Moving a Toilet Drain Pipe: 4 Tips

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Moving a toilet drain pipe requires careful planning. There are several circumstances why you would move the toilet drain to another location in the bathroom, reconfiguring the layout to conserve space is one. Whatever your reason, this is a big job, and you need to approach it with care.

Plan the New Slope

As in the original drain pipe you have to provide an adequate slope for your new drain wastage. Before removing the toilet from its place, first you have to plan out a new slope. The minimum recommend slope is a fall of ¼-inch for every 4 feet of straight pipeline and as we are talking about a toilet drain. Not enough slope and gravity will not be able to pull the waste through the line, too great a slope and you have a situation where the liquid waste will outrun the solid waste, thus creating a blockage in a matter of days. So you have to be accurate when planning the slope.

Consider a Pumping Waste System

There is a new system that only requires a small pipe that goes into a pumping system (which is also very small) and then the waste is pumped away. You need only a small pipe and a power source into which you can insert a wall plug. These systems are relatively new, and could be a nice option if repositioning the whole 3-inch drain line is not practical. But to install this system, although it is very easy, it is advisable to call in a professional to make sure the connections to the drainage and the pumping system have been made correctly.

Follow Building Code Regulations

It is very important to consult the local building codes, as the moving of the drain relates to sewage. This depends on the connection of the building to the main sewer line in the street. To be on the safe side, it is highly advisable to consult your local building code officer. Although you aren’t building a new system, you are altering the original piping system approved under the building regulations.

Decide on an Internal or External Extension

You have two options when extend the toilet drain pipe so that you can connect it with the original drain: either to do it internally or to do it externally. When you go for the internal system you have to remove some flooring so that you can access, extend and then hide the piping under the floor. This is a lot of work. If you do it externally the main problem (which is more of an aesthetics problem rather than a plumbing problem) is that you will have a pipe showing. Of course this is less work, but the exposed pipe may be an eyesore.

TIP:Doityourself’s plumbing consultant Mark Vander Sande suggests, “At least have a plumber come and look at it and offer suggestions if you want to do it yourself. This job does require a lot of work and there a lot of factors involved, but it’s not impossible for you to do on your own. Most plumbers will only charge a service call to come and give an estimate or advise you, which may be anywhere from $50 to $100, but the job may cost between $400-500 or more if a plumber did it. It may be worth it to pay for advice if you want to do it on your own, and a good honest plumber may not charge you anything to advise. I wouldn’t, because then if you needed me to come back for other plumbing issues you would remember me and call me.”