What are Plumbing Plans?


Plumbing plans are floor-ready layouts of plumbing fixtures, walls, doors, and passages for a house. They show the physical layout of pipes, drains, supports, etc to guide installation.

Why do I need plumbing plans?

A plumber does not have time or resources to install piping during construction. The only way he can know the exact position of the piping during the construction phase is through plans.

Planning also helps to coordinate with other trades like HVAC, electrical, etc. They need to know where their work will intersect.

Plumbing plans are particularly important if you use prefabricated systems which must be properly routed and supported by design. For example, a sloped drain system needs to know the slope and direction of flow.

What type of plumbing plans do I need?

Residential or house plans can be of 2 types: Plan-On Site [POS] or As-Built [ABS].

POS is drawn after the project is built. The contractor comes in, maps the space, takes measurements, and creates a drawing after the fact.

ABS are drawn at the beginning of construction. The contractor is expected to work with drawings that show exactly where everything goes at the start of the project before he breaks ground.

Where can I get plumbing plans for my house?

Plumbing plans are usually easy to come by. In fact, if you have a basic understanding of how plumbing works and can follow simple instructions, you should be able to draft up your own plans based on the diagram from a handily labeled pipe schematic. Most home improvement stores will have these types of diagrams available for customers to use as guides in their home improvement projects. These diagrams walk you through the process of installing new pipes and finishes, even pointing out which parts go where.

For complex projects, or for those who do not want to take on the responsibility themselves, it is possible to hire a professional plumber to draft up plumbing plans specifically for your house. Typically these contractors will create detailed floor plans of your home, showing the placement of all new pipes and finishes.

Do house plans include plumbing?

House plans typically do not include the piping or fixtures themselves, just their orientation and position relative to walls, doors and floors.

How do you read plumbing plans?

Plumbing plans are a set of drawings made on a grid. The horizontal axis shows the direction of flow, and the vertical axis represents the distance from the reference point.

The reference point is simply a fixed starting location in some part of the house. It could be at an outside wall or inside the laundry room, for example.

A plumbing fixture or pipe is represented by a symbol – called a ‘symbol key’ – that looks like the fixture itself.

Each side of the symbol key represents an elevation, i.e. its position in space horizontally relative to the reference point at the bottom of the plan view. The vertical axis shows the distance from the reference point. If you are looking at a plan from above, then the left-side of the symbol is considered part of the ‘front’ elevation.

Pipes are usually shown in straight lines but it depends on whether the floor plan is made from a top view or side view. In top views, they are often shown as straight lines to maintain clarity and reduce visual clutter.

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