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What do you think of this plumbing?

Posted by palimpsest (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 29, 10 at 22:21

What do you think of this: It services a toilet added to a very early 19th c. house. The toilet is cantilevered off the landing of the third floor stairwell. There is a toilet in the front corner of the basement (probably the original late 19th early 20th c. location), and there is a 1960s bath added to a wing behind the stairwell. This toilet was added to serve the kids in the 3rd and 4th floor bedrooms, I am assuming. The supply comes out of the 1960s bathroom. There is not a single plumbing pipe in the actual house proper. This toilet in the rear stair ell is the only plumbing other than the basement toilet in the 19th c. part. (there is piping for radiators). There is also one "closet" in the entire house, I cupboard under the separate stairs to the attic.
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

Function trumps aesthetics.

It sure beats the predecessor system.

chamber pot Pictures, Images and Photos
Indoor Plumbing sans Plumbing


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

it is a very low impact way to plumb a 200 year old --then 150--house with solid masonry walls. its also between 2nd and 3rd storey...not a very public area.


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

Nice and accessible for clean-outs, says someone who's been there, done that!

KarinL


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

Here it is, in its little cubicle hanging out over the stairs. The second picture is the basement toilet. That window is right next to the front stoop.

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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

I'm glad you showed that first picture..makes me feel a little better about my exposed plumbing!! In my first floor bathroom I have the drain pipe coming down from the upstairs bathroom...in my upstairs bathroom I have the vent pipe going up through the ceiling into the attic and then out the roof. I've debated boxing the plumbing in...but it would be so close to the toilet that someone would clonk their elbow on it while sitting on the potty. In my upstairs bath, I instead went for the optical illusion effect.....lol...( I know I'm not fooling anyone into thinking it's not there, but it is less of an eyesore now!)

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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

This topic makes me wonder how people feel about exposed plumbing? Eyesore? Charming characteristic of an old home that pre-dates indoor plumbing? Do most people prefer to remodel and enclose the plumbing pipes or do you embrace the look of the sewage line? Would you give up square footage (or elbow room!) just to enclose the piping? Or in some cases, put in a bulkhead?

When hubby and I first saw our home, I thought to myself that enclosing the plumbing was high on my priority list...to me it seemed so primitive (and icky) to see the pipes....now that I've bonded with the house (LOL!) I barely notice it anymore.

Just wondering how other people feel about it...........


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

When I bought my 1908 house, the only closet on the first floor (opposite the basement stairs, and no door) had a toilet for use by the original owners who lived there for fifty years...the vent went up the closet wall, through to the kitchen right next to it, and above a dropped ceiling to join the main stack in the back corner of the house.
My first task after removing the dark brown carpet in the hall, was to remove that toilet so I could have a closet again! It just had a shower curtain for a door. Fortunately, the drain for it made a straight shot in the basement to the main stack, so was easy to remove.
The drain hole is still in the wood floor of the closet, and my siamese uses it to watch me do laundry in the basement--all I have to do is turn around and see her head sticking through the hole, swivelling as I move around! :)


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

I would say it beats having plumbing exposed like this; there was a slooooow leak that we didn't know about until it was too late. *Then* we had exposed plumbing!

I would say, for maintenance purposes and functionality, that is quite practical ;)


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

LOL columbusguy! I can picture my kitties doing the same thing!!!! That would amuse me to no end :)

Yikes about your leak MrsRichards, makes me definitely appreciate the exposed plumbing a little more!...the wood work in that picture is beautiful...hopefully it didn't harm it?


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

My great-Aunt's log house (c. 1810-20 as well) had a full bath where one of the bedrooms had been but it was reached by a tight set of winders that they both fell down several times. They revamped the outhouse and put a toilet in a coat closet right off the kitchen, and then set about changing the stairs and the old full bath.

I am keeping my fingers crossed: that the two lone toilets in odd parts of this house, and the full bath that is situated at the turn of the stairs so the doorway lines up with two steps, one flush and one a step down...will mean that the house stays on the market long enough for me to buy it.


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

jigg - it was quite a mess. Thankfully the cabinets survived pretty well. There are a few water marks but you have to be looking for them. The biggest fear was possibly having to tear them out to repair the drain pipe. Thankfully that did not happen!

I guess we all just have to be happy they decided to put any pluming in at all, lol!


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

I will probably continue along this line and Not introduce any water pipes into the main part of the 1810 house. The smallest bedroom is adjacent to the closet/watercloset on the 3rd floor stairwell and I may cheat and turn that small bedroom into a full bath, so plumbing would intrude into the house at the very back. However the house has 8 rooms plus kitchen, bath, and basement, so that little bedroom could certainly be spared for a bathroom.


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

"I am keeping my fingers crossed: that the two lone toilets in odd parts of this house, and the full bath that is situated at the turn of the stairs so the doorway lines up with two steps, one flush and one a step down...will mean that the house stays on the market long enough for me to buy it."

You may be pretty safe!!!! I think most "normal" people might be hesitant to purchase a home with bathrooms like that........

:) The term "normal" certainly can't be applied to us old house lovers who don't "see" shoddy plumbing, cracked plaster, 1970's wood paneling and shag carpeting..instead we "see" original hardwood floors, deep moldings, good "bones" and craftsmanship that can't be found today and a challenge worth taking on!!!!


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

I was thisclose to having an offer accepted on this house before when another offer came in. That offer fell through and I wonder if it had something to do with the existing full bath and kitchen and the anticipated expense and hassle of of getting a millenium-worthy "cooks kitchen" and "master suite" into this house. (impossible without major demolition).

The main part of the house is a completely intact 19th c. floorplan, with intact finishes and surfaces. Original materials have been removed, but not replaced (probably six fireplaces blocked up) but with the exception of a strip flooring on the third floor and some 1960s doors, it hasn't been remuddled at all. This is a rarity in that neighborhood. And half a block away, because of a variety of factors (name recognition of "status" streets for one) this same house would be worth 50% more. It definitely has location going for it, as well as being a low priced house in a high priced neighborhood (this being very relative, my dad had a heart attack when he looked at prices around here).

This house may go to someone who has the desire to live in the neighborhood and pockets deep enough to make it a 21st c. house. I think this would be a shame, but thats how it is being marketed. But to make the kitchen bigger and the current bath not straddle the steps, the stairs would have to be changed, which means they would have to meet current code, which means that the entire stair ell and 1960s addition would have to essentially be demolished.

I think that the ingeniousness of the 1960s addition makes that worth saving, and the intactness of the 1810s portion makes that worth saving, and learning to live with those imperfections is not a big deal. (and for guests, a big sign that says "Watch your Step!" could suffice)


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

21st century houses are so over-rated! Who really needs indoor plumbing, grounded outlets and level floors anyway? :)

Good luck, it sounds great!! I hope you are able to purchase it!


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plumbing

palimpset, are there sinks in either of those bathrooms that you posted pictures of? Or are they strictly toilet cubicles?

We "stole" the plumbing from the sink in our downstairs bathroom in order to be able to have a washing machine (couldn't afford to have a plumber come in right away and add more plumbing, stealing was our best option!). So now we have a downstairs bathroom/laundry room with no sink (but I do have a huge bottle of hand sanitizer on the back of the toilet!). I was thinking of adding a couple of walls and a door around the potty, so at least the toilet would be contained in it's own private cubby, and not just sitting in the corner of the room next to the dryer. I wasn't sure about doing that without having a sink also in there. I'm still about a year or so off of being able to remodel that bathroom space, but I could easily do a couple of walls and a door myself. Our intention for that area of the house is to break the room up into 2 separate bathrooms, It is a large-ish room, that was originally a bedroom. 1/4 of the space would be a powder room, entering off of foyer (with a sink!), and 3/4 of the space would be turned into a master bathroom (we are in the midst of remodeling our summer kitchen into a master suite and would have the master bath enter from the master bedroom only) Of course, that is the "long range" plan...but we have to live in the here and now until then!

Currently, guests are not allowed in that bathroom/laundry room/dog cage/kitty litterbox/storage/coat closet room! It's a multi-functional space at the moment! LOL..it is for "family" use only!


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

jiggreen- LOL! So very true! You couldn't pay me to live in a new house. I say this as I'm rewiring my old one.... ask me again in a few weeks!

As for the plumbing palimpsest, I (as most old house owners) do think it's charming! And whenever I think that old toilet in my basement is gross (that's #268 on the remodel list, and I'm only on #221 right now!), I think back to the castles I've visited in Germany, where they just sat on a box with a hole in it. Awfully cold things they were, as they usually sat 60 or more feet above the ground- and all the 'waste product' just dropped to the ground below!

I think the pipes are rather charming! Good Luck- sounds like that house needs someone to appreciate it's history and charm.


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

The basement has a sink. The third floor just has a toilet in a closet. They do make that hand washer that fits on the tank so I thought of trying that, but eventually there would a full bathroom on the third floor instead of just the toilet.


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing??

Hmmmm... a handwasher that fits on the tank...I might have to check that out. Of course that would only use cold water though, right? Might just be as efficient (and cheaper!) to stick with the "Germ X" bottle..lol!


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

castles I've visited... where they just sat on a box with a hole in it.

gaarderobe
Garderobe chutes--a three-seater, no less!


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

Here is the link for the toilet tank handwasher. It is cold water but I think the soap and the physical washing is more important than the temperature of the water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tank handwasher


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

Oh wow, that is GREAT! I think I will definitely purchase one of those for the top of my tank, and then go ahead and add the walls to box the potty in. And that might inspire me to get that room in some kind of order instead of it being the hodgepodge that it currently is. Just because I have to live with it being a combo space for a year (or more) doesn't mean I can't make it the best it can be for now!

Thanks so much for sharing that!


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

Debated getting one of those in my last place - the bathroom was miniscule, but I ended up spending way too much on a tiny sink I found online... it did look cuter, but I'm not sure it was any more functional (tho' did have hot water).


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RE: toilet sink

I was just looking inside my toilet tank, trying to get an idea on how that works..it's a great idea! But, I did notice a label on the inside of my toilet tank that says "use of any cleaning product inside this tank voids warranty" . The toilet is a Kohler..and I don't particularly care about the warranty (I've never had to repair a toilet under warranty..lol!) It does make me wonder about the flapper seal and whether or not the use of hand soaps would lead to early deterioration of the flapper. When we first moved in, we had had well problems and were told that the well most likely needed replacing..it kept running dry on us. Well, one day I figured out that the upstairs toilet flapper wasn't sealing properly and we replaced it. It solved the well problem! (the well was then able to recover pressure....turns out we had plenty of water, just no pressure!) I never would have thought that a 4.00 leaky flapper would ALMOST cause us to spend up to 10,000.00 to replace a well that didn't need replacing. I am now kind of neurotic about the flappers on the potties!


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

That sink is really cleaver! The things I learn around here... such a great resource!


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

I did notice a label on the inside of my toilet tank that says "use of any cleaning product inside this tank voids warranty"

Years ago I remember gadgets that mounted on the toilet tank and dispensed small quantities of detergent with each flush. They were supposed to help keep the bowl clean. Haven't paid much attention but they might still be available.

I don't see much difference between those and a little hand soap going into the tank, but maybe I'm missing something.


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RE: What do you think of this plumbing?

I did put in a Kohler toilet in my last place that said something like that. I was also told by the plumber I think, to not use the thing that tinted the water blue.

I wonder how grey water toilets are different then. They are flushed with previously used, and I am assuming soapy, water...is their flapper anything different?


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