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Thread: Toilet distance from main stack? (Canada)

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member K-Rod's Avatar
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    Default Toilet distance from main stack? (Canada)

    Hey Folks, I've been browsing around here for a while and there seems to be lots of great advice so I thought I'd jump in with a question.

    I'm planning a basement reno and I was wondering what (if anything) the code says about how far a toilet can be from the main stack. I've just drawn up a quick sketch and it looks like the ideal place for the toilet is about 10 ft from the 3" main vertical stack. It dissapears under the slab and I'm not sure what direction it goes from there, so for planning purposes right now I'm just assuming I have to get within a foot of the vertical part. (obviously I would confirm this before building anything)

    anyway the green lines are my first rough guess at where the new drains would be placed. Am I in a realistic ballpark here? or is it just too far from the stack? There is a cleanout at the base of the stack oriented at about the 10 o'clock position looking straight down. Would this suggest the sewer line would run back towards kindof the bottom right of the sketch? Which would mean I'd have to re-think my drain situation.
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    Last edited by K-Rod; 12-12-2011 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Added Sketch

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It depends on your local plumbing code.
    The UPC plumbing code requires a vent within fix feet.
    If a lav or shower is close, you can use that to "wet vent" if the pipe is 2" or larger.

    If the stack in your picture is serving as the waste stack for the upstairs plumbing, then it can't be used as a vent. You will need to run a separate vent up through the roof.

    Venting on trap arms
    1.5", 42"
    2.0", 60"
    3.0", 72"
    Last edited by Terry; 12-16-2011 at 12:01 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Also, the drain pipe must slope nominally 1/4" per foot, so, once you start with the trap from the shower or the toilet elbow which will lower the pipe some below the slab, then you must maintain that slope to where you can then attach it to the main drain line. So, it also depends on how deep that existing drain line goes before it turns horizontal to go out to the sewer. Worst case, you may need to pump it from a new basin, but hopefully not.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If the existing stack is a drain for fixtures on the floor above, you will need a separate vent regardless.

    Chances are the the vertical stack turns horizontal right under the slab, so by the time you figure in pitch, you may need to connect elsewhere.

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    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    First thing will be to determine where the horizontal drain to the sewer is. If you're not in an urban area (and even if you are, but things get messier there), likelyhood is that it goes generally towards the main street in front of your house. It might not go straight there, if there are other drains coming in, floor drains, etc, but it will usually go that direction. However, it can do anything... in renovating my row house, we discovered that my stack comes down right at the front wall (where I'd assume it would have a wye to turn the stack out to the street, and pull in the floor drains off the back of the wye), goes towards the back of the house about 6 feet, picks up the floor drains, then goes out the side of the house and ties into a giant terra cotta pipe going down the side of my house. 9"... they call this thing the Pittsburgh 9, apparently almost nobody else used it... but I digress...

    That was a weird situation. Look around your basement, see what else goes into the slab, and where the drain could go. This will not be definitive, but you can get an idea. Open up your cleanout and shine a flashlight down there, see if you can see an elbow at the bottom, and which direction it turns. This may require a small mirror stuck down in there to see. Beware of a Wye at the bottom, where the drain could be going one of two directions.

    If you have a good look down there, see if you can get an idea of how far below the slab the pipe is. Often its only a couple inches below the slab surface to the top of the pipe. If it happens to go over right past your bathroom group, that might be ok (as it should be at least 2 1/2" lower by then), but if not, you're probably out of luck.

    You might have to look into a mascerating toilet or similar system, or rearrange your basement to get the bathroom closer to the stack so you can tie in. You could also look into a rear discharge toilet, if you can hide the pipe in a false wall between the bathroom and the stack. This will handle the toilet and the lav, but if that 2" line shown at the top is for a shower, you'll still have the same problem there... the drain will likely be too low to be able to tie it in.

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    DIY Junior Member K-Rod's Avatar
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    The more I think about it the more I need to make certain where the main runs under the slab. Seems I can work everything backwards from there rather easily. That will be this weekends project.

    Thanks everybody. I'll probably post back with some more diagrams when I get the location figured.

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