Finishing a Basement Bathroom – The bathroom vanity and plumbing is installed in this episode of the project series. This project is continued from Part 12.
The bathroom vanity and matching mirror were purchased at Home Depot based on the color and style. The vanity model and mirror are:
Bathroom Vanity Combo
The vanity comes preassembled in a large and somewhat heavy box.
Unpacking the vanity reveals the cabinet base and cultured marble sink.
The vanity cabinet is temporarily set in place by the plumbing connections against the wall. As you can see in the picture below, the open back of the vanity allows the position to be adjusted several inches left or right. The marble vanity top is then laid on top of the cabinet.
Bathroom Vanity Faucet Hookup
The faucet components consist of:
- Speed Connect drain
- Alternate style of metal handles should you not like the white porcelain ones
- Plastic mounting nuts
The faucet is mounted on the sink by inserting it through the holes in the sink.
The faucet is held in place by the two black plastic nuts that thread onto the hot and cold brass shanks (top of photo). The nuts are tightened by hand, no tools required at this point. The next photo is looking up from inside the vanity cabinet.
The drain body is inserted in the bottom of the sink:
The drain is held in place by the gray locknut and tightened by hand. It’s as simple as it looks!
The assembled sink drain:
This part is really cool – the geared end of the popup drain cable that comes with the Speed Connect™ drain system. It reminded me of a speedometer cable on a car. Pulling the lift knob on the faucet rotates the gear and open/closes the popup drain on the sink. It works very well.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, push the popup knob on the faucet all the way down and pull the drain body in the sink up. Then screw the drain cable to the drain body as shown. Check the popup drain operation by working the faucet handle, it’s easy to correct if you don’t get it quite right the first time.
Bathroom Sink Drain Plumbing Installation
The PVC drain plumbing for the sink involves some custom fitting of parts. I begins with a 1-1/2 inch P-trap kit from Home Depot. The purpose of the P-trap is hold water in the U section to form a barrier that blocks sewer gases from exiting the sink drain.
A schematic diagram is on the back of the P-trap package.
Studor Mini Vent and Sink Drain Plumbing
I’m fitting up the drain plumbing in the photo below. The P-trap is attached to the drain body of the sink and a wye section of PVC pipe. A Studor Mini-Vent (also see my article on sewer gas smell for details) prevents the P-trap from getting sucked dry by equalizing the air pressure in the pipe; and it’s required by the Building Code in most areas.
More fitting and measuring of the drain plumbing connections:
Another view of the drain fittings and layout process:
A short 1-1/2 inch section of PVC pipe is cut to join the wye to the main drain line.
The 1-1/2 inch female trap adapter is primed and ready to be glued to the wye.
Studor Mini Vent
The Studor Mini Vent should be installed as high as practical (minimum 4 inches) above the drain line. The Mini Vent threads are sealed with teflon plumbers tape and screws into a 1-1/2 inch PVC female threaded adapter.
The next photo illustrates the progress at this point; Studor Mini Vent is set as high as practical above the horizontal drain line and the 1-1/2 inch female trap adapter is glued into the PVC wye.
P-Trap Fitting and Installation
The trap tube is measured and marked for cutting as it’s too long as you can see in the photo below. The trap tube need only extend inside the female trap adapter an inch or two at most.
The P-trap tube is cut to length in the photo below. Note the assembly sequence of the trap tube I’m holding in my hand:
- The threaded locking ring from the female trap adapter is slid over the trap tube.
- Next, the white compression gasket from the trap adapter is slipped over the trap tube.
Final assembly consists of:
- Inserting the trap tube into the female trap adapter, sliding the white compression gasket into place, and tightening the threaded locking ring. This is the horizontal pipe section facing the wall.
- Tightening the locking ring on the downward facing part of the 90 degree elbow to the U of the P-trap.
These are slip connections making the adjustments easy for proper fit and alignment.
I’ve now reached a major milestone! The bathroom plumbing is complete! I could turn on the water, but No! – I need to install the baseboard first.
The first thing to do is disconnect the P-trap and slide the vanity away from the wall so I can install the baseboard trim in the corner; otherwise I wouldn’t have room to work.
This is why I moved the vanity to install the baseboard in the corner. The baseboard is nailed to the wall studs with white finishing nails. Note the baseboard is fitted exactly against the vanity cabinet. This not only looks professional but helps keep the cabinet moving if bumped.
View of the baseboard fitted against the vanity cabinet.
Hot and Cold Water Faucet Connectors
The braided metal faucet connector is threaded onto the hot and cold water ballcock and the faucet. It’s best to use the shortest connector possible to minimize any chance of kinks in the hose.
The faucet hoses are connected to the brass stems of the faucet. You’ll need a small wrench to tighten the nuts.
The faucet lines are connected to the hot and cold water supply. Lastly, the P-trap is reconnected.
The bathroom plumbing is now complete! Time to turn on the water!! The faucets are opened and the vanity plumbing checked for leaks:
Trying out the shower:
And also flushing the toilet. Everything checks A-OK.
Basement Bathroom Sewage Pump Operation
The running water has to go somewhere, and it empties into the sewage basin to be removed by the sewage pump. I left the 1/2 cover off the basin – this is the part with the vent line – so I could inspect the sewage pump operation and check the PVC sewer lines for leaks. Everything was perfect!
This video shows how the Liberty sewage pump operates: Liberty Sewage Pump in Action
- Water from the bathroom faucet fills the basin.
- The mechanical float switch turns the pump on at the high water level.
- The pump lifts the water out of the basin to the main sewer line overhead.
- The mechanical float switch turns the pump off at the low water level.
- The inline check-valve prevents water from draining back into the basin.
The basin only looks dirty because of some dirt and rainwater that got into it when the house was built and open to the weather. Plastic shavings are floating on the water surface from the time I trimmed the outlet with a Rotozip tool.
The next photo attempts to show the vanity, toilet and shower in a single view. I’ve mounted the toilet paper and towel racks, too.
The vanity light and switch installation and wiring are covered in the Part 14.
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