New Bathroom near breaker panel


Old 05-05-04, 10:58 AM
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Lightbulb New Bathroom near breaker panel

I just won the bid on a HUD home in Spokane WA and start my little fixer upper project in 6 weeks. My wife and I figure the best way to increase the value is to add 2 bedrooms and a bathroom in the basement.

The best spot for the bathroom would be directly under the main floor bathroom, however the breaker panel is right there. The sewer drain pipes are actually directly in front of the panel about 3-4 feet from the wall. There is a cleanout right at floor level before it enters the slab.

From my understanding I cannot have the breaker panel in the bathroom. So I plan to have a tiny "hallway" that holds the breaker panel, and then take an adjacent closet combined with the rest of the proposed bathroom area and place a small bathroom there.

I plan to put a shower, toilet, and sink. One of the three will be around 8-9 feet away from the sewer line where it drops into the slab. The other two will be about 4-5 feet. I am a little unsure how all the plumbing will have to be hooked up, and the ceilings are already a little low (7'-6" to 7'-8" or so), adding another 6" to the floor might be too much.

Is hacking up the slab a bad idea, or the only option?
The drain pipes all have to slope 1/4" per foot is that correct?
What do I have to do for the vent pipes?

(I understand what the vent pipes are for but have no idea about the code. I usually do work where the stuff is just being fixed/replaced not just being installed, and never paid much attention.)

I will be going to the house tomorrow evening to get measurements/pictures for creating the plans to get the required permits.

Thanks for any comments or ideas you have on the project, let me know if I need to provide more info on anything.
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Old 05-05-04, 09:41 PM
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Just as a word of warning. In order to have bedrooms in a basement, you must have at least one door opening, and one window as a way of egress in the event of fire. Casement windows do not apply. They must be sized according to local codes in regards to the dimensions required by law to get out of window in case of fire.

Venting is going to be the hardest part of your project, you need to find a stack that is not tied into from above that basement level to the roof. Raising the floor will not add the value your looking for to that basement. It definitely hinders before helping.

Proper pitch is 1/8" to 1/4" per foot. All vents on your fixtures can tie together at 42" and run as one pipe, but you need confirmation of that system by advice of a licensed plumber in your area.

Take pictures and load them at and provide the url link on this thread so that we can view your situation more clearly.
Old 05-06-04, 05:42 AM
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When you plan it out on paper, you must have a working clearance around the breaker panel. Basically an area 30" or the width of the panel box if wider, 36" deep and 72" tall. Nothing can enter this area, such as a swinging door. This is per NEC.

Good luck.
Old 05-06-04, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by brian22222
Is hacking up the slab a bad idea, or the only option?
Actually it would be the last optiion I would consider for this purpose. Far easier and cheaper to use a macerating toilet, and tie the lavy & shower into it.

With a macerating toilet, there's no need to tear up the concrete floor, no vent is needed, you only need only install a 3/4 inch drain line to the existing sewer and, no floor height is lost; it sits right on the floor.

You can get a Santi-Plus for $962 (on-line) shipped to your door & it can be installed in only one day. (Can't hire a plumber to install the plumbing and sump for a conventional basement bathroom for that price.)

Here are three websites that offer more information:

Good intro of macerating toilets
Saniflo website
On-line dealer with system descriptions and prices
Old 05-06-04, 10:07 AM
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Mechanical systems will never outlast gravity based systems.

Unknowing users of systems as the above described can jam and/or break pumps such as these if the wrong items are flushed down. Gravity systems are more forgiving in these cases.

Mechanical systems are not designed with true principle for the sake of user. Only in rare cases will I recommend a system such as these, in a worst case scenario due to certain limitations relating to the house. To get around tearing up a concrete floor and not installing vents is not found in any plumbing code book.

Enigma-2, if you make a point of quoting my words, I will delete your posting instantly. There are many forum board options on this system, and that is one that serves absolutely no benefit to the reader, the original thread starter, and those who chime in on thier personal experiences. We appreciate your advice, and the intent for all is to do our best to give towards a good cause.

Keep up the good work
Old 05-06-04, 10:23 AM
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macerating toilet / venting

macerating toilet

I will look into the macerating toilet a bit, space is tight, there isnt much room behind a wall if that is where the pump goes. My concern with that toilet is maybe extra maintenance. I will have tenants in there one day and do not want anything that isn't industrial strength.

I am not afraid to do a big job, this whole project is a big job to be honest. I am going for dollars spent plus time spent versus increase in value. If It takes a few more days of work, but then the bathroom looks like it was meant to go there versus some raised floor design, or goofy looking toilet base that gets people asking questions, then I think that increase in value will be worth it. Of course there is a limit to how much time can be spent, but I dont think the effort of knocking a hole in the floor is to that point from what I can tell anyway (keep in mind this is before I have ever done it ).

I am more concerned about things like will I damage the entire slab if I put holes in it, or will I create a crack that runs the entire floor, or is the sewer pipe running right inside the slab and force me to dig a hole outside the foundation and start over from there. These kinds of things that add much time to the project or damage to the house ar what I want to avoid.


Dunbar- I will be adding two egress windows, gunna get permits and go over the design plans with the permit guys, the last thing I want is not to be able to sell the house one day without major repairs.

Quote: Proper pitch is 1/8" to 1/4" per foot. All vents on your fixtures can tie together at 42" and run as one pipe, but you need confirmation of that system by advice of a licensed plumber in your area.

at 42"... does this mean 42" off the floor, or 42" above the highest overflow or something else? I dont quite understand exactly what I have to do. The house has a couple of rooms in what would have been the attic, but no plumbing up there. So I need to get the vent probably running up alongside the other waste line to a point above the plumbing on the main floor where the vent can then be tied in? Is this correct?

Thanks for all the great comments, I will be looking at it some more in the next week or two. I will be drawing up plans to go get the permits and reading books about the entire basement project. I welcome any further comments and stuff I should consider.
Old 05-06-04, 11:32 AM
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Take a broad picture of your situation and I will produce a line sketch of what would be your best way to vent the system.
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