I'm in the process of building a new home and have a question regarding the
plumbing under the slab.
After the builder poured the foundation and started framing I noticed 1/2 of
the plumbing didn't line up. I ask the general contractor about this. He
said it is a normal accordance and it happens about 90% of the time. Is this
really the case? He said they will re-route all the plumbing and it will be
fine. I just don't like the idea of someone coming back in with a jackhammer
all over the foundation. Can this hurt the integrity of the foundation and
I guess it all depends upon how far off it really is. If you mean
<inch, I guess it does, but anything more is just sloppy work.
Depending upon how much is jackhammered or cut (usually better) it
shouldn't hurt the foundation, but it can hurt the plumbing.
FWIW, my home has about a 4000 sq ft footprint, slab on ground over
insulation, with radiant heat in part and none of it was misaligned.
I've been involved with several homes using slabs and never had a
misalignment, but in one a pipe was forgotten, but added overhead
Thanks for the reply Larry,
To be more specific:
My slab has a 3132 sq.ft footprint
The washing machine stub is in the master closet, off about 2 feet
The master sink stub is in the hallway, off around 3 feet
The refrigerator stub is in the pantry, off about 3 feet
The kitchen sink stub,off about 2 feet
Guest bathroom toilet drain, off about 1 foot
This is a new home builder that is doing this. I have been to a couple of
other homes under contruction and have seen other plumbing re-routes. Like 1
or 2 at the most. My house has a lot more :(
Seems just plain sloppy to me. Its not hard to measure these things.
For a stub in the middle of the slab, measuring over a 20 or 30 foot
distance, combined with the jossling of the cement pour, being off by
an inch or two seems pretty reasonable. For stubs near the edge
(probably the bathroom toilet and kitchen sink, for example), an inch
or less seems easy. But 3 feet? Most plumbers should be able to eyeball
to within 3 feet without even measuring. Anything more is sloppy, or
(on the occational pipe) just a simple and forgiveable mistake.
depending upon how good your termite barrier is, it would provide additional
ingress openings for them. it would also make dealing with additional cracks
for tiling necessary, and if there was substantial digging under the slab to
get to the pipes in question, the patches in the slab could crack off and
sink, causing the floor covering above it to also sink or crack, depending
upon what that was.
Your floor slab is not your foundation. That's under the bearing
walls. If the plumbing is run under the footings, I'd be really
concerned, unless you're on exposed ridge.
Can't say about the plumbing. Depends on what they do to get at it, and
what it's made of. You might make mention of the fact that you'd like a
second set of eyeballs to go over it before closing it up.
Got a camera ready?
: Your floor slab is not your foundation. That's under the
: walls. If the plumbing is run under the footings, I'd be really
: concerned, unless you're on exposed ridge.
: Can't say about the plumbing. Depends on what they do to get at
: what it's made of. You might make mention of the fact that
you'd like a
: second set of eyeballs to go over it before closing it up.
: Got a camera ready?
to the OP:
Any chance there is a large distance between the open ends of the
pipes and that something else is going to go into that area? As
in gates, sorters, joiners, temp controllers, pressure
controllers, things like that? That's such a large offset that
it almost sounds intentional.
But, if he says it's "normal", like you said, IMO something's
rotten and it's not in the dirt underneat the concrete.
That camera idea's a very good one. Get pics from a couple of
different angles of each misalignment, and carefully note the
location in writing right on the pic.
Let the builder know you did it.
I'm no expert but I think I'd also insist on having the
contract modified to specifically incluse any damage that might
arise over time due to this issue so that it cannot be attibuted
to "an act of God" or some such thing down the road.
If he's a good businessman, he'll likely give you as much of
what you're asking for as he feels reasonable. That will tell
you a lot.
Actually, I think the best thing you might do would be to get
those pics and then see if you can't get an inspector or city
engineer, whatever, to come out and look it over. They may or
may not have some interesting comments, but either way it's going
to help settle things a lot. If you can afford it and they
city/town whatever doesn't have one, you might even consider
hiring a structural engineer to take a look at it.
Don't stop the contractor from working or you'll get into
contractual problems. But don't make any secret that you're
questioning the misalingnments either; he should have nothing to
hide. In fact, maybe it was one of his subcontractors at fault,
if there is a fault, and he might be more helpful than you think.
I assume you measured horizontal misalignments. Are there also
vertical misalignments? You might need a level to figure that
Either change the house plans, or rip up everything after suing them,
and start over. Personally, I'd run the supply pipes ABOVE the
foundation. Under slab plumbing is asking for trouble. But you can
not move the drain pipes without damage.
Are the instructions in Spanish?
2 feet just flat wrong anyone with a tape measure that can read should be
better than that.
Sure hope your builder is not KB. Time to check your contract.
If it's off that much, someone is really doing crappy work, and I'd
get a lawyer before anymore work is done. You need to sue someone.
You'll probably have to change the plans of the house to match the
pipes, or you will have a brand new screwed up floor AND plumbing.
If it were me I would have had the main contractor halt construction
while we discussed who was paying for the slab to be removed and done
For the plumbing to be off the amount stated is just really bad work.
Any rework of the concrete is going to cause potential problems as the
: D & P wrote:
: > Hi There,
: > I'm in the process of building a new home and have a question
: > plumbing under the slab.
: > After the builder poured the foundation and started framing I
noticed 1/2 of
: > the plumbing didn't line up. I ask the general contractor
about this. He
: > said it is a normal accordance and it happens about 90% of
the time. Is this
: > really the case? He said they will re-route all the plumbing
and it will be
: > fine. I just don't like the idea of someone coming back in
with a jackhammer
: > all over the foundation. Can this hurt the integrity of the
: > plumbing?
: > Thanks,
: > John
: If it were me I would have had the main contractor halt
: while we discussed who was paying for the slab to be removed
: For the plumbing to be off the amount stated is just really
: Any rework of the concrete is going to cause potential problems
: house settles.
I don't know about stopping construction: I'd let the contractor
make that decision to avoid conttractual problems, depending on
how it's written.
That's a danged good point on who pays for it though! Certainly
not the homeowner, I'd say. Might be worth keeping a record of
how many men doing what on which days while that's going on, and
getting a detailed labor record when the job's done: Most
projects are on computers so it's not hard to get such a record,
and if it's not, well, it should still be available from their
pay records; and it better match up to your figures, too.
Try hard not to pay for HIS mistakes. Also, don't forget about
subcontractors if he's using them - it might not be "his" fault,
but it's certainly "his" responsibility.
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