Running pex through floor joists

Remodeling your bathroom? Read this before running any pipes. We'll show you how to navigate tricky spots, like through the wall and floor. Once you've drawn a plan for new plumbing service, it's important that you also develop a strategy for running the pipes. In a new building or addition where the framing is exposed, this is easy. If you are remodeling, be prepared to make changes in the plan once you've removed the wall covering and flooring.

Replacing finished surfaces after plumbing especially patching walls usually takes several days. A large wall patch—even replacing an entire wall—takes only a little more time than a small patch, so open plenty of space for working. Once you've opened the vent and drain lines, running the supplies—which usually run alongside drain-waste-vent DWV lines—will be relatively easy.

Before you begin, brush up on basic carpentry skills, understand your home's structure, and make sure you know how to install pipe.

It's also a good idea to get your plan approved by the local building department. If you need to run a new stack, assess your framing.

An installation with a toilet must have a 3-inch drain, which can be installed only if the stud wall is made of 2x6s or larger 2-inch pipe can be run through a 2x4 wall.

running pex through floor joists

Remove the wall surface up to the ceiling. Cut a hole with some wiggle room for the new pipe. Cut away a inch by 2-foot section of flooring. Assemble the approved fittings onto the top of the drainpipe.

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Take special care that they face the right direction. The drainpipe should be longer than needed—you can cut it to size from below later. Slip the pipe down through the hole. You may need to cut a hole in the wall of the room above or below to guide the vent pipe up or the drainpipe down. In the attic you may be able to run the vent over to tie into an existing vent.

If not, drill a hole in the attic ceiling and have a roofer install a roof jack for the vent pipe. Anchor the drainpipe with straps. Cut a smaller opening in the ceiling for the vent pipe. Guide the vent pipe up through the hole and into the attic or room above and slip its lower end into the fitting at the floor.

Whenever possible run pipes through holes in the center of framing members. To keep pipes from rattling, line the holes with felt or use wood shims.

Slip a shim under the pipe and tap in until it is firmly in place, but not tight, to allow for expansion. If notches are needed make them as small as possible; they weaken the framing member. Metal plates protect pipes from nails.Any significant plumbing renovation job may require you to run new plumbing lines—whether this means replacing old pipes or running new ones for the first time.

This is often easier said than done because pipes will usually be concealed in wall spaces and covered by finished surfaces. Most often it is easiest to simply run new pipes in the same cavities that contained the old plumbing.

These spaces are already designed to allow for long, unbroken runs for pipes. When using modern plumbing materials, such as PEX tubing that is flexible, this is often the best choice. If the new plumbing plans call for changes in the fixture layout, it may be easier to run them up from the basement if you have one. For example, instead of running a bathtub drain over floor joists, the drain line can be dropped into the basement and connected to the main drain line beneath the joists.

Note: It is never advisable to notch out or cut into floor joists or support beams, as this may weaken the structural integrity of the building. Check with local building codes to determine the proper route for tackling any issues with support beams. These are additional ways to run new plumbing in your home. Remember, it's always easier to work in open spaces than in tight spots inside walls.

The Floor Joist Installation

And if you are ever uncertain about the legitimacy of a plumbing plan, check with local inspectors and city officials to ensure that everything you planned will be up to code.

A chase is a false wall that creates a cavity used to conceal plumbing. The chase can be stacked from floor-to-floor of the home. This allows plumbing to run from the basement to the attic. The chase is most commonly used for running new vent stacks. Similar to the chase is the soffit. Instead of running from floor-to-ceiling, a soffit runs across the top of a wall. Inside pipes can be run vertically to accommodate new plumbing. An unobstructed, unused laundry chute is perfect for running new pipes.

They often run through most of the floors, usually terminating in the basement where connections are easier to make. The chute door can also be left intact and used as an access panel for shut-off valves. A long piece of pipe can be used to check prospective plumbing routes for any obstructions.If you need to run plumbing pipes through your home, it is important that you know what you need and how to do the job without any problems that might cause damage to your walls and floors.

Here is a guide for running the pipes through joists. Make sure that you are a very familiar with the structure of your home. This way you can make a plan for the new plumbing that is easy to follow while being able to locate any existing plumbing lines running through your home. If your installation is connected to a toilet, it is important that you have at least a three inch drain.

This can only be installed if the wall studs are 2x6's or bigger. If they are 2x4's, the pipe will have to be two inches. When you run your pipes through a joist, you will have to be careful with your work. The holes will have to follow a straight line that goes across the floor and has to either go up or go down so the pipe has a slope. You need to make the hole you cut big enough for the pipe to have a little bit of room to wiggle.

This will go through the bottom plate of the room you are in and also through the top of the room that is below you, if you have a two story home or a basement.

running pex through floor joists

When this is complete, you will have to cut out a 10" x 2' section of the floor. The next thing you will do is assemble the fittings and put them on the top of the drainpipe. Make sure they are going in the right direction.

Your drainpipe needs to be somewhat longer than required. That way you can cut it down to the size later. Take the pipe and push it down and through the hole.

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It might turn out that you will need to make a hole in one of the walls in the room above or the room below you in order to guide the venting pipe up to where it needs to go. If the pipes are going up into the attic, you might be able to take the venting pipe over and tie it to the vent that is already there. If you can't do that, try to drill a hole in the ceiling of your attic. You will need to have a roofer come over and use a roof jack for the venting pipe. Take straps that come with the piping and use the straps to anchor your drainpipe.

Now cut an opening in the ceiling for your venting pipe. Take the pipe and push it up the hole and then into your attic or room that is above you. We welcome your comments and suggestions. All information is provided "AS IS. All rights reserved.It looks like you're new here.

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running pex through floor joists

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Need to contact us? December in Radiant Heating. Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2, December I am not a structural engineer I do not know what "too large" is, but I am confident running an air duct through one is too large. I've always liveb by "The Rules of Thirds". You can't drill a hole more than a third of the thickness of a joist in the middle third of the joist.

If you have a 12' span, and the joist is a full 12", you can drill a full 4" hole in the first and last 4'. There is a side to this that I have discussed with inspectors. Therefore, you could drill holes in a larger portion of the joist following the "rules".

Structural I-Joists are another issue. You can drill pretty much anywhere except in the beginning and end of the joist, some distance that I don't remember right now but it is something like the height of the span going on a triangle from the edge of the support outward to an apex. You can not drill in this space because the strength of the joist is in the bearing space and to weaken this area can allow the weight to crush the joist.

Hope that helps. Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5, December edited December DIfferent rules for different parts of the country If in doubt, check with the code authorities or a qualified structural engineer. Borrowed from Heatboy. Gordy Member Posts: 9, Mark is right Those are the guide lines.

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I will add that with TJI joists you actually can make a bigger hole the more you are in the center of a span According to followed manuf.To take advantage of our new, super-fast delivery option, simply select Ground Shipping method in Cart or Checkout.

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Orders with Free Ground Shipping also qualify! More details. Long runs of PEX pipe have to be supported with proper hangers. It is generally recommended to fasten the tubing at every 32 inches when running it alongside a joist and at least every 6 feet if the tubing is supported by beams and running across them. Plastic straps and hangers are recommended but metal supports that are designed for use with plastic tubing can also be used.

Since PEX tubing expands and contacts when water temperature changes, it should be able to easily move in its support. It is also necessary to inspect all of the supports to make sure that there are no sharp edges that could damage the tubing. Vertical runs of PEX tubing should be supported at every floor and at the mid-floor level, or approximately, every ft.

When penetrating metal studs or other rigid surfaces, protect the tubing by using sleeving materials on all the penetrations. Regular nylon suspension pipe clamps may offer an easy and cost effective solution. It is also important to understand that PEX tubing expands and contracts as water temperature in the system changes. Among the products supplied by PexUniverse.

Offer Details: To take advantage of our new, super-fast delivery option, simply select Ground Shipping method in Cart or Checkout. Delivery Location. Please provide your Zip code for delivery estimate. Providing proper support for long runs of PEX tubing?Login or Sign Up. Logging in Remember me. Log in. Forgot password or user name? Posts Latest Activity.

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running pex through floor joists

What is common practice when pulling PEX tubing? That means ruining tons of expensive hole saws. Posibility of compromising wood frame etc etc.

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What do you do? Tags: boredholessleeverequired. As for sleeveing the hole, the IPC says that a "hole is not a hanger" so technically allowing the pex to be supported by the hole drilled is incorrect. Sleeving is a good idea because it not only supports the pipe better but keeps it from creeping when the pipe expands and contracts. We use inexpensive "micky mouse ears". Comment Post Cancel. TGI's are allowed to be drilled out larger the farther away you get from their bearing points.

Amazing the differences in codes. Any one care to stand on a 2x4 8' in the air and bet me which cut from the bottom is going to give way first.Log in or Sign up.

Joined: Jun 8, Location: NJ. I see that a lot of the electrical cable in my 50's home is routed through the joists - is this allowed for plumbing? I assume not as all of the plumbing I see is hung with a gap between the top of the pipe and the joist.

However some of the new lines my plumber put in for the Hot water heater are attached directly to the joist. What is the code for running plumbing lines wrt the joists? The water supply lines are copper - the baseboard are PEX. This would likely fall under the building code. And it entirely depends on the type of floor joists you have. If you have a standard 2x? The issue isn't with the water lines it's with where you drill the holes.

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Doherty PlumbingJun 24, A properly drilled hole will cause minimum degradation of the joist strength. If holes weakened the structure, heavy equipment hauling trailers would not have multiple holes cut in their main frame channels. Thanks guys - I have 2x8 joists - and the holes drilled for the NM cable looks to adhere to those guidelines. I was not aware you could do that.


Joined: Sep 2, Occupation: Retired Systems engineer for defense industry. Location: New England. The vast majority of the strength in any beam is the top and bottom cords.

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Look at an engineered I-joist You must log in or sign up to reply here. Show Ignored Content. Share This Page Tweet. Your name or email address: Do you already have an account? No, create an account now. Yes, my password is: Forgot your password? Reroute metal vent stack. Main line re-routed near electrical panel.