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Old 10-10-2008, 08:35 PM   #1
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Hot Water Toilet


Here's a new one: A good friend of mine bought a house a few years ago and the toilet in the master bathroom actually has a hot water line feeding it instead of cold water. (Of course this wasnt mentioned by the sellers) It is a concrete slab home that is only about 5 years old. I guess the plumbing contractor had a rough night prior to installing the lines, who knows. As you can imagine, no toilet was made to run on hot water and the heat constantly destroys the seals and mechanisms causing it to leak almost constantly, and the gas bill for the hot water heater is proof of that. I've drawn a sketch of the bathroom arrangement.

Hot Water Toilet-hot-toilet.jpg

Here's how I plan to fix this: Tap into the cold water line for the sink and run up (to clear the hot) and over through the wall to the toilet. And then cap the hot water line feeding the toilet. I plan to drill holes in the center of the studs and run copper pipe. Of course the vanity will have to be removed as well as the toilet and drywall in the toilet room to access the guts of the wall. Here a few concerns that I have:
1) I'm not sure if this is a load bearing wall, but if it is, can holes be drilled into the studs?
2) The wall borders the garage and storage room and is insulated, will this cause any problems other than having to remove insulation where the pipe will go?
3) I've never soldered copper pipe before so I'll probably practice on some scrap before I did the final connections. But I'm worried about using a torch around studs and everything else inside the wall. Is there some kind of heatshield that you can buy when you're torching the pipe so you don't catch the studs or other nearby things on fire?


Matt
Lafayette, LA

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Old 10-10-2008, 09:21 PM   #2
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Hot Water Toilet


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Originally Posted by GeauxCajuns82 View Post
1) I'm not sure if this is a load bearing wall, but if it is, can holes be drilled into the studs?
Yes, you can drill holes up to about 1-1/2" in load-bearing 2x4 studs. The holes need to be reasonably centered though. If you drill closer to the edge than 5/8", you've essentially overdrilled the stud. Stick to small holes and you'll be ok. You can even notch a stud up to 25% of its depth, just keep the notches as short as possible. Don't forget to install nail guards over the studs' edges where the pipe goes through.

2) The wall borders the garage and storage room and is insulated, will this cause any problems other than having to remove insulation where the pipe will go?
In Louisiana, I doubt it. If you ever get freezing temps in the garage, it might be an issue. Just insulate as best as you can.

3) I've never soldered copper pipe before so I'll probably practice on some scrap before I did the final connections. But I'm worried about using a torch around studs and everything else inside the wall. Is there some kind of heatshield that you can buy when you're torching the pipe so you don't catch the studs or other nearby things on fire?
Sure. You can get a small heat blanket in most stores' plumbing departments. Don't lose sleep over slightly charring the studs, just be careful and have a fire extinguisher handy.
If you have any soldering questions let us know and we can walk you through it. It isn't hard, but it has to be done correctly in order to be effective.

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