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How to Install Drain Pipes

November 6, 2012 |

Missed a Momplex Post?

We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

posted by The Ram

So I am so so so very happy to hear that we are not the only couple on this earth that has some ... uh ... differences when working together.  After our shower showdown, I realized I'm doing you a great disservice.

I'm not letting the Ram's voice be heard.  And he might just know a whole lot more about things like plumbing, framing and building Momplexes than I do.  To me, I just want the toilet in the right spot.  The the Ram, he wants to make sure it doesn't get clogged.

When we were on our book tour, the Ram had his own thing going on at the back of the signings.  And no, he wasn't signing books or taking pictures.

He was answering real questions from from folks who have real problems at home.  Someone wanted to know about installing drywall, another person about framing walls.  And he was helping these people find the answers they needed to go home and improve their homes.

So we promised at book signings that the Ram would start writing some of the more technical Momplex posts to answer some of these questions.  So here you go - the other side of the story!

---

Hi guys, I'm Jacob, Ana's husband.

I knew when she said let's haul the shower around the side of the Momplex, over the ramp, and up the split level entry that I'd be paying dearly for it.  Asking your wife to lift her end of an object twice her size never ends good. Guys, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Another thing we differ on?  Shopping trips.  When I go shopping with her, every pair of shoes looks exactly the same.  Just pick one and go.

This is what my shopping trips look like.

She says every pipe looks the same.  Just grab them and go.  

How to Install Drain Pipes

Once the layout of the bathroom is finally committed too - does your wife change things on you on a daily basis too? - its time to start marking up the floor and gathering the drains needed.

How to Install Drain Pipes

Here I have a shower drain. It's a complete set to seal the drain and give you something to hook you drain pipe up to.

How to Install Drain Pipes

As you mark up the floor, make sure to double check all of the measurements for accuracy. It would be a pain to have the hole off by just a little bit.

How to Install Drain Pipes

Then time for the fun stuff - power tools. Here we have a hole saw.

How to Install Drain Pipes

Cutting with these bits is a breeze.

Ask anyone who has drilled a 6" hole with a standard hole saw kit. No fun or easy task. We invested in this hole saw kit because we have all the other utility holes to drill as well.

How to Install Drain Pipes

About 5 seconds and it does this.

It's a wood eating machine.

How to Install Drain Pipes

A perfect hole for the job.

Now the showers are in, time for the toilets.

How to Install Drain Pipes

Most standard toilets are 12 1/2" from a framed wall.

Once marked I notice that we landed right on a floor joist. Right smack in the middle of the floor joist.

What to do about this problem????

How to Install Drain Pipes

Drilled the hole out. Super easy and fun.

How to Install Drain Pipes

Problem solver.

How to Install Drain Pipes

Put a 90 in and go about installing the pipe.

How to Install Drain Pipes

Attach the flange to the floor. Keeping in mind to the mark that you have put down.

Looks good. 

Now for the other one.

Thats right, everything is X2 in the Momplex.

Now time for the connection of all the pipes to the main drain. A plummer once told me @*@* runs downhill.

Cutting and gluing pipes is really easy. Just have to keep in mind that most utilities need a P-Trap.

Excluding a toilet it already comes with one

A P-Trap is a trap that holds water that blocks off the pipes and keeps smelly sewer gasses from coming back into your home.

Another thing to consider is keeping your slope right on your pipes, you want to run your pipe 1/4" per foot of horizontal run. this keeps the water going down hill. The problem with not enough slope would be getting plugged up, and too much slope means that the water will beat the solids to the septic tank leaving the solids behind. 

Bad slope = Toilet doesn't work = Mom calling.

Slope is good.

This ties it all in and goes down below to meet the main drain pipe.

How to Install Drain Pipes

We also went ahead and brought the kitchen drains over through the wall, keeping the slope in the wall.

Down stairs is the P-traps for the showers and other drains

And everything gets tied into the main drain that runs under the slab and out to the septic we put in  a couple of summers ago.

How to Install Drain Pipes

Here's Mom's Christmas present.  Laundry on the main level.  We added this at the last minute.  It gets drained down too.

With the washing machine utility box in the wall attaching the pipes is easy.

Your probably going to ask.  Why it the pipe going up?

That is a vent pipe essential to a good working drain system. 

Vents work as a breather for the system, without it would suck the P Traps dry bringing in sewer gases into the house. Not something to look forward to.

The vent or vents, some house have more than one vent, go up through the ceiling and out the roof.

Looking like this.

And then sealed the a roof jack to keep the water out.

Thanks guys!  I hope I answered some of your questions and made this plumbing process easy to understand.  If you want me to answer any other questions or write about any of the other steps, I'd be happy to.   Just let me know in the comments.

PS - Have a safe trip to the polls today.

The man behind the pipes...

The man behind the pipes... Thank you Jacob! Ps. I hate shoe shopping :)

posted by Kathyv (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 15:34

Are you kidding me man you

Are you kidding me man you dont like shopping? megavenues

posted by iammega | on Mon, 2014-04-14 03:59

It's not clear what you did

It's not clear what you did with the floor joist? Did that thing go around it? Under it?

One picture of what the underside of the joist looks lioke with the drain installed would help.

posted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 15:48
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The Ram's picture

Thanks for asking this,

Thanks for asking this, should have explained this better. The floor joist only had to be cut out about 7" down. So the strength of the joist is still there. The 90 just let me get the pipe away from the joist so it could be plumbed in easier. There is several ways to accomplish this like we could have used a 45, 22 1/2 we just chose the 90 for our install. Thanks Jacob

posted by The Ram | on Wed, 2012-11-07 12:57
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kristen's picture

Nice to hear from the Ram!

You and Ana are amazing--it has been fun to watch the Momplex coming together! Must be a man thing about the shopping trips--my hubs is exactly the same way about shoes. He lasts about 120 minutes (and that's generous) on a shopping trip, and the clock starts ticking before the car clears the garage to leave :)

pinktoesandpowertools.com

posted by kristen | on Tue, 2012-11-06 16:01

questions

I am curious, is there a standard height at which you should try to run pipes through a wall? I'm mainly thinking that if somebody was unlucky, while hanging drywall or maybe after the walls are sealed up they might drive a nail or screw right into their pipes without knowing it. Where you have them (looks like ~16") seems less likely to get hit in such a manner. Should protection plates be used just to be sure?

Also, it wasn't clear what you did with putting the elbow in under the toilet (on top of the joist). I'm assuming you had to cut away part of the joist, but I would worry about compromising the joist strenth. Can you give us a well-lit shot of the elbow as seen underneat the subfloor?

posted by Matthew (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 16:41

Updated Momplex laundry layout

Now that you have moved the laundry to the main floor, isn't the door going to be in the way of the washer and dryer? Is it possible to install a sliding door to the bathroom instead of one that swings inward? Just a thought!

posted by Joanie (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 16:42

Updated Momplex laundry layout

Now that you have moved the laundry to the main floor, isn't the door going to be in the way of the washer and dryer? Is it possible to install a sliding door to the bathroom instead of one that swings inward? Just a thought!

posted by Joanie (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 16:42
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bhoppy's picture

Fascinating

Seriously… to read from your perspective vs Ana’s! After reading how you guys have built the momplex over the past couple years, I am convinced I could build my own house from scratch! Thanks for all you two do!

posted by bhoppy | on Tue, 2012-11-06 17:01
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redhead_61's picture

YEA!

I am so excited for you to verbally be part of the team now! We see (a little) of all that you do behind the scenes and I am thrilled to hear from you too.

posted by redhead_61 | on Tue, 2012-11-06 17:49

One comment since your in

One comment since your in rough in. Check your local codes but if you planning on installing a washing machine drain pan to catch a machine overflow, rough in a drain connection now. If your code allows it, it's great peace of mind in a finished space if the washer leaks/overfills/etc.

posted by Chris McG (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 19:55

Drain pan

I agree. If you really want to make a laundry area care-free, they have laundry valves that turn off the water supply when they don't sense electricity going to the washer. I don't personally use one. My Bosch washing machine came with special hoses that will shut off water to the hose if they break. I think you can get similar aftermarket hoses.

posted by Ricksite (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-11-07 10:47
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The Ram's picture

Thanks for the heads up. I

Thanks for the heads up. I will look into it, might save me from having to get that phone call from Mom.

posted by The Ram | on Wed, 2012-11-07 13:04

thank you. how does the 90

thank you. how does the 90 avoid the joist? can you insert a pic in this post? and what is it called, i mean what do i ask for in the plumbing shop?

posted by jeannette (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 19:59

what does the 90 do to avoid

what does the 90 do to avoid the joist? and what is the name of the part? could you insert a pic in this post? thanks.

posted by jeannette (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 20:00
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kendikat's picture

I know the camera focus is

I know the camera focus is mostly on the pipe, but that is such a cool picture of the RAM with those bright shining blue eyes!

posted by kendikat | on Tue, 2012-11-06 20:47

Jacob, you and Ana are

Jacob, you and Ana are awesome. I've always wondered how did you learn to build houses? Are you a contractor? Who taught you everything you know about building?

PS - my baby's name is Jacob too! I don't know if you remember us, but we were at the first Home Depot signing in Atlanta (with the baby). I was as awestruck to see you there as I was to see Ana. We always see the back of you in photos here since you are always hard at work on something, so it's nice to see your face.

posted by Maira (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-11-06 21:24
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birdsandsoap's picture

Your real name has been so

Your real name has been so elusive and mysterious all this time and now we all know who "The RAM" really is:

I'm team Jacob!

hahahaha

posted by birdsandsoap | on Wed, 2012-11-07 01:12

A little planning goes a long way!

What we did to prevent toilet drains positioned over joists was to measure it all out prior to the installation of the joists and make plumbing corrections (ie: move the joists over a little one way or the other) as needed. Since toilets are placed a set distance from the walls, it was pretty easy to measure out. Something to keep in mind when you build the next house! :)

posted by Chantelle - ThousandSquareFeet (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-11-07 01:48
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tracysmith's picture

HA!!

I hate "girl" shopping too, send me to the hardware store or the lumber store ANY day of the week... I especially LOATHE shoe shopping as I have pretty large feet for a woman and can NEVER find what I want in my size!!!

So very happy to be hearing from you! When we built our house in 2009, we got to do some of this stuff too. Learned a whole lot and it's great to see what you two are going through in terms of comparing experiences!

Someone asked about what happens if you screw through the pipe accidentally (cause you can't see the pipe behind the drywall). The answer is there are metal plates that you actually hammer onto the studs BEFORE you put up the drywall in all the areas that the pipe goes through the wall. That way, if you start to nail or screw into the wall and come across something resistant, you know you hit one of those plates. Pretty neat huh? Life saver for sure!!!

Nice to hear from you Jacob!! Hope we can hear from you more! :-)

http://www.simply-designed.us/blog

posted by tracysmith | on Wed, 2012-11-07 03:31

Vent pipe height

I would imagine the snow buildup on an Alaskan roof would get quite substantially high. Do you factor this in when you leave vent pipe sticking up out of the roof? If so, how tall?

BTW, it's great hearing from you too Jacob. Your entire family is awesome, and I'm an avid reader of Ana's site now. I'm hooked.

posted by Nelson LeDoux (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-11-07 12:26

Updates

I am filling this out because I so enjoy your entries and I have noticed that occasionally I miss a few and have to search the internet. I'm hooked! :) I love following your progress and watching your lovely family. God Bless You!! <3

posted by Sandra Van Etta (not verified) | on Sun, 2012-11-11 22:23
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Guerrina's picture

Pleased To Meet You!

Loved hearing from you, Jacob...have to get used to that! You and Ana have been a great inspiration to me to DIY. Never too old to try new things!

Ciao!

Guerrina

posted by Guerrina | on Mon, 2012-11-12 00:39

I love reading about the

I love reading about the momplex posts. I redid all the plumbing in my house when we remodeled, then when plumber came out the fix my water softner system he looked over my work because we have just a service basement. One tip he gave me is to make sure I have a cleanout every 20-25 ft the length of most affordable plumber snakes.

posted by Quintin79 | on Mon, 2012-11-12 18:24

Thanks for this useful

Thanks for this useful article, I also want to instal some drain pipes in my house so this article came in the perfect moment. Firs I wanted to call a Tucson Plumber but now I think I will do it myself.

posted by milkyway | on Wed, 2013-02-27 15:14

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posted by Sam Lucas | on Thu, 2013-03-28 04:38

Waterflow and drainage and

Waterflow and drainage and Strain Fix A dripping or obstructed up drainage system can cause large problems for a residence. Not only is it seriously undesirable but safe practice rules need it be joined to. There are a lot of professionals and companies that can help.
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posted by drainit | on Fri, 2013-04-19 00:50
clips

It's really pleasure to read

It's really pleasure to read your post. Thank you so much for writing such a nice post.
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posted by nobelboy | on Mon, 2013-05-13 15:39

Does anyone have any info on

Does anyone have any info on how to do or where to buy the mold for the sink where you can't see the drain? I was looking for a stainless steel grated sink drain if I can't do the hidden drain.
Water Restoration Houston

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posted by drainit01 | on Mon, 2013-05-20 03:18

Thanks Jacob, You have

Thanks Jacob, You have described well in above images that how to Install Drain Pipes.

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posted by alcopeda | on Thu, 2013-08-08 02:30

A blocked drain is a common

A blocked drain is a common plumbing problem that can quickly escalate into a plumbing emergency situation. With some plumbing know-how you can stave off the plumbing emergency in no time.
Tom Plumb

posted by Frankjackson | on Wed, 2013-09-18 03:29

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