Water Delivery

Getting water to the fixture also has to be considered. Following are some factors to keep in mind.

• Beyond standard water requirements, bathrooms that include a spa tub, whirlpool tub, or high – volume or multihead showers require not only large volumes of water and adequate water pressure, but also different-sized delivery lines. The standard 1 /2-inch (12 mm) pipe used for most plumbing installations may be insufficient for large water demands. Larger tubs and whirl­pools should use a 3/4-inch (20 mm) water supply line with a 3/4-inch (20 mm) iron pipe size valve and bath spout to ensure proper water delivery. If the home relies on a well or cistern for water, you may not be able to accommodate high-water-use fixtures in the design.

• To help cut costs in new construction or remodeling projects, locate the bathroom near another room with plumbing, such as the kitchen, another bathroom, or the laundry room, to take advantage of existing plumbing lines.

• In cold climates, avoid placing water supply pipes on exterior walls if possible. If that cannot be avoided, be sure to insulate the wall well. Those in extremely cold climates may need to consider a double-wall construction to make sure there is space for adequate insulation, so pipes do not freeze and burst.

• New flexible water supply lines make it possible to easily reposition fixtures, such as a sink, along a wall. Before you count on using these, check local codes to make sure they are allowed. Also remember that you also need to relocate the drain.

• It would be a good idea to have a water shut-off valve in or near each bathroom fixture for emergency shut off of water. Many times the only shut-off valve for the home water supply is located in the basement or outside the house, which is a long way to go if you are on the second floor. Some valves are also difficult to access because they are hidden behind panels or doors that are semi-permanently attached. A good location for a valve would be where the water supply enters the area.

• This access is required by IRC building codes and information on the equipment must be left with the homeowner. This requirement is stated in Bathroom Planning Guideline 19. Valves and water lines for showers or tubs that are permanently concealed behind walls or tile will require a major excavation and much expense if these lines need to be accessed. Cleverly disguised doors or removable tiles can serve as easy access as long as the consumer is aware of the panel and can easily open it (see Figure 2.10).