Blog series part 6 – Home construction – Plumbing

The next task we will analyze is plumbing. This is a very important task in new residential construction because plumbing issues often appear late and are very costly to fix. Plumbing is divided into four sub-tasks, which are:

Water Supply: This involves the water pipes that carry the water we drink, bathe with, etc. It also includes the hot water supply.

Drainage: This pertains to the sewage network that we direct into the sewer system. Essentially, this includes the drains for toilets, sinks, washbasins, showers, etc.

Stormwater Management: This network handles rainwater management, including the gutters for roofs, balconies, and gardens. This water typically ends up in the curbside gutter and from there into the drainage system.

Heating: This involves the heating network of the house, which can be underfloor heating, radiators, or fan coils.


1. What kind of water supply pipes should I install?

The widely used pipes for this job are multilayer, copper, and polypropylene pipes. They should definitely be certified for drinking water, and it is recommended to choose a well-known brand to ensure maximum longevity. I recommend multilayer pipes because they offer value for money. They have all the certifications, have a long lifespan, are economical, and can be installed without joints under the floors. Copper pipes are usually not chosen due to the high cost of copper. While polypropylene pipes have avid fans, I personally do not recommend them due to the large number of joints needed for installation.


Image 1: Left: multilayer pipes, center: copper pipes, right: polypropylene pipes


2. What installation method should I choose? 

To answer this, we must first answer another question. Which installation method has the lowest probability of failure? This method is the installation of single-piece pipes to each point of the installation with a water distribution panel (manifold). Practically, this means placing the water distribution panel at one point in the house where the main water supply pipe ends. From there, single-piece pipes run to all the points where water is needed, such as sink faucets, kitchen faucets, balcony taps, etc. The same is done for hot water supply. This way, we have access to the inlet and outlet of each pipe. The part buried under the floor is continuous, thus minimizing the chance of failure. Also, if there is an issue with a pipe, we can isolate it, and the rest of the installation can function normally.

Image 2: Plumbing installation with a manifold


3.  I have seen built-in cisterns and faucets but am afraid to choose them in case they break in the future and I have to demolish the walls

Built-in items are designed to allow all necessary repairs from accessible points without having to demolish anything. Our attention should be on choosing a branded product that will have spare parts available for years.

Image 3: Built-in cistern and built-in bidet faucet


4. What kind of drainage and gutter pipes should I install? 

For drainage and gutter pipes, it is good to use polypropylene pipes with a rubber seal. They ensure durability against minor movements due to expansion, contraction, or even earthquakes. Additionally, we can choose the same pipe with sound insulation. If a drainage or gutter pipe runs through living areas, it would be good to add external sound insulation.


5.  What kind of heating should I install? 

This is a big topic that will be analyzed in a future article. Briefly, in the plumbing work done at this stage, we need to install (for radiators and fan coils) or prepare (for underfloor heating) the heating installation. Everything mentioned about single-piece water supply pipes also applies here. In case we have fireplaces in our new home, the chimneys should be installed at this stage


6. I am afraid that the next teams will hit/break the plumber’s pipes 

When the plumber finishes their work, they should cement over the pipes to protect them from the next teams. Additionally, like with cooling systems, the water supply and heating network should remain under pressure with a manometer to check for leaks.

Image 4: Cementing pipes after plumbing work for protection


7. What else should I pay attention to in plumbing? 

I will not discuss the quality of the work but will mention some tips that, according to my experience, are important.

The first tip is to place the main water valve in an easily accessible spot. If anything happens, you should be able to quickly shut off the water supply to the house. A recommended location is on a balcony, definitely not behind furniture or refrigerators.

The second tip is to carefully plan the positions of the water supply points. Since plumbing work is done at a very early stage of construction, many do not give it due attention. Believe me, a few centimeters can make the difference between success and failure. When you realize it, it will be too late, so you will either pay a lot of money and endure a lot of hassle to fix it, or you will live with the mistake for life.

The third and final tip is to take many photos of the plumbing pipes. At some point, you will definitely need them!

The next stage is electrical work. Read the next blog here.

The above are not technical texts and are intended to simply inform the reader. The MECHA Engineering team has experienced engineers who will guide you surely and scientifically in your technical project needs.

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