Valhalla Update #1: Bathroom Plumbing

I last left you with a messy image of Valhalla, full of our construction tools and a few large items we have neglected to move out of the room for years. (Fun fact: the wooden futon came with the house because it was too heavy and big to move out of the room.)

The way that we’ve laid this room out includes a master bedroom through the door on the right, a bathroom through the door on the left, and a walkthrough closet in the middle, with a giant living area for the rest of the space. The closet and bedroom are complete, with only a few touch ups required.

A room with level 5 mudding on the walls, and tools scattered throughout the room

Well, we cleaned up a bit and got the giant futon out of there, and paused for reflection on our next steps.

I felt like painting this bright white room was next on the list, but Sam reminded me that while we drywall and mud the bathroom, those tasks will kick up a lot of dust, and we’d end up washing walls if we weren’t careful. So how do we move forward with this project?

Plumbing:

Since the bathroom is the very last thing we’ve got to finish before painting and installing the flooring and trim- we got on with figuring out the plumbing.

Sam started calling local plumbers. We figured we would get a few quotes, and have a professional install our plumbing lines.

The main concern was how to go about getting a new drain line ran to our septic tank- so he called 12 plumbers. Guess how many called back? One! Only one plumber out of 12 decided to give this small job a look.

So one plumber came over to our house, and while Sam was showing him what needed to be done, the plumber explains to Sam how to do the job himself. Apparently this plumbing job is really easy- and by the end of the visit, the plumber says “I can give you a quote if you want.”

Yes, thank you… that’s what we called you for. But alas– no quote was ever received.

And so- our plumbing journey begins. I mean, the plumber was super helpful in instilling confidence on this huge job, and directing Sam on how to move forward, but there were a lot of tiny details that we had no idea about. And so, a new DIY journey is born!

Plumbing Research:

Two weekends ago, Sam and I put our heads together and really took the time to go over how to install plumbing, with the helpful assistance from YouTube! I swear, if we didn’t have YouTube, we wouldn’t be as productive or successful in our little house flip.

After a morning breakfast with coffee and YouTube, I thought: “Why don’t we drive around town, and look at some houses that are under construction? We will be able to see how they roughed in the plumbing!

And that’s when everything clicked. Sam understood plumbing! He really knew just what we needed:

A man in a truck with a potapotty outside in the background

Haha, but really, we found a couple of houses that displayed some consistent principles in plumbing. And this photo may be pretty boring, but it did lend some insight and knowledge in to what we needed to do for ourselves,

A new construction house with roughed in plumbing

A few things we’ve learned so far with plumbing:

The slope of a drain pipe:

  • What kind of slope do you need for a drain pipe? 1/4″ to 3″ per foot is standard.
  • Can I have slopes that are smaller than 1/4″ per foot? No. This is not code, because your solids may get stuck in your drain pipe, creating clogs.
  • Can I have a slope greater than 3″ per foot? No. This is not code, because a higher slope will allow your liquids to drain without your solids.
  • Drain pipes can either be vertical, with a 1/4″-3″ slope, or vertical. No in-between.

P-traps:

  • Does every sink, toilet, shower, tub, etc. needs it’s own P-trap? Yes; and the function of a P-trap is to “trap” the sewer smells from backing up through your drains.

Venting:

  • Does every sink, toilet, shower, tub, etc. needs it’s own vent? Not up through the roof, but each unit does need to be on a drain line that does have a vent installed.

We have two sinks, a toilet and a shower- and we will be installing two vents that will attach together in the attic, and have one main vent through the roof.

Think of a venting like a straw full of liquid, and your finger covering the top. The liquid stays trapped- and that is exactly what you do not want. Installing an air vent allows for the liquid to flow, and the drain to… well, drain.

Well, wish us luck on this plumbing journey. I hope this information can help someone out!

With Love, ErikaNora

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