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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Florida (winter) Mass (summer)
    Posts
    5

    Default Tracing plumbing in slab home with hidden piping?

    I just bought a home which is slab foundation, block and stucco exterior, and all the plumbing is hidden in the walls.
    The ubiquitous Florida home... Built in 2003. I have the blueprints but there isn't a plumbing plan. I've attached some pictures to help with the explaination.

    I want to put in a whole house sediment and charcoal filter system as well as a water conditioner. I've done these kinds of projects many times before, both for myself and friends (yes, they are still friends ;{)

    The problem is where to tap into the cold water supply?
    The water shutoff is in the front yard (along with the meter) on the right of the house.

    The layout of the house is (right to left) kitchen and master bath share a wall with kitchen sink and toilet on outside right wall. The shower, bath sink, and ice maker on shared wall right to left. A hall between there and rest of fixtures. Then a shared wet wall on left side of house for garage and guest bath. Right to left is the tub/shower, toilet, sink, and in the garage the laundry and lastly the water heater in the far left corner of garage.

    I'd think it would start the cold water run at the water heater and run hot-cold in parallel to opposite side (IE left to right across the house).

    Is there a standard run sequence or one that makes sense for this layout? Is there a way to trace the plumbing? It is PVC. Having all my experience with exposed copper plumbing in a New England cellar, I'm now having to re-learn the mechanics. I've done PVC work before but this slab/hidden stuff has me puzzled.

    Thanks,
    Greg (just watchin the world go by, waitin for a clear picture...)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by watchin; 05-12-2009 at 11:02 AM. Reason: did opps on wh location...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Tracing plumbing in slab home with hidden piping?

    Watchin,
    I live in Florida too and am familiar with your situation. Look at the spigots on the outside of your house. There will be one with a pipe coming out of the ground and up to the spigot (it is probably a straight shot from your meter to your house). This pipe will have a shut off valve on it. The valve is the homeowners way of shutting the water supply off to the whole house without the need to have a special handle to shut it off at the meter. This is where the meter's water supply comes into your house. You can dig down by this spigot and locate the water supply from the meter, tap into that pipe, and by doing so, you will condition the entire house's water supply. Some warnings though: 1-Make sure to shut off the water supply at the meter prior to doing this; 2- Always call before you dig to locate any underground utilities, cable, etc; and 3- Since you will be drinking the conditioned water, make sure you use CPVC (a light yellow color) not white PVC. CPVC is used for potable water.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Florida (winter) Mass (summer)
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Tracing plumbing in slab home with hidden piping?

    Thanks for a quick response... HMMM didn't think about the outside faucets.

    There are 3, one on front right of front door, one on right side back of kitchen sink location, one left side wall near water heater.

    As I recall (summer, I'm in NE) none of these have a valve (other than spigot) but there is the shutoff at the street which only needs a pair of pliers to turn off.

    I use the meter valve to shut off the house when I leave.

    Yeah it's CPVC (thanks for the point though), and as for digging - all the lines come off a pole in the rear of the house, except the water of course. The septic is out the right side to the rear. I called and asked about "dig-safe" they chuckled and said " don't dig in the front yard between the meter and the house, be sure to turn off the valve before you do."

    I'll try the digging by the faucets, that will at least tell me where it enters the building... GOOD POINT. Still need to figure out where it goes from there.

    I really don't want to run lines from outside the house to a filter and conditioner, and exterior mounting doesn't seem right.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Tracing plumbing in slab home with hidden piping?

    A little more info on how I installed mine. I cut the main supply from the meter, elbowed off the supply side, ran the pipe underground toward my garage, elbowed up and punched a hole through the side of my garage.
    Installed the conditioner in the garage, came off the output side of the conditioner, back through the garage wall, ran pipe in same trench back and elbowed onto the pipe that leads to spigot with shut off valve which supplies my house. Now my whole house has conditioned water and there was no need to trace the plumbing.
    Looking at your photos, I'm willing to bet your main supply from meter goes to the right side of your house considering both bath and kitchen are located there. Unfortunately, your garage is on the other side, which would mean that you would have to install conditioner on outside right wall. Hopefully it is north facing, otherwise I would build something over it to protect from sun and heat.
    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Florida (winter) Mass (summer)
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Tracing plumbing in slab home with hidden piping?

    Thanks for the ideas...Unfortunately.... If there is a shutoff at
    the spigot it's either the right side wall or the front.
    Both of which are on the wrong side of the drive for trenching.
    Those are the south and west side of the house, again bad for the outside install, but there's plenty of clear wall space.

    Do they make a water softener that would fit in a lower kitchen cabinet? I guess the bigger question is do they make any noise?
    I've already got what sounds like a diesel power fridge and an
    ice maker that sounds like a rock crusher.

    Back to the drawing board I think....oh well!

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