78" above rough floor is too low for shower heads. I go 80" above tub floor.
I rough shower valve at 35" above tub floor, tub spout centered about four inches
above tub rim. The shower will get more use than the tub. Why make the person
bend way over to work the valve? Most tub spouts you can stub out with copper.
This eliminates using galvanized nipples so you can more easily center the spout
or so from the valve.
wow this is really nice, and what a great idea. But, there are many
different tub manufactures, and these measurements may, or may not work with
other tub units.
Thats a great idea for young plumbers,,its hard enuf to remember all this
Blackbeard is another one of the plumbers that frequent here that I would
love to sit down and pick at your brain for a couple hrs.
I've used 78" on the shower head for years. I've never had a
complaint. At 6' 6" off the floor, that's a good measurement. I
suppose the additional 2" is a good idea. It would accommodate those
people out there who are a little taller. Yeah, I like it.
OK, I'll change it to 80"
As you know, some of these measurements are not code. I've been
working on a pile of business-card sized cheat cards so some of those
guys out there who don't have as much experience will have something
in their wallet for quick reference.
Thanks for pointing out that I failed to mention the 4" above the tub
rim and I forgot to mention to build the entire shower assembly out of
copper. Pex is cheaper. But when it comes to install, that copper
really makes things easy.
What I'm trying to do is get very solid measurements (especially
backers) that I can give to the framers. Let the framers put in the
backers. Let the framers frame behind the shower the RIGHT way instead
of putting a stud dead-center of our valve. We're plumbers. We don't
carry framing tools on our truck.
Two things that will make your jobs go much faster. One, let the
framer frame to your specs so you don't have to fuck with backers and
you don't have to fuck with moving studs (and then adding studs when
moving a stud causes the framing to deviate from code). Two, have the
guy digging the footings to go ahead and use his transit to dig your
sewer line (and even a graded trench (based on where you tell him to
dig). That way, you'll never have dig gravel or fight with the french
drain or knock a hole through the foundation again. It will also save
you the cost of a 2nd backhoe trip out there. Since he's digging with
a transit, you'll never stand in a ditch with a shovel trying to get
grade, and you'll never have a contractor freaking out on you because
he wants to landscape or pour the sidewalk. In addition, when it comes
time to test your water lines and sewer, all you have to do is turn
the water on and fill most of the DWV right at the tub. Also, you use
city water to charge the pipes (so instead of pumping air from
0-100lbs for your test, you start the test at around 70-80lbs. Not
only does it save you time on pulling hoses and testing, since you are
mostly charged with water, it makes it very easy to find a leak. (you
ever tried to LISTEN for a leak when you have nailguns and other
tradesmen). Do it my way and all you have to do is look for the drip.
If you dont' see the drip, come back a little later and look for the
Two things that will make your jobs go much faster.
One, let the framer frame to your specs so you don't have to fuck with
you don't have to fuck with moving studs
umm duh. You just now figured that out.
Two, have the
Jesus man you have some good cement jarheads over there. Here
cement is the dumber group on the site. Never trust cement!
No, I didn't just figure that out. But in my area, it is highly
unusual for our framers to do anything but framing. They DO NOT
install backers and they DO place studs dead-center where I need a tub
valve, etc. I don't know why it is like that in my part of the world.
But we have to get the job done. And if that means pull a stud, move a
stud, hammer in additional studs, etc...that's what we do. In my area,
if you can find a plumber that regularly has backers, etc. done by the
framer, I'd like to meet the guy. In my area, we simply do what we
need to do to get the job done. As a result, we have to deal with a
lot of dumb shit that doesn't relate to our trade at all.
And if that's not a kick in the pants, in my area, most shops will do
per-fixture pricing. And the average price per fixture in my area is
only $450/fixture. That figure hasn't changed in 15 years. I've
rattled every cage in town. These guys are so afraid of losing work to
out-of-town shops that they continue to kill themselves at
$450/fixture (material costs and sub costs included!!!)
I rarely touch new construction unless it's commercial or unless it's
a large custom home where they're willing to pay what the job is worth
and not what track-home builders tell the local plumbers they're
willing to pay. I really dislike the mindset of plumbers in my area.
I've heard per-fixture pricing as low as $385/fixture (costs
included). At that price, may as well stay home at watch TV.
What we really need is a union around here to help protect our trade.
But no Ned, I'm not just catching on. I'm just exasperated by the way
plumbers in my area allow themselves to be jerked around by our local
contractors. Oh well, it is what it is.
fuck no on union.
I bet it takes me 10 seconds to remove wall stud.
It pays off to have a skilled person around when setting up pipes that
will be burried in cement. I like to be there durring whole process.
In my area, the way everyone tops off their system for inspection
(10-foot head of water) is they pull a hose from a temporary
connection to the city meter. If you do it that way, you have to pull
the hose pipe (garden hose) off your truck...carry it to the temporary
water source, make your connection, etc. etc....then disconnect,
re-load truck, etc.
If you have your water service pipe in place before you call for your
rough inspection, you can use the tubs to fill up the majority of your
system. You'll have to top off that 10-foot head of water with a
garden hose (we have an adapter we made to fit the stub-out for the
shower head). This saves a lot of time.
After you have your DWV pipes filled with water, you have also (at the
same time) primed your entire water distribution system with water. It
will take a few seconds to top that water distribution off to 100-lbs.
pressure for your test.
So you save on pulling hoses, etc. and you save time on charging the
system with air. If you install your sewer/water lines FIRST, you'll
save at least 2-hours on every house. In addition, when you drain the
system down, instead of flooding the yard, you just pull the pumpball
and it all goes down the sewer.
If you add in the money you save (the backhoe who digs the footer can
dig your sewer at the same time so you don't have to call him out for
a special trip (approx. $185/trip in my area). and you add the time
that a plumber would have to work in the crawl area grading that pipe,
you'll discover you'll save a full day of labor plus over $400 CASH on
every job. Work smarter, not harder
It is quicker to pre-charge you water pipes with water before you pump
in the last 20-30lbs of pressure for the 100-lbs you need for your
test. There is less air space to fill which means it goes a lot
If you're not using water to test your DWV system, then I assume
you're using smoke. If that's the standard in your area, that's faster
than water testing. In my area, everyone uses water.
I will sometimes water test my copper but PVC is tested with nothing but
If there is a problem with finding leak (never happened yet) I have
wished I had a smoke machine, but never used one. I like to test
my water pipes at 100 psi. That is not going to happen with a well pump
or most city systems. I use air because it goes to higher pressure easier
and it is more likely to leak than water. It does not take longer to fill
with air to test than water. water takes longer, thats why we all use air.
ever use a vacum cleaner to suck pvc glue into a leak?
I have done it on vents a couple of times.
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