Basement Plumbing - How to Install Plumbing in a Basement
DIY Basement Plumbing just got a whole lot easier!
Basements in many newer homes are built with basic plumbing drains and vent stacks built into the basement. This is commonly called stub-outs or stubs. If you see pvc plumbing pipes that look like they just go into the basement floor and lead nowhere, you may already have basic stubs for plumbing. Stub-out plumbing in a basement could include drains for a toilet, tub and shower drains as well as a bathroom sink drain and a vent stack for the future basement bathroom. Don't worry if you don't know which pipe is for plumbing. We will go over some basic plumbing terms on this page. Pictures and video of basement plumbing will also be included at the bottom of this page as well as links to other helpful plumbing resources for your basement.
If you have an older home or a basement where plumbing stub-outs were not included during construction, you can still add whatever plumbing fixtures you need and tie them into the existing home plumbing. Installing a bathroom with toilet or a shower will require you to break up the concrete to run drain lines and you may have to install an ejector pump to drain the waste. Most important is to have a plan before you start. Draw your plumbing layout and fixtures on the basement floor with chalk, Make a blueprint or whatever you have to do to figure out where the basement plumbing will go.
When installing plumbing it is important to know what codes your area requires. You can usually get this information by calling your local building dept. You may need a licensed plumber to check your work and also to be present during rough-in or final plumbing inspections. Requirements can vary for different areas so be sure you know what is required in your basement before you start.
How Basement Plumbing Works
The main water line coming into your house is the supply line. The supply line will connect to every fixture that requires water in your house and in your basement. The main sewer line that takes all water out of your house after it is used is part of the drain waste plumbing. Once you understand these 2 simple jobs that plumbing does, you should be able to trace your supply and drain waste lines in your basement. Most plumbing pipes in your basement will be visible. You should be able to find the main water valve or inlet where water enters your house. This is cold water and you can follow this pipe to your water heater which is usually in your basement. Cold water goes in and hot water comes out. Now you will have 2 pipes which supply hot and cold water to your house. These supply pipes will usually be made of copper but they could also be galvanized or plastic.
Drain Waste Vent
Installing New Plumbing
Stub-Out: Short lengths of pipe installed during rough-in to which fixtures and drains will eventually be installed.