Improper plumbing & trying to remodel bathroom/laundry

House Repair Talk

Help Support House Repair Talk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Question in terms of door structure: Both my exterior and interior doors currently have a single 2x4 as a header (I know I absolutely need to replace that on the exterior load-bearing one). For the interior non-load-bearing wall, can I get away with using a 4x4 header hanger on one side and a jack stud on the other when I move the doorway over 4"? There is a king stud 4" over from where the jack stud currently is.
Simpson Strong-Tie HH Galvanized Header Hanger for 4x Nominal Lumber-HH4 - The Home Depot is the product.

Or, seeing as it isn't load-bearing, could I get away with keeping the existing 2x4 & using some sort of shelf plain L shaped bracket that can support shelves?

Or could I drive some sturdy screws designed for joists in to the header from the side of the king stud (assuming there's enough room for a drill & screwdriver in there).
Got the Moen Engage 5.5" 2.5gpm handheld showerhead and the guest bathroom since my brother just wants a handheld and doesn't care about a fixed showerhead. The one with the fixed showerhead plus handheld is going in my bathroom. Got the Multi-Choice valve for Pex crimp fitting. I will be picking up some 3/4" conduit elbows (which are less than $1 each) so I won't have to get expensive elbow fittings. My friend used conduit for his valve.
Got the Delta Lahara trim again (gave 1st one to my friend to use in his shower-- we get to take showers at his house whenever we want until we get our stuff fixed). Still need a 2nd shower arm and another shower trim for guest bathroom.

Meanwhile, I have picked out the faucet for the guest bathroom. I'd been looking at Moen ones but they were expensive & not the right style. Closest was the one my Mom got on clearance for her bathroom, but I decided that since we're getting a Delta trim we can get a Delta faucet. Found the Delta Porter faucet on e-bay (open box) for $54 w/ "fast & free" shipping & free returns w/in 30 days. Alternative is to buy new for $69 at HD. It has a nice high arc and longer reach than the Moen ones.
s-l640 (2).jpgs-l640.jpg
So, I'm not sure why I thought I got a 2-light vanity lamp. We apparently got a 3-light one on clearance. The display model looked better than the online pictures.

I've updated two of my drawings to include the new lamp drawing (definitely not proportional so I will have to do measurements and try to scale things better later). I wish I was better with the 3D modeling and that Milkshape was still being supported. I will have to learn how to use Blender or one of the other free 3D modeling programs. I should update the faucet drawing too but I don't feel like doing it just yet.
While waiting for my rotator cuff to heal a bit more I was playing around with Sketchup. Trying to make the vanity and mirror. The mirror turned out OK and the vanity is a work in progress. I'm struggling to get the right shapes/angles for the top. I'm satisfied with the base (I can do a bit more detail on it later (adding depth etc instead of just having it flat with stuff drawn on the surface). I'm not happy with what I have of the top so far. There are so many curves and Sketchup doesn't handle curves well.
I'm not so sure that getting the depth perception is all that important for the room sketch. And not all graphics tools are built with that in mind. You may be able to find stock images that you can import, and perhaps edit the face to look the way you want it to.
Slownsteady, I tried to find similar sinks in the 3dwarehouse. As far as I know importing just an image won't work. There are no stock photos of the set I have because it was discontinued almost a decade ago. I know it's not critical for the sketch/layout but I'm nitpicky and I want to make it look at least close to the real deal. The circles and lines and such are just drawn on so they give the illusion of depth. I need to re-learn how to use some of the tools to make curves & such just for my own satisfaction.

I'm debating whether or not I should try to get a shattaf for this bathroom or if that would end up creating a leak if my brother forgets to turn it off or something. He doesn't always remember to turn the cooktop off & has ruined a couple of pans. It would help with cleaning (which I'm sure he won't do so I'll probably end up having to do it).

Funny thing on the shattaf... When I was talking to my mother about renovating her bathroom I suggested getting one. She said she didn't need one. Said she wouldn't use it and there was no point. I got one for my bathroom. Later on she saw one for sale and asked me if I wanted it (for my bathroom) but I reminded her I already had one but said she could get it for hers. She said she didn't want it. That was a few years back. Last night I was cleaning the toilet and commenting that it would be easier if we had a shattaf for me to spray the bowl with to rinse. She indignantly said "I wanted to get one but YOU didn't want one!" LOL.
No screen shots but I've added a little shelf between the door and the shower. I'm going to make a custom tp-holder thing to mount on the vanity when it's finished.
I also added wall switches and outlets.

I've been thinking about how to deal with the gap between the wall and the vanity that I plan to have (so people won't hit their elbows on the wall while washing their hands- and to give a little extra surface for items). I will use some white formica for the top next to and behind the vanity. On the side near the wall, I was going to have one of those pull-out-shelves like the Rev-A-Shelf ones, but they didn't have the right sizes. I wanted to make my own but couldn't find the right drawer slides. Then I saw this video:

Using the speed square to line up the screws was a neat idea. Having something on the wall as a stop was also a good idea.
This would save me from having to make framing on the sides & I wouldn't have to bolt anything to the vanity. I could build a shorter slimmer version & put some good castors on it. I have those tools you press against something to get the shape, lock it down, trace the shape on what you want to cut, and then cut it out with a jigsaw. I can do that around the side of the sink so the front part follows the curve and then the sides should sit flush together. I saw an awesome measuring tape I want that actually has the numbers for the fractions written on it and it does digital measuring with a display screen too. It's on my wishlist.
I was going to make a shelf between the door and the shower (for the shaving station) but when I went in to look for some other stuff, I found these shelves in the clearance bin. Wood Wall Shelves Set | Hobby Lobby | 657916
They are very soft wood, very rough, have large knots (which I couldn't see bc of the packaging, but that's no big deal to me), and are secured only with staples. The largest one already has a brace coming off because it wasn't stapled securely. But I planned to reinforce them anyway. I'll be using some angle braces.
The medium one should fit in the space. I can find other spots for the large and small ones. Medium one will be getting a 7/8" dowel to use as a towel bar.
Just realized the holdrite bracket I got requires sweating the copper to solder the pipes to the holder. There is another bracket with a plastic insert that locks the pipe in place. I plan to get that instead.
I played around with Sketchup more. I found what 3dWarehouse listed as the Performa shower but they had the wrong wallset for the model #. The wallset they had wasn't even remotely correct. I found diagrams of the shower and looked for as many pictures as I could find so I could re-create it. I had trouble getting the curves/angles right for the underside of the shelf, but I decided to just go with it. Maybe if I can remember how to do more of the curve detail stuff I can try to do it better later.

Some of the stuff was too complicated to make (I mean, I probably could have made it if I'd really tried, but I didn't feel like it) so I just used approximations. The faucet, sink, vanity light, tub spout, shower controls, and showerhead are not the correct ones.

I kept getting frustrated trying to make the sink so I ended up just taking the pedestal off of a pedestal sink model I found, resizing the sink somewhat and then plopping it on the vanity I made. I did build the mirror from scratch. Not sure if the recessed medicine cabinet is the right size because I just found one that looked about right and I can't get in there to measure the real one.

I studied diagrams of the dryer and when I added the dryer vent at the appropriate measurement (center of hole is lower middle of dryer 3 7/16" above the bottom). The MagVent I got has a 3" margin of error but I still want to get it as straight as possible. With the 15" pedestal I realized that the trap arm of the standpipe would be in the way of the vent. So I will lower it and put a thermal barrier of some sort between the dryer duct and the pipe just in case. In the drawings I also didn't have the right fittings downloaded to reduce the size of the pipe from 2" to 1-1/2" and I forgot to sketch in the cleanout.
Top view of both rooms (there was no model of the double shower rod so I did a single, but there will be a double)
View of the east side of the bathroom (I neglected to draw in a shelf above the recessed medicine cabinet- but there will be a shelf with a light)
View of the laundry room from the east (with wall down).
View of the north side of the bathroom
View of the south side of the bathroom
Transition from the vinyl plank to vinyl sheet in the doorway
East side of laundry room
Either tomorrow or Sunday (barring any unforeseen events) my friend will be coming over to help run the PEX waterlines. I'm leaning toward bumping it to Sunday because he has to work Friday evening & I don't want him to feel rushed or to not be able to finish since he'll need time to shower before work. Also, in case of us needing a part, I don't want to have to go to a store on black friday.

I forgot to mention to my friend that the outside spigot runs on the inside water, so I will need to pick up a 3/4" shutoff (or see if the old one is still around and can be re-attached). Going to wrap the hell out of it in insulation. Maybe put the shutoff inside a styrofoam cooler or something (we got some with Mom's insulin shipments). I can get a hose stand to zip tie the spigot's pipe to so it will stay upright.

Confirmed with friend that we will push back until Sunday so it will be less stressful for him. Plus I can grab a hose stand or rebar or something to tether the pipe to to make it stay upright.

I'll have to take stock of the manifold pieces I have later on to make sure I have all the right kinds. I'll have to go out with my phone and take pics so I remember. Should probably grab more hooks for hanging the pipes. I will likely do my shopping in Saturday so I avoid BF rushes.

This is the whole house layout currently:

Future layout (pretty much only the laundry and b1 get changed:

From what I discovered there are actually 2 lines coming in to the house (but I didn't draw them) There is a box that should have shutoffs in it but doesn't. Both lines are visible. One supplies all of the cold water to the house and the other runs to the water heater for the hot water. I guess the initial idea was that if we needed to shut off just the hot water and not the cold or just the cold and not the hot, we could do so independently. But there are no longer shutoffs so I don't know what happened there. The cold water supply line will get tied in to further under the house. Hot line is already tied into.

My friend described this as a "simple project" but he always underestimates. It's always more complicated than he expects. I'm always expecting there to be some snag so I want to be prepared for it.
Got lines run for all of the existing fixtures run yesterday-- save for the cold water on kitchen sink and for an outdoor faucet. My bathroom lav has copper supply lines so those will have to be removed and replaced with braided steel lines. We need to find proper adapters to hook up the existing shower valves. Nice thing about PEX is that when it's time to install the new stuff it will be easy to adapt.

We did use some push-fit shutoffs for under sinks and places that are accessible but anything inside a wall (or inside the closet) got pex clamp style so it won't leak.

Did a test and nothing leaked up top. Water pump didn't turn on when I first turned power back on so it didn't seem to be losing any water anywhere. Water pressure in the bathroom sink wasn't great at first but now it's fine. There was a lot of air in there that made the faucets seem angry though. LOL.

I need to find the right sized little flange thingies to go on the floor where the PEX comes up for the toilets.

Now that the old pipes are cut I'll be able to finish demo on the guest bathroom without worrying about lines busting and water leaking everywhere.

Friend also added emergency shutoffs to the hot and cold lines just under the house (we have those two separate lines just in case). I'll have to crawl back under and remove the old PVC and CPVC pipes to keep them out of the way, but for now they are holding the pex up as my friend's arm was too tired to nail up hangers. I may see if I am able to nail up hangers later- but I do have absolutely terrible aim with a hammer.

It's nice to have made progress though.

I'm thinking for my bathroom floor that once I get the messed up floor a little more level I can put down the insulation layer/underlayment and do a layer of luan over the top and then water seal that before putting down the sheet vinyl. That way there won't be all those bumps & the floor will be smoother.
So, I saw something on Hammerpedia that gave me an idea for the toilet's plumbing.

All this time I've been looking for the sanitary tee that reduces at the top instead of side or bottom & haven't had much luck. But a low heel inlet would have good flow and has the reduced size for a vent. I wonder if I could do something similar for the sink.

I also discovered that on the "newer" side of the house (built around 1947) the underside of the house at the perimeter has an interesting configuration. There is a floor above and then there's a little empty pocket with one side covered with vertical board for the siding outside, and then there is a large beam running perpendicular to the joists.

I need to find out if the older part of the house (which consists of the first bedroom, guest bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, etc) is configured this way. I will need to measure how deep and high that pocket is to see if pipes can fit in there or not. At the very least it would be nice to see if the sink's drain pipe can fit in there to merge with he toilet line. Or if there is enough room for me to run vents inside the walls. I really need to peel back the paneling in there to see how thick the studs are. I suspect they are 2x4 but they might be 2x6. If they are 2x6 I might be able to run some vent pipes inside the wall and then out to go around the soffit (since I don't want to mess with trying to cut through metal roof there.

Do they sell wall boots similar to roof boots?
Plumbers like a vent for every drain. Then when called to unclog a drain they do it from the roof.
Eddie, I am trying to add branch vents to every line with cleanouts in various places. Main vent stack is too small to add more fixtures (it looks like it's only 2" diameter). I can tie in the tub & washing machine to it. But I would need to make it larger to tie in the toilet as well as the lavatory (bathroom sink). Kitchen sink is too far away to tie in.

Right now none of my fixtures are vented properly so I need to add vents. They have half-a$$ed circuit vents (where the vents run below flood level and out from under the house). They come out, run up the wall, elbow off horizontally around the eaves, and then back vertical above the roof.

I want to do something similar for the toilet and lav in the new bathroom.

I will either tie in outside the exterior wall (running lav's drain through the wall) or inside the exterior wall and then run it out through the upper part of the exterior wall. I will make sure the hole is not too large and that I caulk the hell out of it. The former will be uglier having multiple pipes outside the wall.

On the left is the outside where it comes out of the house. On the right is my crappy sketch of the pipes in the wall. I got lazy.

This is the current waterline layout just about

Light blue line comes out of the ground & converts from 1" PVC to 3/4" PEX (we couldn't find 1" pex in stock) and has a 1/4 turn ball valve and 3/4" pex run to the water heater which converts to PVC & up to the hose to the top of the water heater. Water heater hose comes out the top, goes to 3/4" CPVC and goes under the house where it is transitioned to 3/4" PEX. From there a tee was added to split off to the two bathroom groups. The rest of the line continues over to the laundry room and has a tee up to the washing machine, it loops back north and terminates at the kitchen sink. The split off line has a quad-branch tee that splits off to tubs and sinks. I believe it is oriented vertically but am not sure.

The dark blue line comes out of the ground & converts from 1" PVC to 3/4" PEX and has a 1/4 turn ball valve before continuing on to 3/4" pex that runs to the bathroom groups just beyond the toilets where it has a triple open end branch tee with 1/2" branches but open end is 3/4", short run of pex to another triple closed end branch tee with 1/2" branches. I need to map out which lines go to which manifold but I guesstimated in the drawing. The lines run over old pipes to keep them off the ground for now.
Last edited:
So, I started thinking about grab bar placement and how my balance is not getting any better so I want to be able to put grab bars in my bathroom at some point in the future. Same with guest bathroom-- want to be able to have a grab bar. I know it's more lumber, but better to take care of it now than have to tear out walls later on.
I read this article: Backer Boards In The Bathroom - How Are They Used?

And was thinking of doing a combo of some plywood or something glued to the back of the shower wall panels to reinforce them and also securing backer boards between the studs. I would paint the plywood on the back of the wall panels to seal them up and protect them from any possible water penetration. The 2x10s in the walls could be covered in moisture barrier. Center of the board would be around 36" high. I could use Simpson Strong-Tie LUC ZMAX Galvanized Face-Mount Concealed-Flange Joist Hanger for 2x10 Nominal Lumber-LUC210Z - The Home Depot to hang them.

I've heard construction adhesive might dry too hard for the walls, but am not sure. Would liquid nails work to adhere the plywood to the back of the shower walls?

In my brother's bathroom, the showerhead will probably come out of the wall above the Sterling wall set (since my brother is taller) but I'll have to see how things measure up. We will have access to the wall from the back side.

For my bathroom, I haven't even picked a wall set or anything. I'm debating whether I should try glue-up or something. The ones I have now are falling down.

For Mom's bathroom, I will have to see how tall the surround walls are in person to figure out if she can reasonably have the showerhead above the wallset or if it will need to be in it. Since her showerhead comes with a slidebar built in, I need to be mindful of how far down the handheld part can slide for her to reach.

Any suggestions?
I watched the video for the pullout pantry just to get ideas. I built my kitchen so there was no wasted space but in my utility room a freezer replacement left a bit of gap for consideration. I recommend fixed casters as they are less squirrelly in use. I used them for my mobile island for more stability and can easily steer if need be just by easily lifting one end. IIRC @shan2themax has a base cabinet on a HF dolly.
Last edited:
Yeah, fixed casters might work for the little side rolling piece. Would be less persnickety than having to deal with drawer glides. I saw a cool idea of putting a stopper to keep the rolling part from pulling out too far. I do want to have a solid piece of countertop/shelf against the wall on top of the pull-out that will not move with it so things are less likely to fall into a gap.

It took me a hot minute to figure out why pantries were being mentioned in a bathroom thread, but then I remembered that I brought it up with the thing next to the vanity in the thread. LOL.
Can't access sketchup for more screenshots but I managed to save some from my old pc. Haven't tried booting it up again since I got some data off of it earlier.

Minor progress: The knobs for the guest bathroom arrived. Decided to keep the Schlage flair levers for my own bathroom and go with the Schlage Siena oval knobs. Laundry room side the knob is polished brass while bathroom side is chrome.

Still trying to pick the right lavatory for Mom's bathroom on the other side of the house. Before my PC crashed I made decent progress on the sketchup drawings for Mom's bathroom. 3D warehouse doesn't have the shower model for her shower and its rather complicated so I haven't put it in yet, but I manually drew in some of the shelves and such. I couldn't find the right textures to put on things so I used white and blue for stuff. Still waiting on countertop samples to arrive. The tracking # I got for the samples shows it's invalid or not trackable yet.

This shows the progress in the sketching process. I put in a random sink that isn't the one we will be buying.


Mom doesn't really like the idea of white cabinets so I'm trying to figure out what color to paint them that would not clash with light blue walls (she doesn't want greeinish tint) and possibly a blue countertop. Might end up having to go with white (but maybe a marbled white of some sort) for the countertop if she doesn't like the blues. We're thinking of getting a Toto Reliant lavatory since it is fairly deep and is about the right size.