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Isometric Plumbing Drawings

Cooper's picture

Any plumbers out there who can recommend any guides to mastering isometric drawing?  I'm a second year apprentice, but have been doing plumbing for my own projects for the last five years. (All you union plumbers can jump all over me now...)  Seriously though, my night class doesn't get to actually drawing them until later this year or next year. (Currently, we're studying the IPC....yawn....)  I've got a 30-60 right triangle, and have ordered a template, but must admit this is the most confusing part of plumbing so far.  Any tips or books you can recommend?

(post #99816, reply #1 of 8)


Your best bet would be to get your hands on as many existing iso drawings, and study them until they begin to make sense.  Lay some tracing paper over them and use your triangle to duplicate them until you can do it without the existing plan under the paper. 

Honestly, though, I haven't seen many plumbing iso drawings in commercial projects lately.  Most of the plans just use riser diagrams drawn in "2-d", with traps indicated, but nothing to show the angle of tees, etc.  I guess the engineers assume the plumbers know what they're doing now.....


"Brilliance!! That's all I can say- Sheer, unadulterated brilliance!!" Wile E. Coyote- Super Genius

(post #99816, reply #2 of 8)

problem with isometric are , there a thousand ways to plumb a house, no matter how you draw them , there is a very good chance it wont be build that way.


(post #99816, reply #3 of 8)

I've checked and the internet for books, but most are out of print.  There are some CAD stand alones, but most are add-ons for major CAD programs.  I need to know how to draw them to eventually take the Journeyman's test.  I'm actually a remodeling contractor, and the reason I'm in school is to be able to eventually pull my own permits.  (In Ohio you can pull your own permits if you do the work yourself, and you sign an affidavit pledging to live in the property for a year.)  Having a plumbing knowledge and a license will definitely help expand the business, too.  I'm just trying to be procative and stay ahead of my class since the majority of them are Mexican backhoes all day, meanwhile I handle side plumbing jobs, and my own projects as my main source of hands-on training. 

The most difficult part for me is trying to get oriented.  Obviously, when you're looking at the drawing, the pipes come toward you at an angle since water flows downhill.  I get confused how to start.  I suppose you establish a reference point, and draw everything from that point in your mind. 

Edited 11/17/2005 9:14 am ET by Cooper

(post #99816, reply #4 of 8)

In the paint file below, the stack is behind the tub about two feet from the left side.  Since the toilet has to be the first fixture on the branch interval, but can have the lavatory added on through the heel inlet (IPC in Cincy), and the tub can tie in to the other side of the wye that accepts the toilet/lav....what's the best way to draw it?  I know this is a VERY elementary design---I mean, I can put it together in real life, I just don't know how to draw it iso....



Excuse the horrible drawing....

Edited 11/17/2005 9:16 am ET by Cooper

(post #99816, reply #5 of 8)

Paint file:

(post #99816, reply #6 of 8)

Hello Cooper,

If you will send me an email ( check my profile), I'll look through my old engineering and drafting books from the 70's. I'm sure I can find one that will have the info you seek. If so I'll either make you copies of the needed pages or send the book. Give me a few days though to look in the stored boxes also LOL!!! I'm the ultimate pack rat so I'm sure I have something that may help you.

Mike K

"The path we walk, is full of decisions. The direction we choose is the destiny of life." (mikro)

(post #99816, reply #7 of 8)

Try They have isometric and others that you can print on your printer.


(post #99816, reply #8 of 8)

AS I DIYer, I've done isometric plumbing drawings based on dim memories of a mechanical drawing class in HS centuries ago.  I found them very useful in visualizing how the parts go together.  Have you tried tracing over isometric paper?  This is a type of graph paper with an isometric grid already on it, automatically establshing the 120 degree relationship between the two horizontal and one vertical axis.