Have you ever wondered where your water goes after you flush your toilet? No? Well, gather-round children, and I will tell that time honored tale of the birth of the first plumber. Back in the wet times, the earth used to be covered in water. It sucked. Take it from me. Nobody could say “Good morning neighbor! How do you do, and what’s with this weather anyway?” without choking half to death on a pufferfish. Everybody’s basements, waders, and undies were swampier than a sleezy bar in downtown Washington DC in August and the ducks were completely out of control. This had to end. So one day Mario, Nintendo’s first carpenter, said “This has to end!” and he made the world’s first toilet out of parts he found on eBay. “Flush!” went the ducks, and everybody got drunk. And thus ends the tale of the world’s worst bathtub. At least, that’s how I (Drew) heard it.
Anyway, if you haven’t guessed already, we have a few new plumbing features. Now, the water actually goes somewhere besides on our floor! Here’s how we did it.
First, I should point out we have some new sinks and faucets. Take a look!
Yeah, we think they’re pretty cool too. The tiny bathroom sink is probably my favorite, but I think it was probably the hardest to install. The hardware kit it came with required a set of drywall anchors, but seeing as we don’t have any drywall, we had to improvise. We ended up raising the sink about ¾ of an inch above the window sill so the sink screws could mount into a horizontal wall stud. After that, all we had to do was drop in a faucet. The bathroom tub went in very easily by comparison. We had made the shower stall exactly the right size for the tub so all we had to do was slide it into place and drop it onto our custom made tub holder which we then screwed into the floor for stability. All we have to do now is silicone it into place and cover up all of the seams with stainless steel L-channels.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that we also installed our kitchen counter top! We screwed the counter top down to the kitchen cabinets and lined up the two parts to make a flat surface.
The kitchen sink literally just dropped into the hole we cut in our counter top. No problem.
Once we had all of our sinks in place, we got ready to go spelunking under the trailer! We bought a long and skinny drill bit to go through our subfloor so we could line up a hole saw and keep the 1 ¼” holes we were about to drill both inside and outside in a straight line.
Once we had cut a 1 1/4” hole on all the way through the floor under each sink, we were able to install P-traps and run the pipes through the floor. This part was a little tricky because most P-traps made for sinks are not made to go straight down. Drainage pipes in big homes typically terminate into a wall where the pipes then connect up to the main Drain Waste Vent (DWV) stack, but seeing as how we couldn’t do that, we went through the floor.
One challenge we faced was figuring out how to contract the negative air pressure created by water flowing down a sealed pipe. Big homes usually overcome this problem by hooking up the drainage pipes up to a vent that usually comes out of the roof and replaces the lost air with air from the roof. Thankfully, we were able to buy a product for the kitchen sink called a cheat valve. This is a small device that attaches to a pipe and allows air to flow into the pipe and replace the lost air every time water travels down the pipe. We had to find a different solution for the tub. Traditionally, big home tubs also have a p-trap with standing water. Because the p-trap has to go under the tub, most builders place the p trap in the crawlspace or basement. However, because we will be living in the house over winter, the tub will not be able to have a traditional p-trap with standing water because it could freeze and bust the pipe! We found a product called the Hepvo-Pro, which is a waterless P-trap specially made for Rv’s and boats! The Hepvo uses a small rubber membrane that opens to let water and air pass through, but closes after the water stops flowing in order to keep sewer and tank smells out of our house, just like a normal P-trap does. What’s great about this little valve is that it can be mounted outside with risk of freezing, so we placed it under the trailer in line with the rest of the drainage pipes.
Once we got all of the pipes leading down from the sinks and under the trailer, the real work began. Earlier, we put together a 3” pipe with T junctions and pipe converters, and then we mounted it underneath the trailer. All of the drainage pipes would head towards this main pipe and drain out into a water tank or out of a hose and that would be the whole installation! We had to make sure to slope the pipe about 1/8” every foot, which worked out to about an inch total across the width of the trailer.
Once all of the pipe connections were soldered together using pipe solvent, our job was done! We did a few “test pours” to see if water would flow correctly, and we were please when we saw the water we poured through the drains come out of the main pipe without any leaks! Success!