Old Stone House

Water and Warmth

August 3, 2006

Filed under: Master Bathroom @ 10:32 pm

dcp_2110.JPGWhile the first coat of mud was drying on the upstairs, we started the plumbing from below. To recap – the original water supply lines were strapped against the stone wall on the left side of the doorway – behind the waste pipe, and then insulated from the inside. We felt that this was A BAD IDEA. As the bathroom has no heat, we decided that in order to add some symmetry to the front entrance, we could afford to add another bulkhead on the right side of the door – in which we could run a small heating duct and new supply lines.

The thinking behind this is as follow: First, we need heat – the bathroom is cold and some heat is necessary. Second, if we run the supply lines alongside the ductwork, we further minimize the chances that the pipes will freeze again. Third, the original ceiling bulkhead was installed in order to allow for the toilet waste pipe to flow across the length of the room into the sole waste pipe heading to the basement. Keeping this configuration would result in us notching out far too much of the joists, which is term would weaken the floor. The solution is to run a second waste pipe and join into the main system in the basement. Finally, there is no way to avoid the waste pipe bulkhead in the main entrance, so we might as well make the best of a bad situation, and in doing so will create a symmetrical architectural element, that when trimmed should look quite nice.

(Side note: In exploring the floor joist of the bathroom, we discovered a 10’ length of cast iron waste pipe running the length of the floor joists. We’re going to leave it for prosperity sake…)

The trick in all of this is to minimize the size of the bulkhead so that both sides of the door will match, all the while fitting one heating duct, a second waste pipe. After much fiddling, the solution came in the form of highly flexible duct work. Similar to that used on dryers, this duct work is rated for furnace heating, observes code, and was a treat to install. The resulting pretzel can be seen in the following photos.

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