Essential Guide to New Construction plumbing
All of us use plumbing every day, but usually don’t think about the systems that ensure it works properly. That’s unless something goes wrong, you’re remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, or building a new home. New construction plumbing has a different set of requirements than a few years ago; most components are made of plastic and alloys, while more expensive materials mean a mistake can cost you much more.
Building a home or business requires a general contractor and an experienced plumber to ensure the right equipment is installed properly and up to code. Here, we will look at various aspects of professional plumbing construction and how a professional works to make your property fully functional.
Parts and Components
New construction comes with a unique set of challenges because every aspect of your plumbing system must be considered. You use your plumbing for cooking, showering, brushing your teeth, watering the lawn, and any other activity that requires water. To ensure your property is functional, a plumbing contractor will install:
Pipes distribute every drop of water that’s used in your house. They also deliver natural gas. Other pipes are responsible for drainage. All must be installed correctly or else the entire system can fail. A broken pipe can not only affect functionality but also cause major property damage.
When you flush the toilet or wash anything down a drain, it travels through your wastewater lines into the sewer system. All sewer connections must be properly installed to avoid sewage backups and situations where you have dirty/contaminated water in your home. If a septic tank is used, it and its connections are installed with a new plumbing system.
The plumbing fixtures in your home include faucets, toilets, shower heads, tubs, sinks, and other places you access your water supply from. Plumbers will also install dishwashers, garbage disposals, refrigerator water lines, hot water heaters, and sump pumps in your new home.
Pipe fittings, couplings, unions, adapters, drains, handles, and other parts are essential for your plumbing system to function. A contractor hired for new construction plumbing will ensure all of these are properly installed in your home.
Shut-off valves are connected to sinks, toilets, and showers. They help determine water pressure and can be turned off during leaks and other emergencies or when you leave your home for a while. They’re also a vital aspect of new construction.
We strongly recommend having an experienced contractor install new construction plumbing. But no matter who is performing the work, they must be familiar with local plumbing codes, which differ from state to state, and the National Uniform Plumbing Code. From here, the following steps are required:
- Site Preparation: A plumbing overhaul in an existing home may require removing or moving some walls and relocating wiring. If you’re building a home from scratch, all you need is to know where the fixtures will be placed. Plumbing elements can be installed within the structure’s frame.
- Install Drain/Vent Lines: Drain and vent lines require precise placement so should be installed prior to water supply lines. Drainpipes must be installed at a slope from ¼ inch to 3 inches per foot of length. Each pipe should be tested for fit before final assembly, so necessary modifications can be made. It’s a good idea to slope vent pipes as well.
- Run the Copper Supply Pipes: Running copper supply lines requires cutting pipe and sweating joints. Plumbers know best practices such as not crossing drainpipes and vents with supply lines and nailing plates on the pipe side of studs. Copper tubing can be punctured easily so proper placement is critical.
- Hook Up Fixtures: The tub, shower, and sinks can be installed once the supply lines are in place. Each should be connected to ¾ inch supply lines for adequate water pressure, while cold/hot water lines should be placed as close to the water heater as possible to achieve the warmest temperatures. Shutoff valves, bathroom vanities, and faucets are installed during this step as well.
- Install Wet Wall/Tile: Wet wall or tile can be installed over a shower or tub wall after piping is laid and tubs or showers are installed. All surfaces must be clean and, if applicable, plaster sealed, before installing a wet wall, with a few millimeters left open at the bottom for grout or sealant. When installing tile, proper sealing should be placed around it to prevent leaks, rot, or mold.
There are many other things to consider with plumbing installation. A new construction plumbing project must be executed with the following in mind:
- Main Stack Location: A 3-to-4-inch diameter pipe, the main stack must run interrupted from the basement to the roof. Its lowest section collects waste from toilets, while in the middle, wastewater is collected from various fixtures. The top section serves as a vent.
- Drains/Venting: Pipes for drainage and venting are usually 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter and, where pipes join the main stack, they must not have sharp angles. Traps under each fixture catch water and prevent a backflow of gases. If a fixture is installed within 5 feet of the stack, it can be wet vented, so water and air can pass through.
- Permitting: Plumbing installation requires a permit and to be approved for a permit, a plumbing diagram must be drafted. It is a three-dimensional drawing that shows where all pipes, fittings, and vents will be located. Important elements such as pipe sizes, angles of connections, and traps are shown as well. A plumbing diagram is used by building inspectors to assess the compliance and safety of the proposal.
Hire a Licensed Plumbing Contractor
At Fetch-A-Tech, our Las Vegas plumbers are trained and equipped to install any plumbing component or a complete plumbing system. Our team is friendly and professional, while special offers and financing can help you save and afford essential services. For assistance with new construction plumbing and to schedule an appointment, call 702-602-6183 today.