Basement plumbing

With the drain, waste and vent (DWV) plumbing in place, we can get started on the basement plumbing. Well, I say we, although the only real thing I was contributing was lots of questions. Peter and Thomas, our installers, took care of the real work.

We extended the water main under the concrete floor toward the back of the basement earlier this year. The stub sticking out the floor has a shut-off valve at the end to which Peter and Thomas connected a one inch copper pipe.


That pipe got extended in the wall toward the ceiling, where it makes a short turn into the laundry room followed by a long turn toward the utility room.


Once we were past the WF steel beam that runs from one end to the other in the basement, Peter and Thomas took the copper pipe up and in between the floor joists with two 45 degree elbows, and extended it into the utility room.


Peter took care of the various fittings and connections to the heating system and hot water storage tanks.


Are we done yet? Not quite. Peter and Thomas still have to install the rough plumbing to the basement bathroom (shower, water closet, lavatory and bathtub) and kitchen. This is where their thinking ahead pays off. All the hot and cold water plumbing fit in place without interfering with the DWV plumbing.

This is a very simplified description of the plumbing work. I will have to dedicate a detailed post sometime in the future on how the system is put together and the various best practices that reduce energy loss and increase efficiency.

With the rough plumbing completed, we can fill the heating system, the radiant floor tubes and hot water storage tanks with water.

I think the never ending stream of tasks just ran dry, and we are ready to start up the system – turn on the heat.

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

2 thoughts on “Basement plumbing

  1. As we are in the initial planning process for our new home construction I’ve greatly enjoyed reading your updates, as they combine what is obviously an impressive amount of research with an uncommon amount of practicality and real world results.

    I would be especially interested in hearing what you have to say about best practices for the design and installation of the plumbing system to ensure it is as efficient as possible. I’m intrigued to see what kind of reduction in energy consumption we’re talking about, presumably just by changing the layout and routing of plumbing components. Or are you including the planning for and use of DWHR in that number?

  2. Jason, I plan to post a follow up blog in the next couple of month that looks at the plumbing layout and energy efficiency a little more. At that time I will include more details about best practices.

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