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If you are planning a major kitchen addition, or any remodel that involves the plumbing at all, it is always best to plan ahead – not for just the look and style, but with regards to the plumbing as well. Plumbing may very well be the one part of your remodel plan that is the least forgiving, with regards to making everything tie together. Not taking into account where your existing plumbing runs, and how your changes will affect it, can be disastrous.
What You Need to Know
Let’s say that we are just dealing with your kitchen, and no other fixtures will be affected. Here are some things you need to know to make sure your addition goes smoothly, plumbing-wise. This is, by no means, all of it!
If you are keeping your kitchen sink in the same place – You need to know that changing to a different type of sink can alter the clearance you have for the under-sink drainage plumbing. Unless you plan to move the “san-tee” in the wall, you need to make sure your waste system will be able to connect up.
If you are going to move your sink – You need to know where your existing drain pipe is. Keep in mind that drainage pipes need to flow downhill, at a minimum slope of 1/4” drop for every 1’ of length. That means, the farther away it is from the main sewer connection, the closer to the floor the drain needs to be at the location of the sink.
Windows above the sink – This can be one of the toughest problems to deal with. Drains need a vent. If you plan on having a huge bay window above your sink, you need to think about where the vent is supposed to go. In fact, proper venting of fixture drain lines can be one of the toughest parts of planning any plumbing project. The rules for venting are very strict, and may get in the way of your bay window.
If you are adding fixtures – If you are adding plumbing fixtures, the drainage and vent system, as well as how to get water to the new fixture may be a bit of a challenge. While you may be ready for that challenge, one that you are almost certainly not prepared for is gas.
Let’s say that you want to replace your electric range with a gas one. This is not uncommon. What is uncommon is for your home to be ready for it. Gas lines are sized so that they can bring the amount of gas, at the given pressure, over a certain distance, to every gas fixture in your house. Gas sizing guidelines are very strict, and for good reason.
If a gas line is undersized, the right amount of gas may not get to a fixture. At best, that fixture stops working. At worst, you have an explosion hazard. Most homes are built with gas lines that are the perfect size for the fixtures that will be in them. That means that if your house was not built with a gas range, your gas lines are probably not big enough to accommodate one. Just this one little fixture could very well have you needing to replace many of the gas lines in your home to get them to the proper size.
So What Do You Do?
First of all, we don’t want to downgrade your general contractor, or architect. We do know, however, that even the best of them may not draw up the plans keeping everything plumbing in mind. It is very common to have the plumber come onto a remodel, or even new construction site and tell the contractor, “I am going to need you to fir out that wall, drop that ceiling by at least 4 inches, and blow a hole through the foundation right here,” or something similar to accommodate the plumbing.
It takes not only years of learning the technical aspects of plumbing, but years of putting it into practice, applying it to every situation. You should always have a plumber look at the layout of your home, and check for every eventuality, as soon as you have the foundation of a plan in place.
Even if you just have an idea in your head, you can go through it with your plumber. He will point out some of the things you need to look out for, maybe some alternatives… he can even do a gas sizing study for you.
If you are looking for plumbers who have specialized in remodels, and additions for many years, give Gogo Rooter Plumbing a call. It could very well be the difference between a smooth kitchen addition, and a total nightmare.