Main supply "T's" off to 2nd floor

This may be area specific.

As a new Inspector in Toronto, I’m trying to be fair and reasonable with the New Home Builder I’m purchasing from.

During one of my site visits I checked through the basement and noticed the main water supply’s connection at the beginning of the distribution system (at the front of the home), tee’s up to the second floor bathroom giving those fixtures a direct cold water feed. The other half of the T is of course feeding the gas water heater ( at the rear).
I don’t really see this as a problem except that I will install a water softening system, and this bathroom’s cold water will not have been processed by the softener, unless I make changes to this arrangement. The pressure should be great, but the water around here is very hard.

Seems an odd/lazy way.
Is this common practice?

Any comments are appreciated.


Mark Ellison

You should have coordinated with your builder and let them know of any special requirements for the plumbing system. If the walls have not been closed in it should not be a be a big deal to rearrange the piping to accommodate your needs.

Thanks David,

I never realized branch service would start before the main supply reaches the “service area” (ie water heater area) of the home.

No biggie to route the pipes for the softener, just another task on the “HoneyDo” list.

More than anything, this was new to me, and I thought the builder was cutting corners.

Thanks for your input.

I agree with you, the main water supply valve at the house should turn off all water to the home. I don’t see that as a special requirement of any kind. The 2003 International Residential Code (which your area may or may not adhere to) says in section P2903.9.1 Each dwelling unit shall be provided with an accessible main shutoff valve near the entrance of the water service. … Additionally, the water service shall be valved at the curb or property line in accordance with local requirements. Seems pretty clear to me, the builder screwed up. I’d push back on him to prove it’s OK to plumb it the way he has.