plumbing reroute


I am trying to reroute my upstairs bathroom pipes away from the exterior wall (actually an enclosed space behind a kneewall). They currently run in an inside (room dividing) wall until they hit the rear wall, behind which is the "crawlspace" open to the rafters and such. The pipes froze once back there, and its a horrible place to work in (mice love it) so I want the pipes out of there. Anyway they turn that corner and then branch in the "crawl space" to the toilet and bathtub. Below this bathroom and crawl space there is a false ceiling, that I would like to run the pipes through instead.
But the only way to do that is to drop them straight down inside that interior wall until they clear the joists below, then running them under those joists above the false ceiling to where they need to go. Going through the joists would be preferable, but I cant see how it can be done-with 16" centers I dont see how to drill through them. But the hardest part of all is just getting the pipes down to where I can see them and work with them. Directly below the wall they are in, there is an extension of that wall into the upper foot and half of the lower level. This forms one "side" that the false ceiling is hung from. Its like they knocked out a wall and left just the upper portion. Does this make any sense? Its hard to describe. But I just cant see how I can get the pipes down through that so they are below joist level, without demolishing part of that wall so I can see wtf I'm doing. Any ideas? I'd sure like to avoid calling a plumber but I may have to...
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Joe wrote:

How about insulating the space/pipe with spray foam?
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Sounds like a lot cheaper and easier solution. They even have extender poles so you can put a spray can at the end of a 4' pole and control it by your hand to reach into spaces that you can't get directly to. Paint stores carry them, but anything that has a standard top will fit into these extender poles. If you can get within 4' of where you need to spray the insulation, the foam in a can is great. Don't get the super expanding foam though, as it really has a lot of force when it expands and it might bend/break/crack a wall.
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wrote:

Well the full space is quite large, so I dont know how practical that would be....and what do I do if I have to get in there for some reason and its filled with foam? I'm leary of non-reversibility.
There is one other possibility which might be easy but ugly-I could run the pipes above the floor, along the inside of the outside wall (this would be behind the toilet) and then under the tub to its faucet, but this would leave about 2' of pipe just dangling out there. This doesnt bother me but it might bother a potential buyer...
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There is one other possibility which might be easy but ugly-I could run the pipes above the floor, along the inside of the outside wall (this would be behind the toilet) and then under the tub to its faucet, but this would leave about 2' of pipe just dangling out there. This doesnt bother me but it might bother a potential buyer... ---------------------
Based on everything else you have written so far, I think you should probably just go ahead and do that. It seems like you really want the pipes on the inside and accessible, and that would solve both of those issues. A pipe along the wall, near the floor, behind the toilet seems like nothing to me. You could paint the pipe(s) the same color as the wall or baseboard and it will look fine. You said, "under the tub" -- do you mean under an old-fashioned claw foot type of tub?
As far as buyers, I doubt that 2 feet of pipe going along the wall near the floor behind the toilet is going to make or break a sale. And, since the temp goes down to 40 below in your area, some buyers may like the idea that the pipe will be inside and accessibole for the same reasons that you do.
And, if you are really concerned about buyers, you really need to figure out a way to get rid of the mice and rodent droppings that are infesting the area that you don't want to go into. A home inspector will find that huge (in my opinion) problem if that area has an access door where he/she can enter or look into the space.
Good luck.
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No, its a regular recessed tub. I would have to drill a hole in the dividing wall at one end, then run the pipes under it to the faucet at the far side.

The rodent area is only visible now because I knocked a section of drywall out to get at the pipes. Its going to get sealed up again. As for heating that area as was suggested above, I dont think that is desirable. It would lead to roof melting and ice dams...more problems. The area wasnt meant to be heated.
I think I will probably try to run the pipes through the room and under the tub and see how it goes. If it doesnt work for some reason it will only be a small patch.
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wrote:

I spose I should elaborate on the space...its the space formed by the narrower second floor and having a steep pitched roof. The space is quite large. The roof is insulated, but probably not insulated well enough. Thats another problem but not one i can tackle at the moment. If my heat goes out, any pipes in there are at risk of freezing because its the coldest part of my house, even if they are extra insulated. It goes to 40 below here and I dont think pipes in outside walls are even legal, or at the very least not recommended...I do not want another broken pipe....
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Define pipe. If you are talking about copper, you might want to look into PEX. If you have a run of PEX without any fittings it can freeze without damaging it. The PEX plastic memory will return the tubing to its original size, and it has more than enough stretchability to accommodate freezing water. Of course you won't have water while the pipe is frozen, but you also won't have burst pipe, flooding and repair work.
R
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Well I was planning to use PVC for the reroute, but existing pipes are copper.
Perhaps I havent emphasized this part enough: I really dont want to work in that space. Its nasty nasty nasty from all the rodents that have lived there for 3 years since this was built, and I have to slither in on my belly. I really want to have the pipes go elsewhere so I never ever (ever!) have to go in there again.
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But having said that, if I were to run the pipes through there again for lack of other practical options I could minimize my time in there by running a long line of pex. In fact I might not have to go in any farther than my head and shoulders. So that might work...
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But a Tyvek coverall with hood, tape up the arm and leg openings and wear a mask and googles. You'll feel protected and you won't have to be down there more than a short while.

Google Sharkbite fittings and PEX. You can fish a PEX run like you would fish a large gauge electric cable. With either you don't want to beat up the outside, but it will bend to follow your fishtape or whatever you're using to pull it through.
R
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Pex may be a problem with an area overrun with mice, they may chew into the pipe causing leaks. It sounds like you also need to do some serious maintenance to seal all the leaks in the exterior that allow the mice to get in. Plus an adult cat on patrol. Just the presence of a cat will often deter mice from residing in a building.
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Perhaps I havent emphasized this part enough: I really dont want to work in that space. Its nasty nasty nasty from all the rodents that have lived there for 3 years since this was built, and I have to slither in on my belly. I really want to have the pipes go elsewhere so I never ever (ever!) have to go in there again.
****************************************************
No matter where you end up running them, PEX will be easy to work with and t get around things. Well worth considering for the flexibility.
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Joe wrote:

I'd box in the pipe run with plywood, and insulate it with foam board. I'd also put a grille on the interior wall to leak a little heat into the newly created and insulated pipe chase. Recommend assembling it all with screws, so if a you or a future plumber ever needs to get in there, it is less painful. Yes, this will mean one time fighting with the tight access, but I bet it would be less work than rerouting the pipes. Usual caveats about not using exposed foam board within the heated envelope apply, unless you can find some of the fire-rated stuff.
-- aem sends...
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Tony Hwang wrote:

If so only insulate between the exterior wall and the pipes. Never insulate between the inside wall and the pipe.
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I once had a similar problem. try a right angle adapter http://www.google.com/products?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&q=right+angle+drill+adapter&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=kaPsSrjKGcuXtgf8peU6&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved CMQrQQwAA
Or Google right angle drill adapter if the link is too cumbersome for your browser
Charlie
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Joe wrote:

You may be trying to solve the wrong problem. Consider:
* Insulating the existing pipes. * Heating the area in which the pipes live. * Letting the water run in sub-freezing weather. * Putting expansion devices - like a rubber boot - on the existing pipes.
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