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adding a bathroom to a basement

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  • #748670
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    OLD THREAD WARNING

    I am looking at installing bathroom in the basement of our new house. There is sewer lines going into the concrete floor. The drain line is not to far from where we want to put the bathroom. Just not sure which direction they go. If I have to I will hired a Plumber to rough in the sewer line I will. I was just wonder if there is a way I locate the sewer line myself. This project might happen right way. Any advice will be a big help.

    Your going to have open the slab either way . You can open up where you putting new drain lines . You could find the direction and connect to it if you come across it save some money from the demo at least .

    I do realize I have to open up the slab. I need to find out what direction the drain lines run so I can open up the slab. I have no problem hiring a plumber to do the locate and run the drain lines. I would like to save some money by doing some of the work myself.

    Are you putting in a full bath . Save some money if you start the prep work for the new drain and if you find the direction of the line it’s a score during the dig . Look forward to hearing how it turns out .

    I am sure if we are putting a full bath yet. I am presently not living in this place yet. I will move in October. This project might not start right way. I will know more when I take ownership.

    But in Greg’s case, does he know which gemeral direction the drain goes?

    I have no idea what the direction the drain goes. This what I really want to find out before start breaking up concrete.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #748705

    @GTokley is your new place in the same town where you live now or new neighborhood .

    Always willing to learn .

    #748740
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    @GTokley is your new place in the same town where you live now or new neighborhood .

    No it is not. We aree moving to a new neighborhood. We have decide to move closer to where we both work and the kids school is. We will also be closer to kids after school actives too.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #748869
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    I was going threw some pictures of our new house that I saved from the realtor’s listing. I have a picture of rec room in the basement. It shows a drain line that is coming from the bathroom that is on the main floor. We are planning on putting the new bathroom in the room that behind wall that has cedar shakes on it. There is a laundry room on the other side of the house that is across from this new bathroom. I am not sure where the drain line is for the laundry room.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #748878
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    That picture you showed above is a shower/tub drain because of the p-trap. I do not see the closet bend most likely it is directly above or close to the vertical pipe at the wall, the lav is on the right and draining across to the shower/tub drain. That looks like an attempt at a wet vent system but not done quite right.

    You need to find the main drain, possibly locate the tie ins, then do your planning, once it’s planned then you can surgically outline where to open the slab, don’t start cutting and breaking hoping to find and chase the drain.

    My recommendation is to hire it out and do the entire location/recon in one sitting.

    Find a professional drain cleaning service (not necessarily a service plumber), and tell them you want to snake your main drain, you want to locate and mark that drain above, and you want a camera inspection with a DVD recording showing the inspection footage with distance marking on the video as well as audio. You want to do all three. If they can only do two, don’t use them. If they show up and say they can only do part of it with a lower price, cancel. I’ll explain why below.

    (1) Most drains have some sort of debris or partial blockage built up over the years, grease build up, internal corrosion around elbows and connections. So if the first thing you do is to send down a camera or a locating head from a cleanout, you may not get too far, 28 feet in and there is a spot you cannot get past (it can drain past but the head or locator cannot be pushed past), they guy will say, that’s all I can do, unless you get it snaked first then call us back, or I can snake it for you I have the equipment on my truck but it will be another $500. So get it snaked first, and you want a clean drain to start with anyway. Make sure they send down a snake that is for the drain size. 3″ for 3″, 4″ for 4″, don’t send down a 1/4″ head down a 3″ drain, and just pokes a head through a grease block, useless!!!

    (2) Once it’s snaked, or during the snaking, run water down from an upstream faucet continuously, to rinse down the stuff that it’s breaking loose, snake it all the way to the city connection.

    (3) Then attach a locater, and sometimes, they can attach a locator at the same time they snake. They have a wand they can walk around above, sensing the locator and mark the location of the line. So have the lines marked on the slab.

    (4) Once it’s marked, reconcile the line with existing exposed drainage components. From there you can verify the relation of the marked line with existing drains and cleanouts, making sure they are consistent. So many people snake their drain just past a blockage, only have the blockage be broken down and sit a foot further down, and they block up again later like grease and hair. Snake and rinse.

    (5) Then send down a camera to inspect the line. The reason for the camera inspection:

    (a) You want to know the material of the main drain. From there you can see how much of it is PVC, how much of cast iron, may be a section of old clay once it exits the house, or worse yet you see some orangeburg pipes (hopefully not).

    (b) You can also see the condition of the pipes. Here is where you get a record of the pipes pre-move in. If you see some problems, that you may have a claim against the previous owner for not disclosing issues hidden from you, you have something for that documentation just in case. If you find something that needs to be addressed in the future, you can view it with a plumber for estimates, no need for someone to charge you another $500 for a camera inspection.

    (c) Run some water down, slow, so you can see the pipes which way is down, the water runs down the bottom LOL. Before you run the camera in, make sure the camera operator sets the distance to zero, as your starting point. As it moves downstream you should see the distances showing, and being recorded, as you see the tie ins on the sides, you can ask him to slow down, or go back a bit, so you can say something as a reminder, like “tie in from the left at 34 feet in” or “connection from the top at 40 feet in”, “elbow turning left at 52 feet in”. As he pulls the camera back, do the same in reverse. If you see something unusual, slow down, get a clearer picture, get it on audio as well, have a discussion about it with the plumber/operator, and get that discussion on it as well.

    (d) Make sure the entire inspection, is being recorded, distance showing on the recording, the DVD is working and recording, audio is being heard and recorded. You can do a small test for a minute to verify. Many of these machines may have the camera working, but the recorder does not, it may show on the screen but the distance doesn’t work, or the audio doesn’t work. You want the entire recording on a DVD, make sure you tell them without the DVD, showing the inspection process, with audio, with distances you are not going to pay.

    (e) Now with the marking of the main line, and the camera inspection with distances of the tie ins and elbows, you can cross reference the two, and figure out where the pipes tie in. Add that to your slab marks. Now you are ready to do the planning, then the slab cuts.

    Good luck.

    #748879
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    That picture you showed above is a shower/tub drain because of the p-trap. I do not see the closet bend most likely it is directly above or close to the vertical pipe at the wall, the lav is on the right and draining across to the shower/tub drain. That looks like an attempt at a wet vent system but not done quite right.

    Thanks alot for your input. This is kinda info I am looking for. Not sure what you mean by wet vent system?

    My recommendation is to hire it out and do the entire location/recon in one sitting.

    You are saying I should do the location of the old plumbing lines and install new plumbing lines for new bathroom at the same time?

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #748880
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Not sure what you mean by wet vent system?

    It’s the air venting that is needed in a drain line. Usually goes thru the house out your roof, but sometimes in retrofits they’ll use a cheater vent that just goes into an open wall cavity.

    #748883
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    GTokley wrote:
    Not sure what you mean by wet vent system?

    It’s the air venting that is needed in a drain line. Usually goes thru the house out your roof,

    Ok yes I know what the vent line is and that it vents up thru the roof.

    but sometimes in retrofits they’ll use a cheater vent that just goes into an open wall cavity.

    I have heard of these also. I used one of these vents on my laundry hook up.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #748885

    Not sure what you mean by wet vent system?

    It’s the air venting that is needed in a drain line. Usually goes thru the house out your roof, but sometimes in retrofits they’ll use a cheater vent that just goes into an open wall cavity.

    The nearest vent will probably be in the vanity line vent if he’s connecting the drain line to the main sewer line . Some city’s or towns don’t let you just vent into the wall using that vent cap . Like you use inside the vanity cabinet . Wet venting to dry venting .

    Always willing to learn .

    #748894
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    You are saying I should do the location of the old plumbing lines and install new plumbing lines for new bathroom at the same time?

    No. I recommend you do the location, snake and clean, camera inspection at the same time.

    what you mean by wet vent system?

    Traditionally, each fixture are individually vented by a dry vent. The dry vents prevents the trap seals of each fixture from being siphoned from discharges of other fixtures draining past. The dry vents either goes up and protrudes through the attic then the roof, or they join together as a “revent” to a common stack in the attic then a single vent runs up through.

    A wet vent, in a single bathroom group, allows you to use a single vent pipe – typically close to the lav, where the lav trap is connected via a trap arm, and the toilet and tub/shower have no dedicated vents of their own, but instead, relies on the pipes not being in full flow, thus having air space at the top of a partial flow to act as a venting mechanism. However wet venting has very delicate requirements in terms of pipe sizes, developed lengths and slopes, as well as how much the wye branches can be rolled up. I personally like wet venting if the AHJ allows it because the wet portion of the vent is always being rinsed clean.

    The cheater vent that doobie mentioned is something else, also referred to as a “studor” vent, it is an AAV (Air Admittance Valve), that is used sometimes as a substitute for a vent. I personally don’t like AAV and only use one when it’s a last resort that is a mechanical device that will fail sooner or later and let sewer gas in. I have used it a few times on a kitchen island where a conventional vent is impossible and a loop vent is cost prohibitive. But in general I stay away from those.

    #748895
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    You are saying I should do the location of the old plumbing lines and install new plumbing lines for new bathroom at the same time?

    No. I recommend you do the location, snake and clean, camera inspection at the same time.

    Ok thanks. I wasn’t sure what you meant.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

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