14 Tips for Bath Plumbing
From the supply lines to the waste line, these simple rules will make your work better.
When it comes to plumbing, it’s easy to make simple mistakes that can haunt you days, weeks, or even years later. In this article, veteran plumber Mike Lombardi offers 14 tips that will help you to improve your rough plumbing work in bathrooms. Lombardi’s advice includes the following tips: dry-fitting and assembling fittings before installing them; using the right number of wraps of tape; using pipe dope; wearing safety gear; wiping soldered joints; knowing wall finishes; mixing and matching tubing styles when appropriate; securing vents and stacks before cutting; reaming pipe cuts; using the right glue; including cleanouts; using the right slope; using dish soap for flexible couplings; and using air-admittance valves.
I’ve been a plumber for almost 40 years. I learned the trade from some really good plumbers, but I’ve also learned from making mistakes and seeing the mistakes of other pros and amateurs. This experience has made me a better plumber and has helped me to build a loyal clientele. A recent job, a full bath remodel at Fine Homebuilding’s Project House, offered the perfect opportunity to share some of my favorite hard-earned lessons for better and easier bath plumbing.
The job included moving the sink and the toilet to make room for a new barrier-free tile shower, so we tackled all the typical full-bath rough-in tasks. We used as many cost-saving strategies as we could think of, provided they didn’t sacrifice the quality or the longevity of the job. One thing that always makes jobs like this go easier is to have locations for fixtures, tile, and plumbing decided well before rough-in starts. Changes and rework can quickly blow any budget. Plumbers and tile setters don’t like redoing their own work, and they will charge accordingly to fix problems resulting from poor planning.