and type. In general, if a pipe travels a distance of one foot it needs to drop 1/4″ over that span for good drainage.
Once you’ve made your initial calculations, be sure to add a few clean-ups along the pipe to make it easier to troubleshoot drains and clogging.
Plumbing design is not guesswork. It takes knowledge and experience within the field, as well as the help of the local authorities to come up with the very best plumbing design. Materials can be a factor just as much as what your future renovations look like. All these elements will come together for a well-designed plumbing project that you can count on for comfort and cleanliness.