How to Read Plumbing Drawings

Blueprints are detailed drawing of plans and materials which are required to construct a building. These are two dimensional plans which are drawn to scale. Blueprints consist of different types of plans e.g. framing plan, first floor plan, roof plan, elevations, windows and door schedules, electrical drawings and plumbing drawings.

Plumbing blueprints include spots and locations of all fixtures and piping. It indicates what type size of fixtures you have to place in the particular spot e.g. it shows the type and size of sink to be placed in a bathroom. The plumbing blueprints also show the exact location of drains, vents and gas pipes of a building.  Knowing the signs of plumbing drawings will help you locate and repair the problems faced in plumbing.


  • 1

    Plumbing symbols

    First of all you need to know about the plumbing symbols on a blueprint. You can learn about the symbols either by searching on the internet or getting information from a book. You can get plumbing related books form the local library or buy from a bookstore in order to know about the several symbols which are used for plumbing on blueprints.

  • 2

    Place the blueprint on a flat surface

    Then you need to open the blueprint and place it on a flat surface such as tables, counters or any other plain surface. Open the blueprint so that you can read the whole page at once. You should have a knowhow about these drawings and should focus on the areas where plumbing is more focused.

  • 3

    Read schedules

    Next you should familiarize yourself with the schedules which come along with blueprints. These schedules will tell you which materials are required for the particular project. You should check out which symbols are used so you can get those materials.

  • 4

    Identify symbols for major fixtures

    After reading the schedule accompanied by the blueprint, you should check out which symbols are assigned to major fixtures. You should check the plumbing symbols for sinks, bathtubs, showers and toilet and then trace the drain lines from them. Remember you can always check from internet or a book for the symbols you are not sure of.

  • 5

    Other symbols

    You should also check out symbols for gas lines, radiant heating water pipes and sewer connections as a plumber needs to know about these things as well.

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