Of prime importance in any bathroom are the water delivery and drainage systems, including the water-heating equipment. Many of the activities that take place in the bathroom rely on a dependable and adequate supply of both hot and cold water, so careful consideration should be given to structuring the plumbing system to meet the needs of the client and the fixtures they have chosen. Standing all lathered in a shower and having the water turn icy cold because the hot water ran out is not the most pleasant experience for anyone.
Most water supply systems, either public or private, should not have a difficult time keeping up with the water requirements of a standard bathroom. However, when high water-demanding fixtures like large tubs and multiple-head showers are added to a system, there is a good chance demand can exceed supply, or the water pressure cannot provide the force or timely delivery expected.
Manufacturers’ instructions that accompany products should provide information on water delivery requirements. If there is a problem with water volume, water pressure, or the amount of available hot water, assist your client with investigating ways to remedy these issues to improve the entire home’s water system.
Water quality related to water hardness can also impact water delivery when it leads to minerals clogging the showerheads or filling the water heaters with sediment. Chapter 3, "Environmental and Sustainability Considerations," provides information on hard water and other water concerns, and how to remedy water problems in the home.
In new construction, the plumbing system can be planned with the new bathroom in mind. With today’s new plumbing and connector technologies, plumbing can be placed most anywhere, so do not let it restrict your design. If you are working with a remodeling project, however, two questions must be answered early in the planning process:
FIGURE 2.8 (a) Traditional skylights also aid in venting of excess humidity from showers, (b) Cutaway view of tubular skylight application, Images: VELUXAmerica
1. Which fixture changes are economical to make?
2. How does the present plumbing structure affect plans for changing fixtures and fixture locations?