Plumbing is a combination of pipes and valves that carry hot and cold water into the bathroom – typically from the water heater – for use by faucets. In addition, the plumbing includes a P-trap under each sink, where standing water will seal against vent gases, keeping odors out of the house.
When you move a toilet or replace a vanity top with another sink, it’s essential to reroute these traps to their new locations. Failure to do so can lead to leaks and broken connections, as well as foul smells wafting through your home. In this article, I will discuss how to move plumbing for vanity. So let us get started.
A Detailed Stepwise Guide on How to Move Plumbing for Vanity
The vanity is the topmost unit in a bathroom. The outer frame of the cabinet, countertop, and drawers are mounted on this flush to the wall plumbing system, which enables easy pull-out for storage purposes. The cabinets are affixed over studs behind the walls, precisely placing them at the required height. And this precise positioning of the cabinet is possible only with accurate reference to wall studs. So once you think of moving your current vanity closer to the window or changing its position completely, do read these steps carefully.
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STEP 1 : CHECK WALL STUDS
Use a stud finder on both sidewalls and mark the wall studs. Next, check on the side of the vanity base, where the plumber’s tape is wrapped around its top border, to see if it has been fixed to any wall stud or not. I taped to wall studs only on the side of the door jamb, and we can move it over 4″ towards the window without dismantling of walls.
STEP 2 : DETERMINE PLUMBING LINEAR COLLOCATION
If your vanity has closed cabinetry and is not affixed to wall studs on one or more sides, you will have to move the plumbing line too. For this, turn off the water supply and disconnect both hot and cold water lines from the back of the vanity. Now take a measurement (in inches) from the vanity center to each waterline valve with a tape measure.
This is required to determine whether your new placement for vanity falls within the current range of plumbing valves or not. If it doesn’t, you may need professional help in realigning the valves, too, along with re-piping, if required.
STEP 3 : DISASSEMBLE VANITY BASE
If your old placement falls within the range of plumbing valves, you can unscrew the vanity top and base from wall studs. If the tape is wrapped around the vanity top, we can’t move it over 4″ towards the window without dismantling walls. But if it’s taped all along its length and accurately centered on the face of the jamb, you need the additional support of ceiling joists or plywood between posts for structural stability.
For this, un-screw cabinet doors and drawers obstruct access to screws at the unit’s backside. Use a crowbar for leverage and carefully pull out your vanity top off wall studs with the help of another person. Now turn the vanity bottom 180 degrees to achieve more space during the removal process and protect the flooring surface with a blanket or old sheet by placing units onto them; we don’t want any scratches or damages.
At the back of the vanity base, you will find screws (or nails) attached to studs for anchoring it to the wall. Remove these screws/nails by using a drill or screwdriver. Next, take off the front part of the base by separating the countertop from the cabinet. You may have to break the caulking that is used for waterproofing purposes, using a sharp object like a knife or chisel. Now you can easily take off the cabinet and countertop as one piece by lifting it vertically.
STEP 4: REASSEMBLE VANITY BASE AT NEW LOCATION
Now that you have taken your old vanity base entirely apart, it’s time to reassemble it at the new desired location. First, take notice of wall studs behind the new position for vanity. Next, measure the distance between two wall studs and cut plywood or boards (same width) to that length, inserting one under each cabinet side only. This way, you will get the required height for cabinets over the new location of the vanity base.
Now attach plywood strips with screws at both sidewalls behind the vanity bottom part so that it’s suspended above the floor by 4″ without touching the flooring surface. Take care while screwing wide plywood strips because these wide wood pieces may separate inside corner joints; use a sufficient number of screws across joints to avoid this problem. Do not tighten all screws firmly until you are sure that everything is in place properly. Now take off towel bar(s) from the wall and re-fix them on plywood strips you have just attached at the back of the vanity bottom. Again use screws to hook towel bars, screwing into studs for sufficient support.
Now attach vanity top part to plywood strips at the back of base using screws/nails. We recommend 3″ nails instead of screws for attaching vanity top to bottom because drills may get stuck inside narrow cabinet gaps and create a mess there. Also, do not forget to reattach any towel bar(s) you had removed from the wall earlier on plywood strips you have just attached at the back of the vanity bottom before screwing it to plywood. This will keep your new installation solid and steady.
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STEP 5 : REATTACH PLUMBING LINE AND FIX TAPS
Screw backplates supplied with taps on existing hot/cold valves holes at the back of the vanity base, but make sure that tap handles are placed correctly at the front. Now reattach plumbing hoses at valves and tighten them by using a wrench. If you have replaced old taps with new ones, be sure to read the installation instructions that come with them.
After attaching taps, turn on the water supply at the main valve and test for any leaks around joints of tap connectors and valves by using soapy water. If everything looks good, reattach the vanity top to the wall by following Step 2 instructions in reverse order. Finally, re-caulk all joints around the vanity top and screw back the cabinet doors and drawers. You’re done!
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Precautions While Moving Plumbing For Vanity
Plumbing for vanity is considered a delicate part of the home. Handling this with care will ensure that your vanity and the rest of the bathroom do not sustain any damage. Make sure you read these instructions carefully before moving the plumbing.
1)Shut Off Water Supplies: Shut off water supplies on both sides of your vanity. This includes shutting them off at the source level, such as at a mainline or closing valves in walls or floors. You should also shut it off at the fixture level to be safe. The shutoff valves can be found either under the sink or around some parts of your house, depending on how it is set up.
2) Drain Plumbing : Drain all water from within and outside the vanity.
3) Disconnect the Water Lines : Disconnecting the plumbing is simple enough. All you need to do is loosen up the connection using your wrench and then remove it altogether. Make sure that you note whatever positioning they are in so that it will be easier for you when you connect them back. Disconnecting at both ends of the pipe must be done before trying to move either end even an inch. Failure to do so may result in damage or broken parts within your plumbing, which can cost you more than just time and effort getting it fixed.
I hope you have obtained all the information on how to move plumbing for vanity. Ensure all the steps are followed appropriately. Thank you and have a nice day!
Check it out also – How to Replace a Pedestal Sink With a Vanity