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Adding bathroom - advice on vent + placement needed

Posted by boogerhead (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 16, 08 at 18:39

I am adding a bathroom (see picture below). The current layout is that the septic is on the opposite side of the house as the bathrooms. The existing bathrooms are back to back with both toilets dumping into the 3" vent (in center of wall between 2 bathrooms, straight up through roof) as well as both sinks and bathtubs. Everything has been working well. The kitchen is also tied into this vent from a ways away, but it has a separate vent (kinda' weird that you can hear the water trickling when you are sitting on the pot and someone is doing the dishes!).

I am looking to move 1 of the toilets and 1 of the sinks about 3' away to be on the outside wall (it will still be dumping into the vent in the same location as there is room for this and still keep the necessary slope).

The new bathroom will be conected into the middle of the main sewer pipe near the 45 that is under the house (about 25' from the vent that the other bathrooms dump into). The new sink and shower will also connect there too.

My questions are:

1. When I MOVE the toilet in the existing bathroom can I still dump into the vent in the original location without needing another vent?

2. When I add the new bathroom, will I need a new vent? If yes, what is the size and location?

3. If I need to add a vent for the new bathroom, does it need to go straight up or can I run it vertical in the attic (I want all of the vents in the back of the house, not the front).

Thanks to all that answer!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Adding bathroom - advice on vent + placement needed

Yes, you will need new venting.
Depending on the size of drain pipe for each fixture, you will need to provide for venting within the 'critical distance' from its p-trap.
Drain size Vent Size Critical distance
1 1/4" 1 1/4" 2 1/2 feet
1 1/2" 1 1/4" 3 1/2 feet
2" 1 1/2" 5 feet
3" 2" 6 feet
4" 3" 10 feet

Vent pipes must be inclined at least 45 degrees. For your bathroom, if the layout measurements call for more than one vent, they may be joined in the attic to provide for a single roof penetration.

RE: Adding bathroom - advice on vent + placement needed

When I first read your post and saw the print I had the solution worked out in under a minute however it has taken me the better part of two days to figure out how to explain the solution in words without creating what seems like a long list of contradictions in terms. I hope I have succeeded, if not then we will just have additional questions to resolve.

First of all I would like to point out that in your post you repeatedly stated that the fixtures dumped into vents. Technically speaking that is not true. A vent is a dry pipe that is intended solely for the transfer of air or sewer gasses. Fixtures must discharge into a drain or waste line and under no circumstances may a vent line run horizontal below a point 6" above the flood level rim of the highest fixture served by that vent.

The prohibition against horizontal vents below the flood level rim of the fixtures should be easy to understand. If we have a dry pipe running horizontal and connected to a drain line there is a strong likelihood that solid particulates from the drain line could back flow into the vent line and in time they would build up and block the vent.

The solution to your bathroom is to begin at a point in the wall directly behind your lavatory sink. You will install a sanitary Tee and stub out a waste arm to the sink trap. (Careful here, you must use a Tee because a Wye&1/8bend or combo is prohibited)

From the top of the tee you will install a vertical line up into the attic space and through the roof. This section of line is properly defined as a "Vent"

From the bottom of the tee you will drop a vertical line down below the floor, then turn horizontal and run straightforward to the 3" drain line. The connection at the drain line must be maid by means of a Wye&1/8bend or a Combo (A tee is prohibited here). This line is properly defined as a "Combined waste & vent line". This may seem like silly semantics but I can assure you that the code restrictions for vents or combined waste & vents are much different. By example, a vent may not run horizontal for the reason explained above but as you can see the combined waste & vent does run horizontal. The difference here is that even though the line is primarily serving as a vent for the 3" branch drain line, by configuring it as a combined waste & vent from the sink the line is repeatedly washed out by the discharge from the sink so we need not worry about solid particulates from the 3" line back flowing into the vent line and causing a clog.

All the other fixtures in your new bathroom are within the maximum length requirements from the trap weir to the vent opening so once you have the line from the lavatory installed you will not need any additional venting in this bathroom.

Figuring out the venting was easy but figuring out the required size of the line or the manner of termination is a bit more complex because the International Residential Code is radically different from the Uniform Plumbing Code.

Under the International Residential Code all structures are required to have one "Main Vent" and when additional auxiliary vents are required we may reduce the size of the vent line to the diameter of the line they serve. Understanding that we are venting a 3" branch drain it then stands that the auxiliary vent must be 1-1/2" except, if the total developed length of the vent line exceeds 40 we must increase the diameter by one nominal trade size.

The IRC gives us a number of optional methods for terminating a vent. The preferred method is always to terminate through the roof however the IRC will permit terminating the vent in the attic space (never a good idea), through the wall subject to some rather strict limitations, run horizontally and connect with another vent before going through the roof or we may use an unlimited number of AAVs (air admittance valves) however AAVs should only be used as a last resort.

The table of fixture arm size, maximum length from trap weir to vent opening and required vent size listed in the previous post is based upon the Uniform Plumbing Code however it is not correct. The UPC does not determine the vent size from the drain line size. Under the UPC a vent line size is determined by the DFU (drainage fixture unit) load on the drain line drain line it serves.

Consulting UPC table T7-3 we find the DFU load is:
Watercloset (1.6gpf).3dfu
Total ..6dfu

UPC table T7-5 allows up to 8 dfus on a 1-1/2" line, except if the drain line serves a watercloset the minimum is 2" therefore under the UPC to vent your bathroom group we would be required to run a 2" line as described above.

The UPC does not require a main vent but the combined aggregate cross sectional area of all vents must be equal to or greater than the cross sectional area of the house main drain.

Under the UPC all vents MUST terminate through the roof. Vents may be combined in the attic space before passing through the roof providing that when two or more lines are combined the resultant line size is increased to maintain the total cross sectional area. In addition, under the UPC if any vent line is offset horizontally for a distance greater than 3 horizontal the size of the entire vent line must be increased by one nominal trade size.

Here is a hint. In plumbing any line that runs at an angle of 45deg or greater above horizontal is said to be a vertical line, while all lines that rise at an angle of less than 45degrees are said to be horizontal lines. You may offset to the backside of the roof peak, as you desire without increasing the line size if you start right at the attic floor and make the offset rise at a 45degree angle.

RE: Adding bathroom - advice on vent + placement needed

Lazypup...WOW, thanks for the mini-book, this will help a lot!. I do have several questions now:

"under no circumstances may a vent line run horizontal below a point 6" above the flood level rim of the highest fixture served by that vent."

Does this mean that I can run horizontal vent lines as long as it is at least 6in ABOVE the flood level rim of the highest fixture served by that vent (i.e. once I get into the attic)? Your suggestion of running 45 degrees immediately after I get into the attic will not work as my attic is VERY small. I would need to run about 60-70 degrees after I get into the attic...can I do that?
I'm hoping that I can in fact use a horizontal vent.


RE: Adding bathroom - advice on vent + placement needed

As I stated above, you may have a horizontal offset as you describe however the manner of installing it would depend upon which national model code your local code is patterned after.

If your under the IRC your horizontal offset may be an indefinite length but if the total developed length of the vent from the 3" branch drain under the floor to the vent termination on the roof exceeds 40' you would be required to increase the size of the vent line by one nominal trade size. Given that the IRC would require a 1-1/2" line then if it exceeds 40' you would be required to increase it to 2".

Under the UPC you are required to have a 2" vent but if you have a horizontal offset longer than 3' you would be required to increase the size of the vent line by one nominal trade size, which would make it 3".

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