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Bathroom Plumbing And Renovation
During bathroom renovations, you might see the need to add an extra toilet to your existing bathroom or to add another bathroom to your home. Doing this can add more value, comfort, and functionality to your property or home.
Adding a toilet to existing plumbing is much easier when compared to installing one in a place without any plumbing installation but, it can be overwhelming to do. This article will look into all that adding a new toilet to existing plumbing entails. If you are ready, read on to find out.
Considerations When Adding A New Toilet To Existing Plumbing
The Position of the Toilet
Toilets are the most crucial aspect of a bathroom, and they require a separate waste line and ventilation system. The new toilet should be placed in an easily accessible position and must connect directly to the main soil stack (the pipe that runs vertically to the sewer system).
If a direct connection to the main soil stack is not possible, another way is to connect the new toilet waste line to a drain, preferably a sink drain. The sink has to be within 1.8 metres or 6 feet of the toilet for this to work.
The Water Source and Supply
Your extra bathroom or toilet requires water to flush down waste properly. Ensure that your new bathroom has access to the existing cold and hot water system of your home or property. Ensure that the existing water source can adequately provide cold water to the new bathroom or toilet. Also, make sure that your water heater can serve the existing bathroom and new one.
You can use copper, CPVC, or PVC water pipes with a diametre of 1.2 cm or 1/2 an inch to supply water from the existing plumbing to the new toilet or bathroom, even if your house is old and uses coated steel pipes that are not problematic. Plastic or copper pipes are ideal as they are safer, hygienic, more durable, and easier to install.
Supply hot water to the new bathroom with short branch pipes. Doing so saves you from having to wait for hot water for a longer time. For convenience, just have a plumber assess your existing water pipes to ensure they are compatible with the water supply pipes for the new bathroom or toilet.
Your new or extra bathroom would require a drainage line. The shower, sink, bathtubs, or toilet of the additional bathroom must have their drainpipes and lines connected to the existing sewer lines and the main vent stack. All the respective drain lines can meet in a single pipe that connects directly to the main stack. Regardless of this, it is advisable to let each drainpipe connect separately to the soil stack.
In The Case Of Buildings With A Concrete Slab Floor
Unlike Australian houses with hardwood floorings, it is more intricate to work on flooring made of a concrete slab. Whether you are adding a new toilet or carrying out a reno project on your existing bathroom, it is usually a brainstorm trying to figure out how to add plumbing to an existing concrete slab.
Here are the things to take note of while working on your concrete slab flooring:
Locate the Existing Plumbing System
Locating the plumbing systems already existing on your property or home will help you determine the location that best suits your intended bathroom. Knowing this can also make it easy for your new bathroom to tie into the existing plumbing.
A Bathroom Layout Design Helps
Having a layout design for your new bathroom would save you the stress of cutting the concrete slab more than once. It will provide the correct measurements and prevent mistakes, and unnecessary changes as the layout design would serve as a guideline.
After drawing the layout design, go ahead and mark out the spots for your new bathroom or toilet. Measure out the exact locations of your new bathroom fixtures with tape and mark them up with chalk on the floor.
You can also draw it out on the floor with chalk. Doing this would give you a realistic simulation of the dimensions of your intended bathroom space. Also, with that, you get the chance to stand in, walk through, and make the required adjustments to the new bathroom space.
Cut Through the Concrete Slab
To install plumbing pipes, you need to cut and remove the existing concrete slab at the intended place of installation. You can use either a handheld concrete saw or a walk-behind concrete saw to do this.
Handheld Concrete Saw
As the name implies, you are required to bend over or be on your knees while working with it. They work well but create dust as you work and would require you to use protective gears like eye goggles and a respirator to protect yourself.
Handheld concrete saws or cutters are available in various sizes, but the sizes commonly available are 30.5, 35.5, and 40.6 cm or 12, 14, and 16 inches. Just ensure the handheld concrete saw you choose has a blade with a radius adequate to cut through the concrete slab.
Walk-Behind Concrete Saw
This type of concrete saw is suitable for use when there is a large concrete slab to cut through. Unlike the handheld concrete saw, this type is operated from a standing position and much easier on the body for slab cutting that takes a longer time. As it’s operated from a standing position, it keeps your face and hands further away from the blade while working. It also produces less dust compared to the handheld concrete saw.
Both the handheld and walk-behind concrete saw require connection to a water supply hose during operation. The water helps keep the blade cool as it cuts through the concrete slab. In addition, you will have to make plans of where the runoff water will flow out to or into.
After cutting out the concrete slab, you will need to remove it to place the new plumbing pipes. Cutting the scored concrete slab into manageable pieces makes it easier to pick and discard. You can use either a jackhammer or a sledgehammer to break the concrete slab into smaller pieces.
Seal Back the Opening
When you finish installing the plumbing lines for the new toilet or bathroom, seal up the opening with a mix of fresh concrete. Bear in mind that it is easier and faster to mix concrete slabs in a bag. Apply or use a concrete primer first on the opening before pouring the fresh concrete mix to seal up the floor. After pouring the new concrete slab mix, spread it and level the area with a trowel.
You might have to pour the concrete slab mix into the opening and level the area more than once. Sealing the floor well will prevent burst pipes in the future as an exposed pipe is prone to burst and cause water leaks at the installation area. Self-levelling concrete mix is easier to handle than other forms of concrete slab mix or having a truck deliver concrete to your home.
A Sump Pump Might be Required
Sump pumps are required for plumbing drains below the septic or sewer lines. If the intended space for your new toilet or bathroom is below the sewer line or septic line, then you will be required to install a sump pump. Sump pumps help to regulate the level of water in the drain pit. When the water in the drain pit gets to a certain level, the motor pumps the water out from the drain line and into the sewer line.
Sump pumps should be installed into the floors of the basement of your home or building. A sump pump works as an in-ground pump that assists the toilet plumbing waste system. Another advantage of installing a sump pump is that it helps keep floods away from your basement and home.
Consider Installing a Macerator Pump
Macerating or macerator pumps help to pump waste against gravity effectively. These pumps grind and convert solid waste into liquid thereby, making it easy to pump them into the existing sewer line of your property. They are useful when toilets are installed in the basement, which is below the sewer line most of the time.
Installing macerating pumps is a good option, especially when you want to bypass the tedious process of cutting concrete slabs. It’s much cheaper and easier to install a macerator pump when compared to extending the sewage system of existing plumbing. Connecting your new toilet to a macerator pump will help it flush properly.
HVAC is Necessary
You need to figure out how to supply heat and ventilation to your new toilet space. The easiest way to do that is by adding a supply line from an HVAC vent close to the new bathroom space. Before doing that, ensure that your existing HVAC system can serve the additional bathroom.
Ideal Places To Install A New Bathroom Or Toilet
Inside the Bedroom
Spacious rooms like the master bedroom are an ideal place to install an ensuite because rooms like that usually have unutilised spaces. Just make sure that your utilities support having the installation in the bedroom.
If your garage is quite spacious and with most of the space not in use, it might be a good idea to install your new toilet there. It is easier to install a toilet or bathroom here as the garage of most properties is equipped with access to utilities. A window will be required to keep the place ventilated.
Basement or Cellar
Just like the car garage, a basement is another ideal place to add a toilet. Ensure the space is well ventilated, especially if a shower is included in the bathroom to prevent the buildup of moisture and condensation. In addition, you will need to coat the walls with water-resistant protective layers to prevent the occurrence of rot.
Hallway or Closet
If you have a hallway or closet that has enough space and you lack space in your home, the hallway or closet is a good alternative. Depending on the quantity of space available, the bathroom might be a full, half-size, or 3/4 bathroom. You might have to consider going for a sliding door to make the bathroom more accessible. As always, ensure that your utilities support the location before installing it.
Under the Staircase
This is another ideal place to install a toilet. You can also extend your existing bathroom to accommodate an additional toilet. The most crucial part when looking for an ideal place to add a toilet is to ensure that your city building code allows or supports installing toilets in your new intended space.
Use Experts To Add A Toilet To Existing Plumbing
Adding an extra toilet or bathroom to your property can be a bit tricky but achievable with proper planning. Consider the location of your existing plumbing and figure out a way to connect the new bathroom or toilet to it. It is essential to let local plumbers assist you in adding the new toilet.
Some of the installation processes like the plumbing and electrical works should be handled by trained and professional tradesmen. Doing this would prevent future complications with the new toilet. Even if you have the required skills and prior experience, you can DIY some of the basic steps and leave the rest for professionals to handle.
In addition, professionals know the techniques better to fit the new toilet to your existing plumbing without disturbing any of your existing utilities.