Laundry Room & Bathroom Reno in old house- Project #1

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zannej

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Since the hot water lines busted under the house, I'm going to see about getting my friend to do general rough-in piping in PEX. We can eliminate the water going to the old shower in the defunct bathroom.

We were discussing the idea of doing a PEX manifold in the wall of the laundry room- between studs but with an access panel. I'm thinking separate ones for hot and cold would work. Water heater is in the middle of the house so it would make sense to have a manifold for hot near the water heater. Cold water manifold would be in laundry room wall since it's close to where water enters the house. This would allow us to isolate different rooms to shut off water to. Debating whether kitchen should be separate from laundry room. I was thinking it could share a branch since there's only one fixture each but then I realized I might still want to use the sink if I have the laundry room shut off. I'll have to see what my options are.

I'm not sure what size pipe comes out of the top of my water heater so I will have to revisit that later.

For my cold water though, I wanted 1" inlet with 3/4" branches. Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to find that, but I saw 1-1/4" to 3/4". So, I could run 1" line from the well out to the manifold, use an adapter/reducer to go from 1-1/4" to 1" from manifold inlet to supply and then have the 3/4" branches.
 

zannej

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Thanks, Frodo. I wish I'd seen the response sooner.
I have an electric water heater but I still plan to use those long water heater connector thingies connected to a shutoff and then PEX.
They didn't have enough of the tees in stock when we went to the store. I found 2 bags of 5b but 1 had been ripped open & most of the tees stolen out of it. So we searched through bins & only found a couple more individual tees. It also would have required more cinch rings for each tee & they were running low on those as well. I did the math & the available premade manifolds were cheaper than the individual tees (if we could even find them). Friend said he would prefer those bc it was easier to use.
(One of my pet peeves is customers putting stuff back in the wrong spot in those bins-- I spent a bit of time putting things back in their proper bins while friend looked through other bins), then I coated my hands in hand sanitizer).

I will have to get pics, but I remembered (too late) that there had been one of those sunken round boxes with a lid for plumbing just out from under the house in the southeast corner. I remembered it today & my friend found it. I'd thought it had shutoffs but they weren't there, but we could see 2 pipes going through. One goes to all the cold water lines and the other goes to the water heater. My friend thought of capping off the cold one or merging it with the one to water heater, but I didn't like that idea. So, I suggested that if we find where the other one comes up from the ground, we can convert it to PEX. I suggested covering the PEX end w/ tape, putting the PVC to PEX fitting on the outlet pipe, then taping/tying the PEX to the old cut-off part of the line. I can then crawl back under to where it connects to the house (I believe it is at the bath tub bc it seems to be the fixture that got water first) then I can cut it off under the tub and pull the pipe to drag the PEX in place (if it doesn't go under stuff on it's path-- I will have to check. Worst case, I can pull it somewhere where I can crawl to and reach it and drag it back. I may have to cut some other crap that is in the way if necessary. My friend didn't like the idea of having to run a separate line (bc it was more work) but I said I would do it so he wouldn't have to. May need some new coveralls since mine got ripped up. If I thought I could wrangle a grabber arm or some sort of hook and still crawl around, I'd use that to try to grab the PEX.

My friend is going to mark where he wants the 2nd PEX line to end so I can get the pipe there as best as I can.

At a later date, another friend will come over and he will help us replace the PVC inside the house (my suggestion was getting the pex to the bottom of it, taping it to the existing pipe once its cut free, and pulling it up through the hole so we don't have the shenanigans of trying to feed it through the hole and it not going through straight like we did with the kitchen sink.

Will need to remedy the damn unprotected wires situation under the house though. There are full clusters of wires all lumped together. I need to figure out the best way to insulate them/wrap them so they aren't a danger. The 220v zapped my friend so hard he bounced up, hit his head, and lost control of his bladder. If I have to bring a little shovel with me and shovel a path so I can fit, I will go under and cover that wire while the power is off. From what he described, it may be the wire to the air conditioner.

I will say, I'm proud of myself for getting conduit long elbows to make the PEX bend 90° without crimping or having to buy pex elbows that were much more expensive.

When we get to the DWV part, the kitchen sink is going to need to be reconnected to piping (although, I'd really love to tear it all out).

Someone connected the washing machine with a saddle tee.

It looked something like this. I saw it form the end with the weird fitting & saddle tee (the one that has more detail). I can't remember if more than one pipe came down to it.
underlaundryroom.png

Found I had pics of the roof before and after the oak tree was trimmed.
back-roofangle.jpgeastsideroof2-25-2021.jpg

Jumbled mess of pipes & wires under the sink and southward on the east side of the house.
eastsideunderkitchensink.jpgeastsideunderkitchensink2.jpgeastsideplumbingunderhouse.jpgeastsideplumbingunderhouse3.jpg

Cat tax
backdoor+boo-2-25-2021.jpgAminatu&Boooutside2-25-2021.jpg
 

zannej

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So, friend and I have both been too busy (and I injured my rotator cuff) so we haven't finished up the waterline repair. I did get the fittings to connect the pex barb to the washing machine water supply stubs I got.

New meds didn't react well with my guts so I wasn't up to anything too strenuous so I stayed up playing around with Sketchup trying to draw the mirror and vanity (I'd previously tried to draw the vanity but wasn't happy with it). Part of the problem is there's too much junk in the way for me to go measure it, but another problem is that the vanity top is very curvy and Sketchup isn't great with curves. Mirror turned out ok. Base of the vanity was OK too, but that top is a pita. It's still in progress. I need to have more photos as reference and see what I can do.

This is what I have so far.
mirrorvanitysketchup1.pngmirrorvanitysketchup2.png
The mirror is actually smaller than the vanity but I had to zoom out a little to get the full vanity on the screen. I may scrap the top I've done and try it again. Edges just aren't the right size or angle.
 

zannej

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I'm going to try to hire someone to cut the blackberry bushes and haul stuff away from the back as well as around the other side of the house near the air conditioner. Then we can see about running the rest of the PEX. Got my friend a full coverall suit to wear to crawl under the house to finish the plumbing. We have another handy friend that might be able to help with fixing the floor, installing a new door sill, putting in a proper header, and installing the back door. I'm going to have to just suck it up and get enough painkillers in me to haul my brother's stuff out and toss it on the burn pile. It may take me a few weeks bc I can only do a little at a time though. Might be able to get my friend to help since my brother isn't much help. But getting the back door replaced will help a lot. Then we can put up the awning over the door. I was hoping to build a small landing, but that is something that will have to wait. We will likely have to pay a professional installer for the window removal/installation. That is something I don't want to screw up. I think once we get the area cleaned up we can worry about getting windows though.
 

zannej

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I woke up unable to sleep thinking about the electrical. Can't get my brain to focus on much else so I have to get it out of my system.
As I stated in another thread: I will NOT do DIY on my wiring- I will bring in a professional but I still want to know how things are supposed to be done and how they can be done so I can spot something being done wrong-- but also because I like to know these things.

The circuit box is not very far from this area so that might make things easier.


The electrical changes I will be making:
  • Swap ceiling fan and vent/light/heat.
  • Move light switch from west wall to north wall of bathroom so it will be easier to access from the door. Will make it a triple rocker in single gang box. (I think it will need to be 20amp).
  • Add new GFCI outlet on southern part of west wall near vanity and add single rocker switch for vanity light
  • Add vanity light to south (external) wall above mirror
  • Replace washing machine outlet with 20amp GFCI (if it is not already GFCI- but outlet is old & getting replaced) for shaving station on north wall
  • Add LED strip or under-cabinet light above medicine cabinet on north wall
  • Remove old dryer outlet & wire, install new 10/4awg & run to new location (using dryer breaker) & add 4 prong outlet
  • Swap wires from washing machine's breaker to different breaker & put new wires on washing machine one for new washing machine outlet
  • Install proper box for exterior light over door
  • Remove corner hallway light (ceiling fan should have enough light)
  • Possibly use existing switch for hallway light for 2nd switch to ceiling fan but change to rocker style

I would try to re-use/extend some of the wires but I don't think they have grounds. Although if they do, can I add a junction box (accessible from the attic) to extend the wires?
If the switch on the west wall connects downstream to other outlets in my brother's room, can I just add a junction box there and put a blind plate over it?
Can I tap in to where that switch's power and divert it to the GFCI outlet and light switch more to the south?
Do wires running in the attic need to be in conduit?

Old layout (as best as I can determine) from older image (I need to update)
1627602081172.png


New layout (also needs to be updated)
1627602143390.png

I forgot to label the 15a GFCI near the vanity. I also forgot to put the LED strip on the north wall of the bathroom that will be above a recessed medicine cabinet (I will have a mirror instead of cabinet on the south wall).
Trying to figure out if I should strap a surge protector/power strip to the wall under or near the shelf to plug things in and have an LED with a plug, or if I should hardwire it from the ceiling to a little shelf above the medicine cabinet. I think plug might be easier.

Any thoughts?
 

zannej

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Ok, I looked at some pictures and realized that I was confused on some of the wiring. A wire comes down from the ceiling to the light switches (next to the back door) in the wall shared with the current bathroom. One of the wires goes to a light switch and then up to the exterior light and continues going north & disappears into the wall. It might not be going to the breaker box. It might be going to the kitchen. But I can't really tell. I believe another wire goes to the 2nd light switch and back up in to the ceiling, but it's hard to see back there. I need to map out my wiring.

The next time I have any wiring in the house worked on, I will flip the whole house switch to turn it all off.
 

zannej

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I finally threw in the towel on trying to draw the sink part of the vanity and just took the top off a pedestal sink model that someone uploaded and adjusted the width and depth. I didn't mess with the height and general shape out of laziness. I was very unhappy with how the 3d model of the shower walls looked as Sterling uploaded the wrong one for that model number. Completely different looking wallset. So I did my best to draw it in but it has some flaws-- some parts don't bump out where I want them to but I couldn't remember how to get certain curves and internet was out so I couldn't look up the tutorials. I haven't felt like messing with it since it had been such a pita to get close enough in the first place. I had to make a lot of guesses about measurements-- like the diameter & length of the towel rod in the shelf, the depth & length of the shelf, etc. Lots of guesswork but it turned out looking OK.

Then I looked at diagrams of the dryer and determined exactly where the dryer vent will be. The MagVent I got has 3" room for error but I decided to get it as straight as possible. With the 15" pedestal plus the 3-7/16" rise to the center of the hole for the dryer duct I found approximately where it will come out. I realized it would hit the trap arm of the standpipe if I kept the standpipe's arm at the 18" height so I will have to drop it a little lower. That means I may have to lower the top of the standpipe a bit so it will not go up in to the plumbing box (which is actually fine with me- I can strap it to studs lower down. I think I may add hinges to the little shelf so it can flip up to access stuff behind the washing machine. I'm thinking of moving the washing machine's plug to somewhere easier to reach- like on the same wall as the light switches. I've decided I want a single gang double rocker for the exterior light and the room light) so, two small rockers sharing a box). I can put the washing machine plug above that. I haven't made this change in my drawings as of yet. I can make the hole for the washing machine cord to come up to the left of the plumbing box and run it to a GFCI outlet.

Since the dryer duct will be so close to the PVC vent pipe, I will put some sort of thermal barrier between them-- maybe some Reflectix or something like that-- to protect the PVC from any heat. I can probably put some pipe insulation wrap over it and then put reflectix between. I forgot to draw in a reduction in pipe size from 2" to 1-1/2" and didn't add a cleanout to the sketch. I do intend to have a cleanout on the vent pipe. I also need to figure out the best place to run the hot & cold lines from the washing machine to the shutoffs. I went back and measured the current bump-out from the wall that has the light switches. It is just shy of 7.5". I think with wall paneling/trim etc it might make it to 7.5" so I can make the shelves about that deep and bump everything forward. I can bump the plumbing box over enough to have a desk grommet for the power cord of the washing machine come up to plug in to the wall. I can also have grommets in front of the box so I can run the supply lines through it. I haven't taken screenshots of these changes. The grommets I found have holes fairly close to the right size for the hoses and I can always enlarge them with a dremel tool.

The rug in the laundry room is not the one that will be there-- it's a placeholder. I downloaded a recessed medicine cabinet that was about the same shape as the one in the current bathroom (that will be reused) but I don't know if the measurements are accurate). I can't get to the one we have to measure it presently. I think the one we have is slightly shorter. I couldn't get Sketchup to let me flip the door of the dryer but it opens from the left to right. The vanity light, vanity sink, vanity faucet, tub spout, shower controls, and showerhead, shower arm, and shower curtain rod are not the correct ones but I couldn't find the right models online to download & they are a too complicated to try to draw (ok, they I'm too lazy to do it). I may add a tension rod corner shelf to the shower and possibly one of those shower caddies that hangs from the shower arm.

I am still trying to finalize locations for all of the outlets so their locations make sense.

Here is what I have thus far:
1629364446990.png
1629364492062.png1629364531848.png1629364631500.png
This is a collage of the stuff that has already been purchased for the bathroom
1629365223965.png
I will get screenshots and post pics of the laundry room stuff later.
 

zannej

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Friday we will be running new waterlines for the old setup but we will have extra lines run and capped to prep for the reno. Once the old shower is completely disconnected we can finish demo on that room.
This is the current setup
1637823370295.png
Future:
1637823299246.png

Ignore the blue line to the spigot. The water comes in at the southwest corner.
 

zannej

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Thanks, Frodo. I discovered I was wrong about where water entered the house but forgot to change that in the drawing. Comes in at the bottom right corner. There are actually 2 lines coming in. One goes to the water heater and the other goes to cold water outlets. The one to the water heater has already been replaced with PEX and my friend routed the pipe in a loop down to b1 and then back up to terminate at the kitchen sink.
He has already cut stub-ins with tees and such for the washing machine but they have not been attached to the pipe.

The cold water PVC will have to be cut off and attached to PEX.

No hose bibb on the south there from the house's plumbing as we already have one a few feet away on an external water line. That outside underground line runs to the front left corner of the house. The "spigot" I labelled is the hose bibb right next to the steps.

I've got the hot water planned out somewhat. This is what my friend wants to do given he has the hot pipe run in a loop. I haven't drawn the cold water yet.
The black things are tees and manifolds. Probably not the most efficient way to do it. Dark blue line represents the cold water inlet to the house. They used to have shutoffs in the box but the former deadbeat tenants removed them.
houseplumbinghot.png

I need to be mindful of the fact that I can't crawl under bdr1 (I can't squeeze through). I can only barely get to the bottom left corner area under the window of bdr2. My friend *might* be able to squeeze through some of those areas. I may need more 3/4" tees. The manifolds we got are only 3/4" to 1/2". I am about to go see if any of them have 3/4" outlets on them as well as inlets. I'll have to get pictures and post them later.

This is not really how I wanted things done, but my friend already ran the hot water to the sink and water heater and has it set so it can reach the lav (he mistook the lav's plumbing for the washing machine's plumbing when he was going to run it). I suppose if I have a single manifold that has a 3/4" inlet and outlet on it somewhere, I could run from that to the new lav in b1 as well as to the toilet & tub. I was thinking we could just move the lines over for the washing machine but he cut them fairly short.

I'll go take inventory in a bit and take pictures of all of the fittings I have. I think I have more 3/4" pipe than 1/2".

Editing because I forgot to mention that we don't have an icemaker (at least not a functioning one). The hard water killed all of the filters and the filter on the fridge had the cap come off and the old filter is stuck inside. The refrigerator is actually at the north end of the kitchen next to the door to the living room. We disconnected the water supply there because it was leaking. We are not planning to reconnect the fridge/icemaker to water (at least not anytime in the near future).

It looks like we have three manifolds with a single 3/4" inlet and three 1/2" outlets. There are three manifolds with a single 3/4" inlet and four 1/2" outlets. There is one manifold with two 3/4" ends and three 1/2" outlets. (I suppose an inlet could be used as an outlet). I think we have a few 3/4 x 1/2 tees (with two ends being 3/4" and one end being 1/2"). The cow came poking around when I was trying to look.

We have some 1/2" and 3/4" caps. I probably need to get more tees. I think I have at least one in the truck though. I can always get more. I can see if there are the kind with four 1/2" and two 3/4" or I can get another with three 1/2" and two 3/4". I will be going to the store on Saturday.
 
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zannej

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So, my friend decided that we can add in and make some changes to the plumbing for the guest bathroom and such when we are doing that re-model and take up the floor (since the subfloor is damaged). So we are mainly focusing on what needs to be hooked up now. For now only the washing machine, sink, and hose bibb need to be hooked up on that side. Everything else on west side of the house can be hooked up (except maybe my toilet which is waiting on having floor fixed properly).

I think for the cold water we will have a tee coming off the main line that goes toward the sink and run that line over to the two bathroom groups and use two three port manifolds. One with an open 3/4" end to continue on and one with a closed end.
 

zannej

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I'll have to get my friend to mark where the lines ended up tying in, but we got all of the existing lines except cold for sink and hose bibb run. We lost daylight & our hands were no longer cooperating for cutting pipes and using the cinch tool. The lines under the sinks and for toilets got push-fit shutoffs (so they can easily be seen/accessed if there are any leaks. The lines inside walls & closet got 3/4 turn ball valve shutoffs. We cut off the old pipes from above and pushed them down-- although about 3 of them wouldn't go down because there were obstacles. One of my lav lines went above the drain so I had to cut it off and pull it down from below-- but we had shoved the PEX into it so when it came down it pulled the PEX with it.

We pre-cut some of the pex and put fittings on the ends for the ones from above, taped the open ends to prevent dirt from getting inside, shoved them down, and then from the underside dragged the main lines over and tied in with tees and manifolds. My friend had forgotten that he had tied in under the water heater but having previously tied in there made it easier for him to tee off of it for the two bathroom groups. I didn't get any pictures because I was too busy trying to squeeze my large behind in to places. I didn't crawl as far this time though. And while my friend was under I got out and annihilated the blackberry bushes that accosted us on the way in (tried to take my head sock off). I also took out some sapling trees growing next to the house and some that were actually growing under it. Once the battery died on my tool for cutting the weeds I got back under the house and helped my friend-- pulling on pipes, cutting off old pvc, handing him fittings, etc.

Hot water still takes for frickin' ever to reach Mom's bathroom sink though. It always did, but I'm not sure why.

The main lines coming in from the well got 3/4 turn ball valves in case of some emergency where we only wanted to cut off either hot or cold.

The shutoffs for the two showers got put on but are left off and we need to find the right fittings to get the valves to connect to pex.

The old shower in the guest bathroom is no longer connected at all so we can rejoice and finish tearing down the walls.

Got splashed a few times when cutting off old pipes that poured out brown water (dirty from the well's sediment). I had a chuckle over it. One of the cats thought my friend's back was a scratching post but he had very thick overalls on. I still had to bop her on the head with some pipe insulation.

My bathroom lav had copper supply lines so I will have to replace them with braided steel. So, it isn't hooked up yet, but it's not urgent. The good news is, when I turned the power back the pump didn't start running right away & we did a check of all of the fittings and everything was bone dry. Not a single leak. We'll keep checking though.

What remains now is to:
1. Add in tees for the hose bibb and kitchen sink & hook them up.
2. Add new shutoff valve to hose bibb
3. Make sure we have the right supply line for the cold side of the kitchen sink (something didn't want to fit last time)
4. Gut the old guest bathroom walls
5. Clean up all the junk & throw stuff out and/or find new places to store some stuff
6. Remove old shower, toilet, and broken drain for missing lav (none of which got hooked up yet)
7. Remove broken floor & level up joists for new floor
8. Add tees/manifolds for fixtures that are moving & didn't get hooked up (old lav will be washing machine, new lav where utility sink used to be, new toilet line, & move old washing machine lines over slightly for new shower)
9. Rough in the drain pipes for the new tub, toilet, & washing machine standpipe
10. Put new plywood in for subfloor
11. Install vinyl plank
12. Move laundry stuff to east wall
13. Put up waterproof cementboard on walls of bathroom
14. Install sheet vinyl in guest bathroom & install tub, toilet, and vanity
15. Install cabinets & shelves on walls for laundry and bath
16. Install new back door (although this is higher in priority and should be earlier on in the list)
17. Get new electrical run (4-prong plug for dryer, GFCI outlets, light switches, bathroom vent/light/heater, move ceiling fan etc
18. Install door for bathroom

My brain just about died so if I'm forgetting something, let me know. LOL.

I do need to get back under there, get photos, and use some hooks to hang some of the pipes up (right now they sit on top of old pipes that are still hanging from the bottom of the house).
 

zannej

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Some of the fittings used:
1638417661848.png
There are additional fittings to go from Pex to PVC but I forgot to include them. Didn't include the 1/2" to 3/8" shutoffs either.

My best guestimate of the current pipe runs (hard to tell where everything is from below the house):
1638417516913.png

I'm trying to figure out the best way to do the vents and drains for the guest bathroom as the main vent pipe is only 2" and I don't think it would be sufficient for washing machine + tub + toilet + lav. It would also be a pain to run the pipes in the attic to reach it. So, I want to have the toilet & lav on their own vent.

My super crappy sketch:
1638417868387.png

I need to figure out if the floor setup under this side of the house is the same or similar to the way its done on the other side of the house (the "newer" part added in 1947). On the newer part the bottom of the floor is above a small cavity (one side is covered by some sheathing that the siding is attached to) and the joists run down under the floor inside this little cavity to a large beam that sits on top of flat topped pyramid shaped concrete blocks. I need to measure the size of that cavity to see what can and can't fit in it. If this cavity exists on the other side of the house I *might* be able to fit some of the pipes in there, but I'm not sure. Worst case, I can have an elbow or something below the vent to get around the beam. But, I still need to check to see if there's enough space.
1638418530597.png

My options for vents are to do as I sketched and have the vent pipe inside the wall with the 1-1/2" (or 1-1/4") vent running to the 2" vent from the toilet. It can then bump out through the wall higher up and wrap around the eaves (since I don't want to add another roof penetration in this spot). The second option is to run the drain and vent for the lav run all the way out to the exterior of the wall and run up and merge with the vent of the toilet. I don't really like the outside the wall idea because I'm worried someone or something might try to step on the drain pipe or it can be broken (although, it would be easy to access). Inside the wall its safer except for the one penetration which will have to be carefully cut and caulked around.

Hammerpedia e-mail updates had an interesting layout for the toilet plumbing that I liked (partially because I am having a hard time finding a sanitary tee that reduces from one of the end inlets/outlets instead of the middle one. But a low heel inlet elbow would work. It seems to me like it would have good flow too.
1638418830622.png
If I can fit that elbow and a short 45° elbow in the little pocket it would be great. If not, I will have to extend down from the flange before it goes to the closet bend so it will fit underneath the beam. The vent pipe would then have to be run outside the wall from under the house. Do they sell street 45s in 3"? I'm trying to google it but my internet is being a$$tastic right now.
 
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