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Thread: Moving toilet 3 inches if easy access?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Williamsem's Avatar
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    Default Moving toilet 3 inches if easy access?

    We have a small powder room that is getting a face lift with the kitchen. I decided on the Toto Aquia II. I'd like to move the toilet 3 inches, especially with the narrow Toto going in. The wall is only 64 inches long with the flange centered 20.25 inches from the wall. The current wide toilet with 24 inch vanity feels a bit lopsided already, with 40 inches for the toilet area. With the Toto I think it will look odd, though if I move it over 3 inches I can put a 30 inch vanity in (it would fit without moving the toilet, but there would be roughly 6 inches from vanity to toilet and 12 inches toilet to wall).

    We are taking up the floor to install cork tiles, so there will likely be subfloor work needed. There is a utility room in the basement directly below the powder room with open ceiling. The pipe is PVC and runs parallel to the floor joist.

    Is this more of a headache than it's worth? It seems like this would be the ideal set up for a relatively easy move, but is it hard/labor intensive? I read a lot of questions about difficult moves, but have no idea how expensive something like this situation might be.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Code requires at least 15" OC to the sides of the toilet centerline. And, you'll find that sometimes feels cramped. As long as you have at least that amount, moving it is all aesthetic. Depending on the type of pipe involved, it may be easy to move.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    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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    It would depend on much pipe you have to work with. Installing such a small offset might be a bigger challenge than we could guess without actually seeing the drain.

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    DIY Junior Member Williamsem's Avatar
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    To me, with no experience whatsoever, it looks promising. But I have no idea. I don't want to even bother the GC by asking if it's going to cost a lot, but if it's likely to be inexpensive and not add too much time I'd get a quote on adding it to the contract. I would be going to the right in the picture (I think, it's showing up rotated oddly, it would move toward the larger pipe side)

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    Last edited by Williamsem; 03-17-2013 at 03:34 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Moving the plumbing in this looks easy...patching the floor will take longer. The most expensive material will likely be the fittings, but in the scheme of things, it's going to be a lot less than the labor. I'm no good at estimating what a pro would charge, and I work a lot slower than someone who does it every day, so I'm not a good judge.
    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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    I'm not sure what else is connected there, but using a heel inlet bend with the heel inlet on the horizontal is strictly prohibited by our plumbing code. Moving the toilet over should be easy, but there is more to be done there than only that.

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    DIY Junior Member Williamsem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    I'm not sure what else is connected there, but using a heel inlet bend with the heel inlet on the horizontal is strictly prohibited by our plumbing code. Moving the toilet over should be easy, but there is more to be done there than only that.
    I'm going to take a guess that you're talking about the part in the middle that goes up to the toilet? It is actually going straight up through the floor. Between the camera angle and the picture getting all twisted when uploading it's very hard to tell, my appologies!

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    No, the piping coming into the bend from the left side of the picture. That is not permitted here.

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsem View Post
    I'm going to take a guess that you're talking about the part in the middle that goes up to the toilet? It is actually going straight up through the floor. Between the camera angle and the picture getting all twisted when uploading it's very hard to tell, my appologies!
    The closet bend (the thing to which your flange attaches) is supposed to connect up on its own to the drainage system, with a vent within a certain distance of the flange. In other words, you can't run waste other than what's coming from the toilet through the closet flange, although they make fittings, like the one you have, that do exactly that. In this case, it's called a heel inlet (to the closet flange). It also looks like maybe there's a San-T on its back further up the line to the left. Definitely verboten under our code here. (I'm not saying that people don't do this kind of work, just that it's not going to pass an inspection, at least in my jurisdiction.)

    A classic example of "just because the fittings fit together doesn't mean they are legal to use like that".
    Last edited by wjcandee; 03-17-2013 at 09:43 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member Williamsem's Avatar
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    Well, that doesn't sound good. I can't tell exactly where it goes because of the metal sheet there, but I would guess maybe the sink. The smaller end of that long pipe extends past that connection all the way to the wall, I would guess it goes to the old washer hook up on th first floor (now in the basement), but can't really tell.

    So, if that doesn't meet code, I would assume that once it's touched it will have to be brought up to code, correct? If that's the case I might have to have that looked at and push off the powder room until we can afford to correct that, sounds expensive. It's right out in the open, I don't want issues if we sell. I wish the inspector had said something when we bought this place.

    Any additional thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Had I not asked I would have been in for one big surprise! The more I know when I have it looked at, hopefully the less likely I'll have sticker shock.

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    As a practical matter, whether you absolutely need it to code or not depends upon what inspections are necessary in your local jurisdiction for the work that you want to do. As you point out, it being not to code can be an issue when you go to sell, although many home inspectors cover their butts by saying that the inspection that they are doing is not to determine compliance with code, but rather something more like functionality, and your own inspector didn't catch the glaring code violation, or didn't take the time to understand what he was looking at.

    I haven't seen the whole system, so I don't know, but it doesn't seem like it would be that much work to run a short extra length of pipe so the two drains didn't merge in the closet bend. I don't see where the venting is in your setup, so there may be other issues as well. However, we shouldn't be talking about too much, at least in the teeny area you showed us, to bring it up to code.

    Just for fun, have a look at the two linked pieces below. They will give you a sense of how it's all supposed to go together, at least in the jurisdictions involved. You might ask your local building department if they have a plumbing guide for homeowners, or if they can recommend one.

    http://www.klickitatcounty.org/build...andout0411.pdf

    http://www.co.lincoln.or.us/planning...mbingguide.pdf
    Last edited by wjcandee; 03-18-2013 at 10:07 AM.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Must depends on where the vent is for the water closet (if there is a proper vent). Without knowing for sure about the other connected drains and vents, we would only be guessing.

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    DIY Junior Member Williamsem's Avatar
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    Just wanted to provide an update for those curious. I decided to just let good enough stand, and bought another 24 inch vanity. The new Toto might look tiny in that space, but I'll adjust. There is so much on my plate with this kitchen remodel I don't want to open that can of worms! At least it's a symmetrical space around the toilet.

    Thanks so much for all the info. It was very helpful to weigh the potential issues with the potential gain.

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