Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
Summary: To plan a new plumbing system, start with permits, assess needs, list rooms, create a centralized control point, install a shut-off switch, consider water treatments, and hire a qualified plumber.
Planning a new plumbing system can be daunting without the right skills and experience. Here are seven tips to help you determine what you need for your plumbing system.
I’ll explore the key points and tricks to ensure a good result. By the end of this article, planning your new plumbing system will be much easier and straightforward.
1. Research and Apply for Permits and Permissions
The first step in planning a new plumbing system is gathering the necessary permits and permissions before you continue. You’ll want to get the needed permits to avoid legal prosecution.
Permit requirements and costs vary greatly depending on where you live and what work you want to be done.
You may be fined in court if you fail to attain the necessary permits for your new plumbing system. On top of this, you may have to remove the new installation, which can be a very extensive job.
This will result in expensive fees for an expert plumber to clear your system.
You will also be liable for any accidents or injuries during construction if you don’t have a permit. This is due to the fact that insurance companies will not cover the workers when working on a job without the necessary licenses. This could result in very expensive medical and legal fees if an accident occurs.
Your home insurance provider will also refuse to pay for damages caused by a system installed without the required permissions. If this happens, an accident could result in repairs that cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Check with your local authorities or government to learn more about permit requirements in your area.
Ensuring you have the necessary permits protects your new home, finances, and plumber. You can also end up in court if you fail to attain permits, which could result in fines and legal issues.
2. Assess Your Needs and Wants
Once you’ve figured out what permits you’ll require for your plumbing system, it’s time to figure out what your needs and wants are from your system. Many factors influence your requirements for a plumbing system, including your budget, tastes, the number of bathrooms in your new home, and how many people will live there.
Some people want specific functions from their plumbing system, whereas others want fancy water features to impress guests. Different people want different things from their plumbing systems.
The number of bathrooms in your new home will significantly impact your system requirements. A house with one bathroom will only need plumbing, one shower, a bathtub, a toilet, and a sink.
A four-bedroom home may need four toilets and sinks, two showers, and one bathtub.
Your appliances can also influence your plumbing system design. Household appliances that require water, like a dishwasher or washing machine, must be considered. You should also decide on any outdoor water faucets as well.
Many homeowners enjoy installing water features in outdoor areas of their property.
Depending on the scale of your water feature, you may need to install main pipes connected to your plumbing system for them to operate.
3. Make a List of Rooms That Need Plumbing
After you figure out what you want, it’s time to list what rooms in your home require plumbing and what features each room needs. Let’s talk more about some likely suggestions for where you’ll need plumbing in your new home and what appliances and features require a water supply.
Kitchen – In your kitchen, there will likely be a sink, maybe even two. You’ll also probably have a dishwasher, and you will also have a water faucet. Some people also pay extra for a filtered drinking water faucet installed on top.
All these aspects must be considered when planning your kitchen’s plumbing.
Bathrooms – Bathrooms are an area of your new home that requires plumbing planning.
You’ll need to account for toilets, sinks, drains, showers, bathtubs, and perhaps more. If there is more than one bathroom in your new home, you will need to decide on what features will be included.
Outdoor Areas – Although outdoor areas, by definition, are not rooms, they’re still on your property and need to be accounted for in your plumbing planning. Outdoor faucets, hoses, and even artificial waterfalls or swimming pools must be accounted for during planning.
You also might want to add a sprinkler system for your new lawn.
Laundry Room – Your laundry room will need pipes installed for appliances like washing machines and gas or ventilation pipes for tumble dryers. These appliances must be connected to your primary plumbing system to operate.
Therefore, including them when planning your new plumbing system is crucial.
Basement – Your basement is another room in your home that may have some vital plumbing features. If your area is prone to flooding, you may require a sump pump to evacuate excess water runoff. Sump pumps are essential in some areas as they prevent damage to foundations and structures.
However, if your area is somewhat prone to flooding but it doesn’t necessitate a sump pump, you can have a portable water pump on standby.
4. Create a Centralized Point
One great benefit to designing your plumbing system is the added convenience you can incorporate into your design.
Perhaps the best way to achieve this is by choosing a designated central control point. Here, you can manage different aspects of your plumbing system all from one place.
If your new home has a basement, this could be ideal for your central control location. However, many homes won’t have a basement. If this is the case, choose a storage closet or spare room elsewhere in your design. Wherever you choose for your control point, ensure it has adequate space for different plumbing features.
Some of the appliances that should be installed together include:
- Sump pump
- Water heater
- Sewage system
These appliances are often seen as an eyesore that spoils the room’s aesthetic. Therefore, you should designate a specific space to keep these appliances out of sight.
Another great advantage to creating a central control point is the time and hassle you will save during maintenance. Maintaining plumbing appliances is essential to increase your system’s longevity and save you money on repairs and replacements.
Even if you hire a plumber to maintain your plumbing, they’ll greatly appreciate easy access to different appliances. On top of this, the plumber would also likely finish their work earlier, saving you money on labor expenses.
5. Pick an Accessible Water Shut-Off Switch
Another convenient feature you should include in your plumbing system is the accessible water shut-off point. This can be anywhere you choose, but you may want to pick a place where you can quickly and easily access the switch.
This switch will turn off all water in your new home.
A switch to cut the water is essential during issues with your plumbing system. If a pipe bursts in your new home, it could pour enough water to fill a swimming pool into your home in just a few hours.
This amount of water entering a home will cause extensive damage, likely resulting in thousands of dollars worth of damages.
However, if you switch to turn off the water supply, you can turn off the water and prevent severe floods. Flooding in your home can cause water damage and allow mold to start to form. Mold thrives in damp conditions, so flooding in your home may lead to large-scale mold growth, which can cause health problems and unpleasant smells.
Choosing a spot in your new home that’s easy to find and access could save you some time after a pipe burst. Every second counts when water is flooding your home, so choosing a convenient spot could save you a lot of money in the event of a burst pipe.
6. Water Treatments
Depending on where you live and the water quality in your new home, you may need some water treatments for added protection. Treating the water that passes through your plumbing system can have massive implications for your plan, wallet, and health.
Hard water is a term used to describe water full of limestone and calcium. It is not harmful to humans but can lead to lime buildup in your appliances and sinks. Over time, this lime can accumulate and cause serious harm to your kitchen appliances or washing machines.
To prevent hard water from damaging your jew home, add water softeners to your plumbing design. This will prevent hard water from entering your appliances and causing damage. Hard water can also have a taste that some people dislike.
A water softener will also remove this taste.
In some areas, the main water supply may be unsafe to drink. As a result, homeowners invest in water filtration systems that remove chemicals and contaminants from the water. This results in a clean water supply that you can use for drinking, free from pollutants and harmful substances.
7. Contact a Qualified Plumber
After completing your plan, you will need to find a trusted, qualified, capable plumber to carry out the installation. A good plumber can execute your plan precisely to have all the features and necessities working flawlessly in your new home.
One of the main reasons for choosing a qualified plumber is to ensure that your insurance and building permits are valid, as tickets in most locations require work by skilled and experienced workers.
This is to provide trained professionals safely to install quality plumbing work.
Depending on what appliances and features you wish to include in your plumbing system, you may require a plumber with specific skills and experience. For instance, some plumbers may have more expertise in a niche area in their fields, such as sump pumps and foundation protection. In contrast, other plumbers may install more bathrooms.
Therefore it makes sense that you consult with any plumber about what you want done and what features you desire in your design. The plumber will then be able to tell you whether your plan has any flaws and whether or not they’re the right person for the job.
After the consultation, you can agree on a price, and again, this will vary depending on the job’s scale and location as prices vary greatly. Installing a plumbing system in New York is more expensive than in a small rural town, as labor and material costs are higher.
Hiring a qualified plumber also helps if you ever need to file an insurance claim against any work they’ve completed in your new home. If your insurance provider finds out qualified workers did not meet the job, they’ll refuse to pay compensation.
This could result in expensive fees for you at some stage.
Only Design Your System If You Have Knowledge and Experience
Devising your plumbing system is a great way to give your new home a personal touch. However, planning a plumbing system can be daunting without the proper knowledge and experience.
Follow the tips listed above, and you will have all you need to get your plan started.
You must remember to apply for adequate permits and hire qualified plumbers for installation. This ensures you will receive the desired result without risking litigation or accidents. Also, you should plan a convenient system with accessible water shut-off and centralized control.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Choosing Home Water Filters & Other Water Treatment Systems
- Mallick Plumbing: How a Sump Pump Benefits Your Home
- Plumbers in Tulsa: 6 Must-Know Tips for Planning a Bathroom Plumbing Layout
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