When we first started devising and revising the plan for this house, it seemed logical to locate all the plumbing elements in one area to save money. In practical terms, this lead us to locate the upper and lower bathrooms more or less directly on top of each other, with the kitchen and laundry facilities in the same end of the house. This way no large drains or supply plumbing needed to be run long distances.
All of the lower drains are located under the concrete slab – they were installed back in February. This weekend, with the help of my brother-in-law, the upper floor drains, drain-water heat recovery stack and all venting were installed.
Here is a shot of the drain-water heat recovery unit – it is basically a counter-flow heat exchanger of the same sort used by serious beer home-brewers (I have one for that purpose). Your hot-water supply line runs up the drain as hot shower water runs down the drain, as it circulated around the 3″ copper drain pipe the heat is transfered and it recovers about 68% of the heat from the shower waste water, thereby raising the input temperature of the supply water before it goes to the heater – it therefore takes less energy to heat the water.
Working in the dark with headlamps (not recommended, by the way)
Here are some shots of the pex supply lines that Rachel and I installed last weekend. Whoever says the romance is gone after 20 years has never worked with pex before!