Once you have decided what plumbing work
you intend to do, make a sketch of the entire job. You can then estimate
the amount of material and work involved and decide on the best way to
begin. Although a rough sketch is useful, a detailed sketch will give
a more accurate estimate of cost in time and material. It should indicate
clearly the number and type of fittings required, the points where connections
will be made, the obstacles which may be encountered, and the probable
Draw to scale if you can. But if you cannot,
realize that even the roughest sketch will help you visualize the completed
installation. Without any drawing of the necessary pipe and connections,
your measurements will almost certainly prove incorrect because you have
neglected structural obstacles and other building features. Your estimate
will be off, too.
How to draw the layout
To make the sketch or layout, obtain some
graph paper and several differently coloured pencils. Each colour will
represent a different kind of pipe. One standard marking method is as
- Blue—waste piping
- Red—hot water piping
- Yellow—vent piping
- Green—cold water piping
- Hard black—existing plumbing lines
- Soft black—changes in existing
plumbing lines and construction
If you do not have coloured pencils, different
shadings can indicate the kinds of pipe. Any method which avoids confusion
is acceptable. The following general sketching rules should prove useful:
- Draw all vertical piping vertically on
the graph paper.
- Draw all horizontal piping diagonally
on the graph paper and downward from the wall line in order to give
the impression of a view of the installation from above. This will help
you to picture the work.
- Select the corner of the room farthest
from the projected installation as your viewpoint while sketching. This
will give an over-all picture in correct perspective.
- All horizontal piping running to the
right should pitch diagonally to the right on your drawing; piping to
the left should pitch diagonally to the left.
- Draw your sketch as near to scale as
possible. To do this, let each box on the graph paper equal a specific
distance in your layout. The smaller the measurement unit the larger,
more detailed the sketch.
In order to apply the general rules, we will
now sketch a kitchen sink installation. One box on the graph paper will
- Place yourself so you can see the wall
on which the fixture is to be set. Draw a vertical line in the middle
of your graph paper equal in scale to the height of the room. From the
top and bottom of this line, draw in your floor and ceiling lines diagonally
right and left. This is the basic outline of the room.
- Now, locate and draw in important structural
features or obstacles; such as windows, beam headers, partitions, and
the like. In our drawing, a window is located 4' 6" from the corner.
Since each box equals six inches, count in nine boxes from the corner
line to locate it correctly. Since it is the same distance from the
floor, count up nine boxes. Where the two lines meet will be the lower
left-hand corner of the window. The entire window can be lined in by
transferring its measurements in scale.
- Using a hard black pencil, if you are
following the marking method given above, draw in existing lines.
- Locate the sink in correct position,
using a soft black or other identifying pencil.
- Following their positions as closely
as possible, put in, coloured or shaded lines to identify the new lines
to be installed.
- Wherever the new piping has to change
direction, you will need a fitting. A good way to keep track of fittings
is to line off a sheet of paper in two or three columns, list all fittings
by name in one column, and when one is needed, put a check in the second
column. When your sketch is finished, total the fittings needed in the
third column. The list will form a convenient and accurate guide when
you are ordering your materials.
- Further sketching will give an accurate
layout of the waste, vent, and water piping you will need. By using
the same kind of list recommended for tabulating fittings, you can determine
your pipe requirements. If your sketch is accurate, you can measure
the pipe needed on it.