After considering the major sections
of a piping system, such as the water supply main, the soil stack, and
the house drain, we must then plan the several branches which will carry
water to and from these systems. Not only must we be sure that we will
have outlets where we need them, but also we have to be certain that adequate
water at sufficient pressure will be fed to them.
Cold water usually passes directly from the
supply main to the fixtures; hot water must, of course, pass through some
heating device. In designing a piping layout, a list should be made of
those fixtures which will need both hot and cold water pipes running to
them, and those which will need only one of the two. Such a check list
is given below:
Using both hot and cold water
- Bathroom sink
- Bathroom bathtub
- Bathroom shower
- Extra sinks and showers
- Wash and laundry tubs
- Washing machine
Using only cold water
- Water closets
- Fire sprinkler systems
- Lawn sprinkler systems
- Outside faucets and hose connections
If you live on a farm, there are several
other water outlets needed, such as connections to barns, coops, or pens,
and water troughs. But regardless of where you live, your plans must take
into account the average daily consumption of those using the system,
so that the necessary amount will be available. The table below computes
this for you. These are average figures and may vary considerably in different
In planning the location of your kitchen
and bathroom installations, consider these points carefully:
- For each member of family 35 gal. per
- For each cow 30 gal. per day
- For each horse 15 gal. per day
- For each hog 2 gal. per day
- For each sheep 1 1/2 gal. per day
- For each 100 chickens 3 gal. per day
- For each sprinkler, 1/2" hose 200
gal. per hour
- For each sprinkler, 3/4" hose 300
gal. per hour
- Can the newly installed pipes be run
between existing partitions? If they can, well and good, because the
finished job will look better. However, beware of weakening partitions.
Rather than have this occur, run the pipe exposed and then box it in.
- Are you being economy-wise and placing
the kitchen sink on the same wall that contains other plumbing? If you
have two upstairs bathrooms, are you placing them back to back, or as
close to each other as possible? Are they directly over the kitchen?
Such an arrangement permits kitchen waste to drain off into the waste
pipe or soil lines from the bathroom.
- Does your water-closet soil pipe run
parallel to the floor joists wherever possible? If not, you will have
to cut into the joists during installation, thereby weakening the building.
If it is impossible to run the soil pipe between the floor beams, it
is recommended that it be run along the ceiling below and then boxed
- Do the kitchen and bathroom have adequate
window space? Windows provide important ventilation and light. A pleasant
view through the kitchen window makes working there much less arduous.
- Can you place all kitchen and bathroom
fixtures along one wall? If you can, you will save pipe, reduce the
number of fittings, and have less trouble in making the installation.
- Have you planned to pitch your piping
so that supply lines pitch downward toward fixtures and waste lines
pitch downward away from fixtures? By taking advantage of gravity, this
arrangement adds pressure at fixture openings and speeds the flow of
waste. All piping, except traps, should have a pitch of 1/4" per
- Do you know how the piping runs in both
your supply and drainage systems? Where they meet at fixture openings?
Have you kept wall and beam cutting to a minimum to prevent weakening
- Have you been careful not to run drain
pipe from an ice-box containing food into your soil and waste lines?
Since gases from soil and waste lines might contaminate food, drainage
from food containers should be collected separately.
- Does your soil-pipe vent extend through
the roof? Keep it away from shafts or chimneys as this permits odours
to enter the house. Minimum health standards strongly recommend full-size
- Have you chosen the piping best suited
to your installation? Will it be the most economical in the long run?
Read the sections on the different kinds of pipe before you make any
purchases. Remember that a slightly higher initial expenditure for better
pipe may save time-and money-consuming repairs in a few years.
- Does waste piping fall away or pitch
sharply enough to guarantee that waste will drain without clogging the
system? Does it bend smoothly and without any sharp, angular turns?
- Have you made an accurate sketch of your
installation? Do you know what tools and materials you will need? Are
you certain of your procedure? For these important steps, read the next
- In your bathroom planning, have you considered
that the soil stack and water closet require your largest connection
and so should be installed as near to one another as is feasible?
- Have you considered the effects of a
given pipe's weight on both the installation and the structure of the
house? For example, cast iron enamelled fixtures weigh several hundred
pounds, while the newer types made of pressed steel weigh much less;
cast iron pipe is heavier than copper tubing, requires more support,
and involves more fittings.
In the present discussion of the various
parts of the house piping system, fixtures will be referred to continuously,
but no specific information will be given about them. Those desiring detailed
information on fixtures to be placed in a specific room should refer to
a different page covering that room.