design a residential plumbing system

Designing a plumbing system is one of the most complex aspects of a home. A residential plumbing system is designed to deliver cold and hot water to the different portions of your home while safely removing wastewater and gasses or odors from the house. Thus, your choices when creating your home will also affect the plumbing system.

An efficient design starts with saving energy and water. If you want to design a residential plumbing system that has good functionality, you should know that the system will have to incorporate short runs between fixtures and use state-of-art materials. Plumbers used metal piping to design a residential plumbing system about thirty years ago.

Still, in the modern construction industry, we utilize PEX, PB, or plastic materials for supply lines. Moreover, we use black ACS plastic and white PVC for most drain lines.

Plumbing System Components

As a homeowner or a client, it is essential to know the basics of your residential plumbing components and their functions. Here are the primary elements you should know if you want to design a residential plumbing system.

  • Pipes and Fittings
  • Fixtures
  • Drainage

You Should Design a Residential Plumbing System with Pipes and Fittings

Pipes and fittings are like the skeleton of your system. Thus, if you want to design a residential plumbing system with the best function, you should know what they are and how they function.

Pipes are utilized to transport water from the city lines throughout your house and finally to the rooms and other portions. Fittings are the components that connect each tube to the next one allowing them to change angles and efficiently use areas inside the walls, floors, and ceilings.

If you want to design a residential plumbing system, you should know that each system has two sets of fittings and pipes. One is used for cold water and the other for hot. Additionally, it would be best to utilize PVC material for your plumbing system pipes. However, this can be different from industrial plumbing pipes system.

pipes and fittings

Plumbing System Fixtures

The water that is carried throughout your home with pipes needs to go to an ultimate place. This is where plumbing system fixtures come in. To design a residential plumbing system, you should consider the fixtures like sinks, tubs, showers, dishwashers, heaters, and any other appliances in your house that will require water.

Some of these plumbing fixtures draw water on an as-needed basis, while others draw from pipes with the press of a button or the turn of a handle.

residential plumbing-fixture


Once the circulating water travels through the plumbing pipes and gets out of the fixtures, it needs to be removed from your home. Without a drainage system, your home will gt flooded quickly after a couple of showers. Thus, it’s essential to design a residential plumbing system with functional drainage.

Additionally, you should know that each fixture has its drain connected to the main drainage line, where wastewater will end up in the sewers or your home’s septic system. It is also essential to ensure the drains are appropriately maintained because if they get clogged or blocked, they can cause serious plumbing problems, and you will have to hire a plumber for your plumbing systems.

Those were the components you need to know to design a residential plumbing system. However, these were the basics, and for better understanding, read the following sections of this article or contact us for consultation.

Design a Residential Plumbing System with These Considerations

If you want to design a residential plumbing system for your house, some crucial considerations are to make which are:

  • Plumbing Codes and Regulations
  • Home Design
  • Plumbing Materials and Contractors
  • Water Supply, DWV, and Hot Water

Residential Plumbing Codes and Regulations

Before you start to design a residential plumbing system with its drains and vents, you should follow the local building codes to ensure compliance. These codes and regulations limit the number of fixtures applied to a vent stack, a drainage system in a room, or supply lines and drains must be placed inside the ceilings or walls.

Local construction jurisdictions provide information and requirements as to the codes they follow and give the specifics of where they separate them from the standard regulations. Thus, when you want to design a residential plumbing system, make sure your plan meets codes by checking the local building jurisdiction before you begin the process.

Your Home’s Overall Design

Since water supply is a complete system, it traverses between the areas of your house that require plumbing. This also applies to drain, waste, vent systems which usually run near or alongside the water supply system.

To save materials and make your plumbing system more efficient, consider grouping rooms that need plumbing systems closer together. For example, place a laundry room near the kitchen while placing the bathroom near crucial locations such s bedrooms.

If you design spaces that feature plumbing fixtures in multiple and opposite areas around your home, you should expect to pay more for the installation process and the materials.

Plumbing Materials and Contractors

Contractors and materials that seem to be very cheap at first are more likely to cost more at the end of your projects. If you want to design a residential plumbing system with the best quality, consider buying highly rated plumbing materials. Moreover, it is better to hire professional contractors who come with recommendations.

A fitted joint or a draining system that is not sloped correctly can consume a lot of money and time to be repaired. Avoid these mistakes by including the best quality plumbing materials and contractor costs into your design plans.

DWV, Water Supply, and Hot Water for Your System

Drain, water, vent, water supply, and hot water systems sit side by side inside the ceiling and walls of your home. When you design a residential plumbing system, you must keep these systems in your mind.

One of the practical ways to save energy and water costs is to create a hot-water looping system that continuously moves the water back to the heater. This will reduce the energy amount required to heat the circulating water. Another modern option is to develop a water heating system with solar panels or utilize point-of-use tankless water units.

Design a Residential Plumbing System Diagram

How to Design a Residential Plumbing System?

If you want to design a residential plumbing system for your house, you can follow these simple yet professional steps. However, we highly recommend hiring a plumber or contacting a reliable contractor for your plumbing services.

1:Defining the Place of the Main Stack

Step on of designing a home plumbing system starts with finding the best place to install the main stack, a pipe that passes through the whole house, running from the basement up to the roof. The parts of the main stack pipe include:

  • Top Section for Venting
  • Fixtures Waste Collecting Part in the Middle
  • Toilets Waste Collecting Part in the Lower Section

The drain pipe size in your home plumbing system mainly depends on the distance between the fixture and the stack. If your plumbing fixture is located at a significant distance from the stack pipe, you will have to separate the rising stack from the top and join it to the lower section.

2:Install the Vents and Drains

The second step for designing a residential plumbing system is to install the vents and drains. For each drain pipe size, you will have to use particular bends. For example, in some scenarios, sharp angles can cause clogs.

All fixtures except toilets must feature traps. Toilets are produced and built with traps. Plumbing traps are u-shaped pipes that contain a small amount of water in their bent section and prevent the odors and gases from entering the home.

If your plumbing fixtures are close to the main stack, they can be wet vented, meaning that the pipe is big enough to allow water and air to circulate simultaneously. If your bathroom or kitchen is not close to the main pipe, you will have to add an extra line to the venting system.

3:Submit a Rough-in the Residential Plumbing Diagram

The last step of designing a residential plumbing system is to submit a rough-in system diagram. Then, the plumbing inspector will assess to check if you followed the local building codes. Once the drainage system is designed thoroughly, it is time to go for your home’s plumbing system that provides fresh water, starting with your water heater placement.

After determining the routes of the pipes, you should run them to each grouping of plumbing fixtures. Finally, install the runs from the supply pipes to each plumbing fixture.


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