Monday, 13 July 2009

Bathroom Plumbing Basics - Practical Planning Before You Begin

When most people think of plumbing they think messy and difficult. For example, have you ever gone down to your basement and looked at the tangle of pipes running up through your floor boards and thought to yourself can I really renovate my bathroom without flooding the whole house? Before you reach for that phone book you need to consider what actually has to be done in your bathroom.

If you think about it, most of the plumbing done when remodeling your bathroom is going to be "new work" so you may not even have to deal with the old pipes or at most minimum interaction with them, unless you plan on overhauling your whole entire bathroom. And of course the added bonus is that by doing it yourself you'll save a bundle that you'd be paying out to a plumber or subcontractor to do the renovation work for you.

Ok, now the reality check. Yes it's true that even if you have never attempted home improvements before you can learn how to replace your bathroom fixtures whether it is your tub or toilet. But the bottom line is you must get a firm grasp on the basic techniques of plumbing systems. This includes pipes, fittings and what are the best practices to work with them. If you have the time and patience, with practical learning and following step by step instructions, these plumbing techniques can be brought within the reach of the weekend do-it-yourselfer.

It is important to note here that any new plumbing must abide to stringent plumbing codes and if renovated by you, your bathroom plumbing must be inspected by your local building authority. So to facilitate the process consult your local building authority before you start any work, as you will more than likely have to fill out a building permit, arrange for your premises to be inspected and file your plans with them.

Yes, I know it has been drilled into us over and over again and there is good reason for this, planning is the key to your success. Plan your time and make sure there is another bathroom to use or make some type of contingency plan with your neighbors or nearby family members in case your bathroom renovation runs longer than expected. Work safety is not an option. Make sure water and any power running to your bathroom is turned off. If you're working with power tools then run an extension cord from another room.

And because you're probably going to be working in cramped tight spaces, its always good to take frequent breaks to relieve your tight sore muscles. Keep a bucket and some rags nearby and you can use an old pillow or purchase some knee pads to kneel on. And lest we forget, as mentioned before, we are going to be working in confined spaces where lighting will be at a premium so do have a flashlight handy. The important thing to take away here is to remember that you must have a basic understanding of plumbing principles before tackling your bathroom renovation project but above all you must understand your own plumbing system and how these principles apply to your situation.