There are two major systems
in a house, DWV and potable water supply. DWV stands
for drain, waste and vent.
Since fixtures must drain, the DWV system carries
the waste water out of the house to the sewer or septic
system. This is usually accomplished with plastic
pipe known as ABS or PVC. ABS is a black pipe and
PVC a white colored pipe. ABS and PVC make up the
majority of pipe installed in homes today. No hub
cast iron is still used but is is much more expensive.
The DWV pipes ranges from 1½"- 4"
Each fixture needs potable water supply. This is done
using copper, PEX or CPVC (PEX and CPVC are plastic
pipe). The water supply pipes range from 3/8"-
1" in diameter. In the case of both DWV and supply
lines, the plumber must use the appropriate size to
make the system work properly. The supply system has
a main shut off, and each fixture generally has individual
In the planning stages
you will need to sit down with your plumber and plan
out his phase of the job. Good plumbers will be knowledgeable
and be able to give advice about the latest trends,
techniques and products. Once items are agree upon
put them into writing on the specification sheet.
During the planning stages it is a good idea to walk
through the house and discuss the locations for the
main waste runs, and the fixtures. Although the plans
show the locations of the fixtures it's good to mark
their location on the floor.
to make sure that the fixtures are in the correct
position according to the plans.
Make sure that the fixtures, faucets and valves
and materials that are installed are the model and
brand (or equivalent) of those specified in the
your local inspecting body doesn't require a pressure
test on the plumbing system let the plumber know
that you require a test on the DWV system and water
Keep your plumber informed of your schedule. Subcontractors
need to know approximately when they will be needed
on a job. Go to the contracts & scheduling page
for more information.
in advance who will call for the plumbing inspection.
It is better if the plumber coordinates this as
the plumbing will need to be pressurized and or
filled with water for the inspection.
that the materials, fixtures and equipment conform
with the specifications.
sure any changes, additions or fixes are communicated
to the plumber while he is on the job. Call backs
cost time and money.
site daily for progress.