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How to Install Plumbing in a New Home

Plumbing works with the simple concept of "water in -- water out." In a new house, the piping system has three main components, namely a water supply system, a drainage system, and a set of tools/equipment.

In most communities, to install plumbing, you must be a licensed plumber or you must work under a licensed plumber who approves and supervises your work.

Local codes specify standard plumbing procedures, but placement of new home fixtures, pipe routing diagrams, and pipe sizes depend on the layout of the individual home.

The sewer accommodation stub is installed before pouring the concrete foundation, but most of the plumbing occurs later. The rough piping phase, which coincides with the wiring and conduit phase, occurs after the framing is complete, but before hanging drywall. It's time to install the main drain on the floor and connect it to the pile.

Coarse drain fittings are installed now for sinks and tubs. This is also the time to install the water supply pipe or pipe and install the toilet flange.

Pipe Fittings

Because they are often too large to install after the walls and doors are framed, tubs and tub/shower units are usually installed before framing the walls. Since most of the construction is unfinished, cover this kit with cardboard or even an old blanket or rug to protect it from scratches. Install and connect the sink and toilet last, after finishing the walls and laying the floor.

Water Supply System

The main pressurized water supply line enters the house below the freeze line, then divides into two lines; one supplies cold water and the other is connected to a hot water heater. From there, two channels supply hot and cold water to each fixture or appliance.

Some homes have a water supply manifold system featuring a large panel with a red valve on one side and a blue valve on the other. Each valve controls an individual hot or cold tube that supplies water to the fixture. Using a manifold system makes it easy to turn off the water supply to one fixture without turning off the water supply to the entire house.

Drainage Pipe

The main vent and soil pile, which is usually 4 inches in diameter, runs vertically from below the ground floor to the top of the roofline. The sewer is connected to the pile, directing the sewage to the main sewer, which then exits the house below the freeze line and either binds to the municipal sewer system or flows into the private septic system.

Ventilation Pipe

Without a constant source of air, water locks can form in the drain pipe, causing blockages. All drains require ventilation, but one vent, usually installed behind the sink, can fix fixtures and fittings installed within 10 feet of a common drain. The vent pipe, which is generally 2 inches in diameter, connects to the vent and the soil pile in the attic.

When fixtures sit too far from the general ventilation, additional ventilation pipes are required, which either connect to the posts or exit the roof separately, depending on the layout of the house.


A drain trap is a U-shaped pipe that connects to the bottom of the sink, shower or sink. A trap holds a small amount of water that prevents odorous sewer gases from entering the house. All plumbing fixtures require a drain trap except the toilet, which has an internal trap at the bottom.

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