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Old 06-09-2008, 11:27 PM   #1
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


My home is about 5 years old and has a bathroom rough-in in the (yet) unfinished basement. Before I can frame the bathroom, I want to plan where the tub (or shower), toilet and sink will go. The rough-in doesn't make sense to me and I hope you guys can help me figure it out.

First, there is a 12" square hole in the floor, centered about 14" from the insulated outside wall. See picture. I thought this hole was for the bathtub P-trap but I dug about 4 inch deep and I couldn't find any drain pipe inside... What is the purpose of this hole if there is no drain in it?

Second, there are 2 pipes sticking out (see picture) - a 3" white pipe located about 9-10 inches from the (future) wall and a black 5" pipe located about 2 ft from the first pipe. If the 3" pipe is toilet drain than it's too close to the wall. Could the 5" pipe be for a toilet? If so, what's the purpose of the 3" pipe?

Thanks!

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Old 06-10-2008, 08:31 AM   #2
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


OK, easy enough.

The 3" drain is the toilet.

The 5" black pipe is a backflow preventer (thank your plumber and building inspector for installing it and requiring it)...It keeps the sewer from backing up into the basement in the event of a main street line backup. You can cut it flush with the floor and cap it. Just leave it accessible so it can be serviced. Do not run any pipes into it or modify its inner-workings in any way. Also don't let any debris get into it. You need it, I promise.

The 12" hole is in fact the location for a tub/shower drain. There probably won't be a trap in there, but there should be a pipe stubbed in there somewhere. Keep digging. Plan on installing your own trap in this hole.

The horizontal stub on the vertical pipes is your sink drain. The vertical pipes are vents, and need to remain. You may have to cut them and re-glue them with couplings to get your framing in and around them. Install a trap under your sink.



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Old 06-10-2008, 08:34 AM   #3
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


The 3" pipe should be no closer to the wall than 15" (to the center of the pipe). Either move the wall or knock out a little concrete and move the pipe where you want it. Just rent a small demolition hammer (mini jackhammer) and chip out around the pipe. Glue new fittings and pipe as necessary and pour new concrete.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
The 3" pipe should be no closer to the wall than 15" (to the center of the pipe). Either move the wall or knock out a little concrete and move the pipe where you want it. Just rent a small demolition hammer (mini jackhammer) and chip out around the pipe. Glue new fittings and pipe as necessary and pour new concrete.
15 + 1/2 from the rough wall.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:11 AM   #5
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


Actually the toilet should be 15 + 1/2 from side walls and 12 + 1/2 from the back wall.

Sounds like if you're nine inches away, then you're pretty much the depth of a 2x4 wall too close. Maybe whoever plumbed your house didn't know you were putting up another wall behind the toilet?
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:14 AM   #6
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The vertical pipes are vents, and need to remain. You may have to cut them and re-glue them with couplings to get your framing in and around them.

Thats going to be difficult to do with cleanouts so low to the ground. I don't know why they would have done THAT already.... Your baseboard might end up hitting those.

You might just have to notch the bottom plate and cut the pipes as low as you can and still be able to get a coupling on it, and then drill holes above later as needed.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:22 AM   #7
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


Yup, I should have said 15" from the finished face of the wall.

The cleanouts appear to be pointing away from the bathroom...Perhaps in an unfinished area.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:28 AM   #8
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


Thanks, Guys! This is very helpful. I didn't know I had a sewer backflow preventer - I suppose our town has some useful codes after all...

The toilet drain pipe is located exactly 12" from the center of the vent pipes (what were they thinking ). If the sheet rock is installed flush with the pipes - I may be able to use a 10" toilet... We'll see. I will finish the wall before installing the toilet so worst case I'll move the 3" stub out a little. Thanks for that tip.

thekctermite you are correct - the cleanouts are pointing into the utilities room, which I am not going to finish.

I don't like the location of the 12" shower hole - it is right in the center of the back wall. It may work out for a shower but not not a bath.

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Old 06-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


There's often not enough forethought that goes into rough plumbing for future baths.

For that toilet, you might consider an offset flange. They'll buy you an inch or two with minimal removal of concrete.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:48 PM   #10
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I suppose our town has some useful codes after all...
Udi
Most codes are useful...They just don't seem useful when they're being written by us inspectors! If your house hasn't burned down, flooded, or caved in, there were a lot of useful codes enforced!
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:36 PM   #11
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


Hey, a sewage backflow preventor! It's not only good for when the city sewer backs up but also if your sewer pipe breaks! I didn't have one and my sewer pipe broke. Raw sewage (well, at least ours) started coming up out my basement bathtubs drain (we don't use our basement but it has a full bathroom) filling up the tub and eventually overflowing onto the floor. Not pretty, not only did I have to pay to have my sewer pipe replaced I had to destroy the basement bathroom and rip out and replace the bottoms of the walls (now that was hell) as they'd absorbed sewage.

By the way, check to see how fast your elbow occurs in that toilet drain. We tried 3 toilet brands and all had problems flushing in our basement so we brought in the pro's. The plumbers said the 90 under our basement toilet is like immediate, they'd never seen one transition so fast there is no distance... probably to make pitch. It turns so fast it must be interfering with flushing, only powerflush toilets (or getting a raised platform for our toilet) will likely work. Can't say it's common.

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Old 06-10-2008, 03:00 PM   #12
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


Another real benefit of having a dedicated backflow for just the basement fixtures is that if your sewer line or the main line clogs, you won't get backflow into your basement fixtures when you flush an upstairs toilet or run water down the drain.

Some plumbers make the mistake of not taking that into account, and they "protect" the entire house right where the main drain goes out of the house. That's great until the blockage is somewhere within the main drain in the house before that backflow device. A couple flushes is all it takes and
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:11 PM   #13
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Basement Plumming Rough-in


Udi,
I agree with the kctermite that you might be able to use an offset flange. The only one I would use is made by Sioux Chief (no, I don't own stock). It is the only Offset flange I have seen that will pass a 3" ball. It also has an adjustable flange ring that spins 360 degrees if needed. If your piping is deep enough to use this it will save you some jackhammer work.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:59 PM   #14
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Udi,
I agree with the kctermite that you might be able to use an offset flange. The only one I would use is made by Sioux Chief (no, I don't own stock). It is the only Offset flange I have seen that will pass a 3" ball. It also has an adjustable flange ring that spins 360 degrees if needed. If your piping is deep enough to use this it will save you some jackhammer work.
Yes! The Sioux Chief product is the way to go.

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