Start Updating old plumbing

Updating old plumbing

Caution 1: Because you are torching amongst the studs and drywall, be very careful. Buy a heat-resistant cloth at a plumbing store or at The Home Depot -- in the tool area where they sell propane torches -- that you can drape over the studs. Caution 2: Soldering at the valve can damage the ceramic disk inside the valve.

Until 1986, manufacturers used naturally occuring zinc that contained impurities such as lead in the galvanizing process.

That in itself is a powerful reason for replacing the pipes, but there is another.

If the old trap was glued to the old fiberglass stall and had to be cut off -- - or if you are changing the shape of the shower and want to move the drain hole -- install a new drain flange and trap, using ABS (black plastic) pipe. The new trap and drain base are glued into place and the base has been screwed to the new subfloor.

The rotten wood has been removed from the joist and a new joist “sistered” onto the other side.

Usually, this can be done with only minor adjustments to the existing pipes.

Cutting pipe: A stubby pipe cutter lets you cut copper pipe in tight wall spaces. The top pipe, which leads up to the showerhead, will be unsoldered with a torch, rather than cut, to preserve the length of the pipe.

Third of an eight-part series on bathroom remodeling (The first and second parts of this series explain how to demolish your old bathroom.) What would a bathroom remodel be without a little plumbing work?