1st and 2nd floor DWV installation

The plumbing walls are in place and I have no further excuse to avoid the drain-waste-vent (DWV) installation.

We finished the DWV system in the basement in late 2010, with the drain and vent pipes stubbed out to the 1st floor. My first task now is to connect to the 4 inch main sewer stack (blackwater stack) and extend it up to the second floor.

This process includes the waste drain and venting connections for the kitchen and bathroom sinks.We have future plans to disconnect the bathroom lavatory from the DWV system and reuse its waste water for toilet flushing.

After I have all 1st floor connections in place, I can start with the DWV plumbing for the 2nd floor toilet, which starts just under the 1st floor ceiling.

I have a three inch line branching off the four inch main or blackwater stack, with a two inch vent pipe coming out the side.

After completing the toilet connection in place, I moved up to the 2nd floor where I extended the main or blackwater stack all the way up to and through the roof. In the process I connected the waste drain and vent plumbing for the bathroom and kitchen sinks.

I also installed and connected the vent piping to what will be the future greywater stack, that services the bathroom showers and floor drains.

If you see a professional installing a DWV system, it looks really easy – much easier than it is. Organizing and arranging the pipes in the limited space available and in the process complying with the Chicago plumbing code requires a lot of experience, experience I did not have…

I had Mariusz, our plumber, come in to check my work. I had a number of sections in the DWV system that were not code compliant, mostly just sublet stuff. Still, I have to redo and fix those sections.

The big question is: Would I have been better off having had Mariusz and his crew install the DWV system and have it done right the first time around?

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.

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