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ando1048576 06-08-2007 04:19 PM

2nd Floor Bath
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I've got a 2nd floor bathroom that I'm currently remodeling and am wondering if I should rip out the existing plumbing and redo it with Pex while I've got things opened up. I've already ripped out the galvanized drain lines to put PVC back.

Attached are some images from the joists below. The main thing I wanted to show was the size of the current flexible copper tubing used to get water from the basement to the attic, and the tight quarters. In one picture you'll see 3 pipes - that's where I have to run water to. For some reason when they remodeled some time in the past they put the supply lines in the floor rather than in the wall. And took out the vent line for the bathroom. :/

Another thing to consider is that they cut out 1 layer of sub-floor to give themselves another inch for the copper lines around the toilet - leaving me with only 1" of flooring around that toilet (which is a little rotten due to a bad wax seal). No wonder that sucker rocked. :/

I plan on utilizing the existing tub because it's a decent cast tub, but am thinking about pulling the top layer of flooring in the whole bathroom to lay 1/2" exterior-grade plywood for laying tile. I'm not sure what's under the pink tile yet - I may get that pulled this weekend.

What do people think? Redo it all while I've got things torn open? It would definitely be easier to cope with the tight quarters when re-running water lines. I don't like adding ~ $100 to the cost of the project (and I have to find someone in the area with a Pex tool), but don't want to half-*** something only to have it come back and bite me.

I also have a thread on the John Bridge Ceramic Tile forums if you want more background:

If you need more pictures please just ask - finally got my digital camera back so can take as many pics as needed. :D

Edit: Another thing with the existing plumbing is some pretty severe water hammer - you'd hear it any time the sink or tub was turned on. I think I can eliminate most of the water hammer by installing an arrester or 2 (hope that's what they're called) to help with that and add some more support to the plumbing, but I'm not sure.

ando1048576 06-08-2007 04:27 PM

Pics from Inside
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Here are pictures of the inside view. The little blue thing on the floor on the left side of one picture is a laundry chute to the basement that I plan on retaining - although I'm not sure how. Yes - that's a stair above the tub, which will prove to be another challenge.

The toilet is past the blue wall by the tub, and the sink is on the opposite wall.



glennjanie 06-09-2007 08:19 AM

Welcome to the Community Ando:
Yes, I would take the copper out and replace it (my preference would be to use CPVC pipe for the replacement) and water hammer arrestors would be in order. Water hammer arrestors can be bought or jobsite fabricated. In your case, with the tight space I wold recommend the manufactured ones. Fastening the CPVC to the joists every 2' would be a big help too.
I would replace the vent pipe for the plumbing drains while I was in there. A proper vent is crucial to good drainage and to relieve odors from the line.
Now, about that toilet, It rocks because the floor is uneven or the drain pipe is too high and the toilet is supported only by the drain lne. When you re-do the floor, make sure the closet flange is attached to the floor well (I like to use 4 #14 X 1-1/2" brass wood screws with a phillips head) and use a closed cell foam closet ring rather than a wax ring. If the toilet moves the slightest bit a wax ring will begin to leak; whereas, the foam ring remains resilient and will go along with any rocking. The rocking can be eliminated by cutting small pieces off the PVC pipe at a 1 or 2 degree angle. This makes wedges of the plastic which can be shoved under the bowl to level it up. Then run a bead of silicone caulk around the base of the bowl to seal it and hold the wedges in place. Let us know how it goes and if we can be of further help.

ando1048576 06-10-2007 09:52 AM

I talked to a plumber here in town, and he said he wouldn't worry about replacing that copper unless there's extensive corrosion evident. As you can see from the pictures, there's a little corrosion right where the flex meets the hard copper. So I'm not sure which way to lean right now - the people I've had look at it, half have said replace and half said don't worry about it.

What makes you prefer CPVC over Pex as a replacement? And if I were to replace, I'd still have to have something to get me from the basement to the 2nd floor, and the only available route right now is right next to the soil stack.



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