Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book review: Stanley Complete Plumbing

As a departure from our usual entries detailing our adventures with plaster and trim we thought we would share a review of a book we've found to be quite useful, Stanley: Complete Plumbing.

This book is a great reference on many aspects of plumbing. These include basic concepts such as how to replace a faucet or toilet to more advanced topics like venting and in general how the plumbing in your house works.
We originally bought this book before tackling the replacement of our bathtub/surround in our Calgary condo. This job required us to move the tub faucet up from its original location because the new tub was deeper than the old one. The Stanley book helped us learn the basics of how to work with copper pipe (soldering) so that we could complete this task.
This book has been especially useful for the 2 bathroom renovations we just completed, which both required roughing in from scratch. In the basement bathroom, we hired our neighbor (who also happens to be a contractor) to do the rough in since busting up concrete and connecting to a main drain were outside of our comfort zone. Even though we didn't do the rough in, having the book was a good resource for us to understand what the rough in would entail. This is useful when trying to do budget conscious design (e.g. plan bathroom to be near the stack and existing water supplies if possible, take advantage of existing venting where possible)
After watching the basement bathroom be roughed in and seeing that it really did follow what the book said, we tackled the upstairs bathroom rough in ourselves with the aid of this handy resource. The book covers basic bathroom rough in topics like how to lay out the pipes and how far fixtures need to be from each other. It also covers less expected topics like how to reinforce your floor joists when moving the toilet (the toilet requires a 3 inch drain line which requires care when run through joists).
For handy home owners wanting to develop their skills at plumbing this book is a great resource. It is also a good resource for home owners that want to be informed about how the plumbing in their house works (or should work if you watching someone else install it).

small note: we are not getting money from the authors/sellers of this book.

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