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Old 11-13-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
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General Plumbing Questions


I am getting set to plumb my basement bathroom addition and laundry move. I have a rambler with a full and (soon to be) master 3/4 on the main level. My questions:

1. It appears that the hot pipe coming out of the hot water heater is 3/4 straight up and switches to 1/2 as it runs vertical. Would you run 3/4 vertical to get closer to the items you are supplying and then 1/2 when you drop to them? As is, I do not lack for water pressure anywhere.

2. As the house is currently plumbed, all the cold water to the two bathrooms is pre water softener. Wouldn't you want all water to go through the Culligan water softener first, with the possible exception of sprinkler system and outdoor water spigots?

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:38 PM   #2
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i would run 3/4 then branch of to 1/2 for each bathroom
water softener is a personal opinion but i agree with what you are suggesting to do

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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Good to hear confirmation. Any other opinions?

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Old 11-14-2012, 02:52 PM   #4
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I agree with jaydevries. But read up on WSFU or Water Supply Fixture Units. There may be rare circumstances where 1/2" is adequate, but in most cases you need a 3/4" main line. Each fixture only needs a 1/2" branch by itself, but don't try to supply multiple fixtures from 1/2" unless you have run the WSFU calculation to make sure you can still meet code with such a small pipe.

To give you an example, when we replumbed I calculated our WSFU and found we needed a 1" main line for the cold! (Hot has slightly lower WSFU requirements, so we only needed 3/4" for hot.)

As for the softener, yes, I'd soften everything except hose bibs and fire sprinklers. Though since toilets are usually white, you could probably plumb them with hard water and save a bit on on softener salt without noticing any hard water stains. Probably not worth the extra effort it would take to run separate lines just for the toilets though, unless you were doing a homerun/manifold PEX system.
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