Installing a Bathroom in Your Basement (Part One)
Posted Jan 02nd 2014 | By:
Adding a bathroom to your basement will be a convenient addition to your room, and it will add resale value to your property.
Depending on where you live, a basement can be a new living area if you spruce it up enough. And in a downtrodden economy, where more families have to make do by allowing relatives to stay with them, having a livable basement will be a bonus. Or you can turn your basement into a theater or game room with the right time and effort. But a crucial aspect in turning your basement into a viable living area is a bathroom.
Installing a bathroom in the basement is not as hard as you think, and you can connect the new pipes to existing plumbing. Be aware that it is a good idea to call a plumber to do the final installations for the plumbing. Contacting a plumber to do the final touches is generally not expensive, and they will also be able to point out any issues before the toilet is used.
It is possible do it entirely on your own, even for those without plumbing or construction experience. If possible, try to construct your new toilet under an above-floor bathroom to connect to the sewer lines. If you are able to do that, you have several options at your disposal.
Installing a Toilet
Physically installing a conventional toilet can be a rough undertaking since you'll have to bust up the concrete floor, install the drain pipe and reapply concrete.
To save yourself the trouble, you can use a macerating toilet instead. It is a toilet that can be installed in just about any area of the house: garage, under the starts, etc. One of the best brands out there is Saniflo. Here is a video of the Saniflo toilet.
It is a toilet that connects to a macerating unit and shreds any waste with a rotator blade, sending any waste into the main pipe system. Installation instructions come with the toilet, but here four basic pipe connections, according to the Saniflo version.
Connection Between the Macerator/Pump and Discharge Toilet
This is where you connect the toilet and macerator to the hose gasket. With macerator pumps, a nut driver and steel clamp will tighten the toilet to the unit.
Connection Between the Tank and Water Supply
In this instance, you would connect the toilet with the water supply feed by opening the shutoff valve.
Connection Between the Macerator/Pump and the Discharge Pipe
A discharge pipe is fed into the main piping system, and this will be the medium between the primary plumbing and the macerating drain pipe. Use the macerator adapter to fit onto the discharge pipe. You can find the macerator port on top of the unit. A gate valve for the discharge would be recommended in case the unit needs to be fixed at a later date.
Connect the Macerator/Pump to the Electrical Outlet
Plug the toilet into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). Once that is finished, flush the toilet to see if there are any leaks.
Other things you'll do include connecting the macerator
unit to the main vent stack inside the house and drilling pilot holes
into the flooring to secure the toilet.
Pros and Cons of Up-Flush Toilets
Up-flush toilets like the macerator is another option so you don't damage your concrete floor to install. But there are ups and downs when using it. During the 70s and 80s, these were toilets that needed frequent repairs, but the technology has improved over time.
On the plus side, they are toilets that are easy to install, and they are the best option in flushing waste up into the main system. The only drawback is that you have to get a sense of the flushing power. How much waste is flushed up into the main system also depends on the size of the home and how far it is going into the main sewer. Contact a local plumber to find the best system to use, and always make sure all of these toilets conform to local codes.
If you want to go for a half bathroom in your basement, stay tuned for my next article on installing a sink.
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