Replacing pipes in the toilet and bathroom: some procedure and advice

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Replacing leaky lines in the washroom yourself is not easy, but possible. The main problems here arise from the tightness of the bathroom. Many owners do not want to get rid of the old toilet bowl, and replacing pipes in a toilet with already installed plumbers putty home depot is still a pleasure. On the one hand, there is little space for work, and on the other hand, you have to make additional efforts so as not to accidentally damage the sanitary ware.

Pipe condition diagnostics

Before going to the store to buy new pipes, you need to think once again whether such repairs need to be done at all and in what volumes they should be done. If you plan to work in a toilet located in a private house, then this is one situation. Nothing will interfere with the master-master here. But when working in a high-rise apartment, there will be many problems.

When replacing risers in an apartment, you must coordinate your actions with neighbors in advance. And this is not only a tribute. There are several points here, forgetting about which, not long to face serious problems.

You should only trust the plumbers of the company serving the apartment building to change the risers in the apartment toilet, they are better aware of the condition of the pipes in this particular building than strangers

First, the water supply pipes can be shut off in the basement of the entrance for several hours without asking anyone. During the day in apartment buildings, plumbers do this quite often. Neighbors are at work in the daytime, most of them will not even know about the interruption in the water supply. However, the sewer riser should not be dismantled without warning.

The second point is the pipes on the site in the inter-floor overlap. These riser sites are considered the most vulnerable and most problematic. This is where the metal rusts the fastest. With a complete replacement of pipelines, they must be brought out from above and below through reinforced concrete.

That is, welding and other connection of new pipes with old ones may have to be performed in neighboring apartments on the floor above and below.

If the sewer and water pipes are changed in several apartments at once, then for each owner it will be cheaper than calling the plumbers alone

The third point is the state of the pipes.

Often, plumbing and sewer pipes only look useless from the outside. But when cutting an old iron pipeline, it is not uncommon for it to be covered with rust only on the outside. If it does not flow, then it is often not worth replacing it.

Inside, everything can be perfect, the walls are still capable of serving a couple of decades.

Changing pipes in such a situation is just wasting money. Replacing a cast-iron sewer riser with a plastic one should be done at its external destruction. Old cast iron is more durable and less “noisy” than modern plastic.

What is the layout

If a toilet in an apartment or cottage is not combined with a bathroom, then special problems with the preparation of the layout of the pipelines are unlikely to arise. As a rule, there is only one toilet in it and there are two risers from which it is necessary to bring a couple of pipes to this single plumbing fixture.

However, next to the wall there is usually also a kitchen and a bathroom, where pipelines are also required. It is with their wiring, in general, that there are difficulties when replacing pipes.

Plumbing is connected to the water sockets in a rigid or flexible (through drainage hoses) method, toilets are connected to the sewage system only according to the first option or corrugation

There are two technologies for laying pipes in the bathroom:

The best option is to lay pipes in the toilet according to the external scheme, and then cover them with a decorative box. Moreover, the risers will still have to be closed with decor.

If you leave them open, the bathroom interior will look ugly. With a hidden gasket, any leak subsequently immediately turns into a headache. We must start all over again from the beginning. We’ll have to remove the cladding, break the walls and change the pipes again.

A good option for outdoor installation with decorative false walls and boxes. The latter have inspection hatches and can be easily removed if necessary if you need to get to leaking pipelines.

The sewer pipe is laid with a slope towards the riser to ensure gravity. In places where plumbing fixtures are installed, tees are inserted into it with the location of the sockets towards the movement of the drains.

The slope, according to building codes, is selected based on the diameter of the pipeline. The smaller the section, the more the latter should be inclined.

For an intra-house sewer pipe with a diameter of up to 50 mm, the slope is 3 degrees (3 cm in height for each running meter). For products with a cross-section of 50–110 mm, it is recommended at 2 degrees, and for analogs of 110–160 mm, at 0.8 degrees.

Plumbing is connected to the water supply:

  • according to a sequential scheme;
  • through the manifold at the riser.

The collector option is more expensive, but the pressure on each water outlet with such a wiring is always the same. In this case, the water pressure in the taps and in the shower does not jump when you turn on the washing machine or fill the toilet bowl.

When using a collector circuit for supplying water from a riser to plumbing fixtures, a lot of pipes will have to be installed, and all this economy is usually located just in the toilet

The water sockets are attached directly to the walls or to traverses (metal plates with holes for fasteners). In this case, the outlet for the toilet in the toilet is easiest to perform with a hose. On a cold water supply piping passing by, a tee is simply inserted with an outlet having an external or internal thread. Ideally, pipes should be installed in parallel everywhere, without crossing each other.

A shut-off valve is installed immediately from the riser and at the end of each water supply outlet. This is necessary so that, if necessary, you can turn off only one plumbing fixture for its replacement or repair.

From the water supply riser, a ball valve is first installed, then a coarse filter, and only then a counter. The simplest and cheapest filter is a mechanical one without backwashing (with a small straight or oblique “branch”, with a sludge mesh inside).

The auto-flush filter is large. It must be connected to the sewage system, and a bypass must be installed in parallel with it. If there is not enough space on the toilet wall, then it is better to refuse this option. All this in a complex is called an “input node”. After it, there is already a pipe for connecting plumbing or a collector.

Selection of building materials

There is no ideal building material. In each case, its own option is selected, the most suitable for specific conditions. When replacing pipelines in the toilet, you must purchase the pipes themselves, fittings, and taps for them in advance. It will not hurt to design the box in advance and purchase finishing materials for it. Then all the work will take a maximum of one day.

How to choose pipes for sewage

Sewer pipes are the easiest. If the existing cast-iron riser does not have cracks and holes, then it is not worth changing it. Otherwise, it is worth choosing plastic tees and elbows.

  • These tubular products are light in weight and easy to install. They are connected to each other in a bell with a rubber cuff.
  • The most difficult thing is to cut such pipes with a hacksaw into a piece of the desired length, not forgetting too. 
  • The cheapest option is PVC. But polyethylene and polypropylene are more resistant to household chemicals and temperature changes that occur when hot water is drained into the sewer. However, in general, any of these materials are suitable for a toilet in an apartment and a private house.
  • Previously, cast iron pipes were connected with cement or sulfur. In the first case, the joint will have to be slowly cracked with a screwdriver, and in the second, it will be heated with a burner. Remove one element from the other by carefully loosening it back and forth, otherwise the socket will crack and you will have to change the pipes much more. To connect plastic and cast iron, an appropriate size rubber cuff will be sufficient.
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