my Old Workshop

Plumbing pointers and tips (Part I)

Here are some things to remember when you’re working on the water supply or the drains in your house.

If you’re starting a project, now’s the time to save yourself work later. Get lots of shutoffs and install them wherever you think you might like to shut off the supply to an appliance, fixture or room.

When you’re laying a run of pipe, it’s a good idea to start from two ends of the run and meet in the middle. This makes one long run into two short ones and reduces the risk of getting off the intended route. Make the final connection at an intersection if possible, rather than in the middle of a run. You have more room to play with.

Always dryfit pipes before attaching them.

When joining copper to old galvanized steel pipe, use a brass fitting between them. Otherwise, the copper and steel will react and corrode. Likewise, only clamp copper pipe to studs and joists with copper clamps.

Don’t let hot and cold water pipes touch, or the hot water will cool down quickly. If your space is tight, insulate the pipe with foam pipe insulators or place a piece of rubber between them.

Flexible copper pipe can save you fittings. To avoid wastage, run one end of the pipe the length of the run before cutting.

When installing drains, don’t slope them more than 1/4″ per foot on “horizontal” runs. If the slope is steeper, the liquids will outrun the solids and will leave them clogging the pipes instead of carrying them out.

Stay tuned… more plumbing tips next time.