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February 2008
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Plumbing Circuits

Having done more remodeling that most folks, one of the things that bugs me is the lack of attention to residential plumbing. Specifically to creating plumbing circuits like electricity has. In a lot of cases electricity has dedicated circuits, which allow you to turn off specific portions of your house. So why don’t designers think about this? They do it in commercial work.

They have no problem designing a 6000 square foot house with bathrooms on opposite ends of the house, kitchens and laundry rooms as far apart as is possible, making the plumber happy with all the extra material and labor, but not thinking about the homeowner or remodeler.

Typically, to remodel a bath or kitchen, you have to shut off the water to the entire house as well as turning off the water heater. Although newer plumbing does have shutoff’s on both sides of the water heater.

Consider a typical bathroom. The cold water is supplied to the sink, toilet, and shower/bath. But there are shutoff’s on the sink and the toilet you cry. Fair enough if all you are doing is replacing a faucet or a float valve.
Your shower/bath has no such provisions.

It would cost the price of a couple of valves to install shutoff’s for various rooms. This would allow you to shut off just the water you need when remodeling.

Something to think about.

Master Bath Project Episode 2

Remodeling never takes place in a vacuum. At the same time as the MBP was beginning, painting was going on in the rest of the house. Having completed the Walk In Closet, and having the Master Bedroom between the closet and the Master Bath, getting the maximum value out of the painters required a little change to the ‘normal’ demo schedule.

One of the earliest decisions was to replace the existing bathroom door with a pocket door.
Yet another stake in the heart of the hinge door lobby!
But I digress…

Since the bathroom door was part of the master bedroom wall, and the painters were drumming on their cans, I did a partial demo to get the pocket door in and the wall finished.

As you can see I removed just enough materials to allow me to install the frame. Notice that I used the right hand side of the existing opening as one side of the pocket door opening. On the right side of this wall on the bathroom side is the toilet, which we were not moving, and we were going to need the space on the bathroom side for the switches that are currently in the closet wall.

Once I installed the frame I also installed the door as the bedroom side needed to be drywalled for the painters. ‘Normally’ we would wait until the drywall was up on both sides, the flooring was in, and it was ready for paint. This also would allow us to adjust the bottom of the door to meet the finish flooring. We decided that we would paint the bedroom, so the painters could do the rest of the house while the bathroom project was ongoing.
Yes the ceiling has blown insulation which makes quite a mess and left unchecked would spread all over the rest of the house. This also allows us to continue the demo in the bathroom while the painters were doing their thing.

In this photo you can see the new round ductwork that we had installed during the closet project, because we were eliminating the closet and its soffit. We also demoed the side wall and have the electric hanging in space.

Time to rip out more stuff so we can move the switches.