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Thread: Hack Plumber? ... Oops -NO a licensed plumber!

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    DIY Junior Member coyotehills's Avatar
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    Default Hack Plumber? ... Oops -NO a licensed plumber!

    I found this installation the hard way while installing Hardie Board on the 1st floor matser bath. This is a cantilever section below double vanity from the master bath with all four supply lines attached directly to the underside of the subfloor. I got lucky and missed the pipe twice but hit it the third time. BTW 3 years ago I had to replumb the valve and supply line for ice maker from hot to cold in the house across the street.
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    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Might be licensed, but not professional. Not very pretty. Unfortunately a license does not always mean a guy knows how to do something right. In Pa we do not have a license, yet, but next door they do and I've seem a lot of no code compliant crap done by licensed individuals that also passed inspection, in the plumbing and electrical fields. Was that work inspected too?

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    DIY Junior Member tinner666's Avatar
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    The things that turn up!
    Frank Albert

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default So it's the plumber's fault

    That you're using oversized screws to anchor flooring.


    Explain the how so to this; that copper piping was operating error-free until you decided NOT to measure your screws before working.

    Plumbers will install piping in that fashion when the joist space is busy ie heat run, around romex runs or gas lines, beam.

    Learn how to use properly sized screws next time and you won't have a reason to join a forum and complain about your stupid mistake.

    Those pipes didn't leak until you screwed a screw in them, just for the record.Name:  imslow.gif
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    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Rugged, I'm sorry, you might think I'm a hack, but any inspector I've ever dealt with would fail that plumbing. If you run a pipe too close to the edge of a framing member then a metal pipe protector is in order. Strapping a pipe to the under side of the plywood is a terrible idea. If a joist space is that busy, then you better find a different place to run. Besides look at the terrible globs of solder, ugly. The guy has a legitimate complaint. I usually respect the heck out of your comments Rugged, but this time you're off base.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It's not against plumbing code to have the pipes that high.
    Most of the time, they are not that high, but sometimes to miss other objects, they might be.
    I like to keep them a ways from the bottom of the floor for two reasons.
    Easier to solder and cut pipe.
    Less chance of getting nailed.

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    DIY Junior Member coyotehills's Avatar
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    Default Excuuuse Me

    I guess I should have used shorter screws at let the floor fail! BTW I don't see any romex, hvac or anything else in that cavity. Also I didn't think 2 wrongs made it right!

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    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Terry in Pa, we use the 2006 International Plumbing Code, if you have one read 305.8 protection against physical damage section.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Post Inciteful thread packed with knowledge!

    Quote Originally Posted by construct30 View Post
    Rugged, I'm sorry, you might think I'm a hack, but any inspector I've ever dealt with would fail that plumbing. If you run a pipe too close to the edge of a framing member then a metal pipe protector is in order. Strapping a pipe to the under side of the plywood is a terrible idea. If a joist space is that busy, then you better find a different place to run. Besides look at the terrible globs of solder, ugly. The guy has a legitimate complaint. I usually respect the heck out of your comments Rugged, but this time you're off base.



    cantilever section below double vanity

    Do you know what that means?

    That means the plumber needs to allow for the most possible/largest R-factor of insulation available in this area since it is exposed to the elements when the plumbing is installed in an area where living space is non-existent.

    That job (new construction) was spec'd on a 2X8 joist space with R-30 16" o.c. Kraft-Faced insulation.

    See the little dabs of insulation hanging to the wood near the floor? That's why.

    Plumber has to protect thier piping from bursting in an area where room temperature is not possible to protect from freezing....a liability back on the plumber,

    a extreme difficulty for the insulator to properly insulate that joist space with the correct insulation to control thermal loss.

    I'm right on target like I was when I typed my first response. I don't feel sorry for the event that unfolded as that plumbing was working just fine before LONG screws were shot into the floor. Don't worry about freezing, worry about long screws plumbah!
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Section 305.8 protection from physical damage! I used to be an insulation contractor, now I'm a plumber, I have to worry about my pipes first now. I used to have to use foam board or furring to get the R value I needed below pipe in such cases. The plumber should have allowed for the 1 5/8 screws usually used on durarock and such underlayments and protected his hidden pipes.

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default Where's the woodburning?

    If those pipes are so close to the floor,



    where are the burn marks on the wood.


    Certainly that plumber didn't take the time to protect that fine wood when he didn't bother wiping the excess flux and solder off the piping.


    Explain the lack of wood burning with those pipes being so close as you feel they are. It's impossible NOT to burn wood when they are that close, so what gives?

    The strength of a nail or screw is diminished greatly when it fully penetrates through the structure it's holding.

    2/3rds with no break through is the carpenters golden rule.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ?

    Once a screw penetrates the wood, any extra length does nothing to increase its holding power. If you wanted to use extra long screws you should have screwed it to the joists, not the subfloor.

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    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Those appear to be two hole straps not standoff straps, which means they are screwed tight to the plywood subfloor. The 2003 Residential Code for one and two family dwellings: P2603.2.1 Protection against physical damage. 2006 International Plumbing Code: 305.8 Protection against physical damage. The UPC: 313.9 They are a little more forgiving and give you one inch instead of one and a half. As plumbers we should protect our pipes if they are in the ground or above ground. For ceramic you are supposed to glue and screw with 1 5/8" durarock screws. 1/2" durarock, 3/4" subfloor, My math says that adds up to 1 1/4" , a pipe strapped under a bathroom floor, directly to the floor plywood, is going to get some holes in it.

    As for the no burn marks, he soldered the pipes then put them up as shown by the coupling, he made a mistake in his measurments or alignment and had to make the cut.

    I want to stick up for a professional as much as the next guy, protect the brotherhood, but when a mistake is made, I have made more than my share, I will admit it.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Once a screw penetrates the wood, any extra length does nothing to increase its holding power. If you wanted to use extra long screws you should have screwed it to the joists, not the subfloor.
    They require too many screws in underlayment, to just hit the joist. Ceremic tile will break or the grout will crack if not screwed properly. Did you ever see the little x's on underlayment, we were taught to hit every other one of those with a screw or staple.

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    Plumbing Company Owner smellslike$tome's Avatar
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    Default It's an imperfect world.

    You're both right and you are both wrong. It makes no common sense to strap pipes to the bottom of a floor, code or no code. No one can account for what someone else might do in the future, common sense and professionalism demand that the good of the HO be of greater concern than expediency. The insulation is an important issue. The answer is that the pipes should have been located a minimum of 1.5 inches below the floor and strapped to the floor joist. This of course makes for a slightly more difficult installation, which is no doubt why in the cut throat world of new construction it is not done, but would allow for protection of the pipe while enabling the insulator to do his thing with little difficulty. Additionally, in my neck of the woods, and depending on which inspector you might get on a given day, the pipes would be required to have some type of pipe insulation such as armaflex. Better yet it should have been a pex installation especially in these circumstances. Pex is certainly no more screw resistant than copper but if it should freeze it will not rupture which is a claim that copper can not make. I am assuming of course that the local code would permit pex installations.

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