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Thread: Can we do this? (sorry it's long)

  1. #1

    Default Can we do this? (sorry it's long)

    Hello all,

    My house was built by the original owner, and according to my neighbor, they were a bunch of "drunken old coots". Judging by some of the things we have found in the house, construction wise, I think my neighbor is right.

    So here's my scenario, followed by my question:

    I have 4 closets that are all connected in the shape of an "L" The top of the "L" is a useless front closet. The middle of the "L" is the A/C closet, with the lower half being the return air. The bottom of the "L" is the Hot Water heater closet and the closet on the right of the "L" is the kitchen pantry.

    We would REALLY like to expand the pantry and are considering moving the hot water heater to the front closet. I need a larger pantry and have no need for the front closet, which looks a lot like Fibber McGee's closet.

    The water supply line comes in through the A/C closet and then feeds into the current H/W closet. I think cutting and turning it shouldn't be a problem. Moving the breaker box shouldn't be a problem as the front closet is closer to the main breaker box, so we wouldn't need extra wiring, just relocate and leave the extra wire in the attic.

    The question concerns the lines to the house, feeding the fixtures. There are 5 copper pipes that come up from the slab in the H/W closet that supply hot and cold to the fixtures. The 3 cold pipes extend up about 1 foot and the 2 hot copper tubing pipes extend up about 18". From the top of the H/W heater is the hot and cold pipes that go into the wall at the bottom of the "L" and come back out of the same wall and feed into the 5 copper pipes that feed the house.

    What we are thinking of doing is cutting the 5 pipes close to the floor, installing 90 degree elbows and running them under a false floor, through the return air and into the front closet. This would then allow us to remove the wall between the current H/W closet and the pantry and remove the wall at the bottom of the "L" and give me about 6' access to the new pantry. (Oh I can't wait)

    Is there any reason we shouldn't have those pipes from the foundation make a 90 degree turn and run about 3 inches above the slab to the front closet, under a false floor? Is there any reason they should extend up from the foundation for the 12 and 18 inches?

    Thanks so much for your input!
    I used to have a life, now I have grandkids.

  2. #2

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    Your project seems poorly thought out to me. Building up floors is tacky. Adding more length for hot water to travel isn't practical. Leaving extra wire that's unnecessary in the attic is amateurish. I sympathize with needing more closet space - everybody does, it seems.

    Without seeing a floor plan and examining things, I have no idea if you're dealing with bearing walls or just partition walls. These are things you need to consider.

    Chances are, there's a better way to move the water heater, or that it would be better to pull up carpet and saw some concrete. The end result would certainly be better than having a raised floor to trip over.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default

    What you really need to do is have professional on-site evaluation and let the professional advise you on what you can realistically do. There is an oft used expression on this forum that "given enough money, nothing is impossible". But certainly there are many things that are too expensive to be practical. This is not to say that what you want to end up with will not be a "doable" thing, but there are so many considerations that have to be taken into account, it is impossible for anyone to give you accurate advise on-line. I think you should start with a plumbing contractor, then perhaps a general contractor.

  4. #4

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    I'm not trying to argue here, just trying to clarify ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by Herk View Post
    Your project seems poorly thought out to me. Building up floors is tacky. Adding more length for hot water to travel isn't practical. Leaving extra wire that's unnecessary in the attic is amateurish. I sympathize with needing more closet space - everybody does, it seems.
    Well, these were my first thoughts on the subject. I asked for this project 6 years ago and hubby has just now agreed that we should do it.

    I will agree that we could cut the excess wire so that it's not just laying up in the attic, but then it wouldn't match the rest of that tangled up mess up there.

    I am considering adding only 7 feet of copper tubing to the hot water tubing and considering that the house is a ranch style and it's no less than 30 feet to the furtherest fixture, I don't think 7 feet will make that much difference.

    Without seeing a floor plan and examining things, I have no idea if you're dealing with bearing walls or just partition walls. These are things you need to consider.
    They are not load bearing walls, that much I know for sure. I am considering taking down a 31" partition wall and enlarging a door opening to hang 2 sliding doors to cover the new pantry opening. Of course, I think that I will need to close in one door, but I'm handy with a trowel and some mud.

    Chances are, there's a better way to move the water heater, or that it would be better to pull up carpet and saw some concrete. The end result would certainly be better than having a raised floor to trip over.
    No carpet, all concrete and tile, but to get a saw in there would require removing the entire HVAC unit, so that is not an option. The raised floor would be inside the pantry, so there's no way to trip over it, it's not even a walk in pantry.

    So again, is there any reason why the hot and cold pipes/tubing has to stick up 18" and 12" respectively? Will it be ok to cut to a height of about 3 inches and use a 90 degree elbow for a straight run of about 7 feet to the hot water heater?

    P. S. This whole house is jerri-rigged, so this will fit right in.
    Last edited by Grandma Lewis; 11-12-2007 at 12:37 PM.
    I used to have a life, now I have grandkids.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    What you really need to do is have professional on-site evaluation and let the professional advise you on what you can realistically do. There is an oft used expression on this forum that "given enough money, nothing is impossible". But certainly there are many things that are too expensive to be practical. This is not to say that what you want to end up with will not be a "doable" thing, but there are so many considerations that have to be taken into account, it is impossible for anyone to give you accurate advise on-line. I think you should start with a plumbing contractor, then perhaps a general contractor.
    Thanks for the reply, but I am married to a general contractor, at least he was in the 80's before the interest rates went sky high. My problem is, he isn't available right now for consults (he's working nights), we see each other about 15 minutes a day. But as long as he's willing, I gotta strike while the iron is hot. So I'm attempting to come up with the how-to's and will present them to him when he has a day off.

    The unfortunate thing is, he was a contractor in another city and we don't know any trade workers here. I respect the professionals too much to call them out just to toss around a few ideas. At least at this point anyway.
    Last edited by Grandma Lewis; 11-12-2007 at 11:05 AM.
    I used to have a life, now I have grandkids.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I think what you are proposing would work. You'd probably want to insulate the pipes.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandma Lewis
    I will agree that we could cut the excess wire so that it's not just laying up in the attic, but then it wouldn't match the rest of that tangled up mess up there.
    Oh, well, go with the decor then. :-)

    I am considering adding only 7 feet of copper tubing to the hot water tubing and considering that the house is a ranch style and it's no less than 30 feet to the furtherest fixture, I don't think 7 feet will make that much difference.
    Probably not - and you can always add an under-counter recirculating pump.

    No carpet, all concrete and tile, but to get a saw in there would require removing the entire HVAC unit, so that is not an option. The raised floor would be inside the pantry, so there's no way to trip over it, it's not even a walk in pantry.
    Oh, I misunderstood about the location of the raised floor - obviously it would do no harm in a pantry. I wonder if it would be possible in that short a distance to simply punch a couple of holes with a hammerdrill large enough to tunnel a pipe through the dirt beneath the slab?

    So again, is there any reason why the hot and cold pipes/tubing has to stick up 18" and 12" respectively? Will it be ok to cut to a height of about 3 inches and use a 90 degree elbow for a straight run of about 7 feet to the how water heater?
    No reason at all. There's no specific code that I know of requiring a height for pipes.

  8. #8

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    Herk,

    Goodness, I didn't mean to step on your toes.
    Last edited by Grandma Lewis; 11-12-2007 at 12:53 PM.
    I used to have a life, now I have grandkids.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    I think what you are proposing would work. You'd probably want to insulate the pipes.
    Thanks Jadnashua, I didn't think that far ahead, but it is a wonderful idea.
    I used to have a life, now I have grandkids.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default copper

    Making copper joints under a concrete floor, regardless of how they are done, (except for flare joints), is very unwise, so putting them under a false floor would be the most desirable way.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandma Lewis
    Goodness, I didn't mean to step on your toes.
    Not at all -- it was just the way you presented the job in the first post. I was imagining stepping over raised floors and wires all over the place and so on. Your explanations cleared a lot up.

  12. #12

    Default We did it!!!

    Just wanted to report back and say thanks for all the helpful advice. We moved the water heater and pipes and installed the shelving this past week and my new pantry is great. I now have over 60 linear feet of shelving for the pantry. We still have the finish work to do, but in the mean time, I am thrilled

    We hired a handy man who is a master plumber to sweat all the pipes and he did a super job. He was totally professional and the job looked so neat and orderly. It was money well spent. The bids were all over the spectrum and we went with the middle bid.

    The false floor is in and turned out great too, it makes it easy to reach the stuff on the top shelf.

    I attempted to attach pictures but I'm not sure they made the transition.

    Anyway, thanks again for the input, it was very helpful
    Last edited by Grandma Lewis; 12-12-2007 at 07:26 PM.
    I used to have a life, now I have grandkids.

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