How to Create a Rough-In Plumbing Diagram

Whenever you’re starting a new plumbing project, it’s always a good idea to create a rough-in plumbing diagram in order to help you plan the layout of the pipes, valves, and joints. Creating this diagram only takes a few minutes, but it can save you a lot of time and hassle by helping you avoid mistakes caused by poor planning.


1. Get a large piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. Label the top of the paper with the name of your project such as “Bathroom Tub” or “Kitchen Sink.”

2. Use a tape measure to take measurements of the area that you are plumbing. Write the dimensions of this area on your diagram, and do your best to create the rest of the diagram to scale. For example, if your area is 2-feet by 4-feet you can create a scale on your diagram where 1-inch is equal to 6-inches. The point of having a scale is so that you can fit your entire diagram on the paper, while still making it representative of the actual plumbing.

3. Draw lines that represent a rough idea of how to pipes will be laid out. Be sure write a measurement near each line and mark the joints with a circle that goes over the line where a joint will occur.

4. Sketch in the drains, traps, faucets, and anything else that isn’t a pipe or a joint.

5. Measure the area that you are plumbing again and double check your diagram against these measurements in order to make sure that everything will fit.


It’s much better to measure twice and cut once, so make sure that you take your time making your diagram. This will help to avoid wasted material and excess frustration.

Some plumbing jobs are best left to professionals, and if you feel uncomfortable or don’t have the proper tools it’s a good idea to enlist the services of a professional plumber to complete the job.

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