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Adding An Outdoor Kitchen Or Bar

3 June

Outdoor kitchens and bars have become increasingly popular as homeowners seek to extend their living spaces and enjoy more time outdoors. These outdoor entertaining areas offer convenience and added functionality, making hosting gatherings easier and creating memorable experiences.

However, proper plumbing is crucial to ensure the success and longevity of an outdoor kitchen or bar. This blog post will explore the key considerations and steps in adding plumbing to your outdoor living space to ensure the best outdoor kitchen or bar in your home!

Planning and Permits

Thorough planning and obtaining the necessary permits are essential before any outdoor plumbing project. Working with local authorities is crucial to ensure compliance with building codes and regulations specific to your area. Failing to obtain proper permits can result in costly fines, legal issues, and potential removal of unpermitted work.

Contact your local building department to understand the requirements and procedures for adding plumbing to an outdoor kitchen or bar. They will guide you through the permit application process and provide information on any specific regulations you must follow. It’s important to note that permit requirements may vary depending on your project’s scope and your property’s location.

Outdoor Kitchen And Bbq Area

Water Supply Lines

Running new water supply lines is crucial in adding plumbing to an outdoor kitchen or bar. The process begins by carefully planning the route from the main water line to the desired location of your outdoor fixtures. This involves considering factors such as the distance, terrain, and any obstacles that need to be navigated.

Once the route is established, the next step is to tap into the main water line. A licensed plumbing professional should do this to ensure proper installation and adherence to local building codes. They will safely connect to the main water line and run pipes to your outdoor kitchen or bar area.

When selecting pipe materials for your outdoor water supply lines, choosing options that can withstand the elements and provide long-lasting durability is important. Two commonly used materials are PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) and copper. PEX pipes are flexible, resistant to freezing, and easy to install, making them a popular choice for outdoor applications. On the other hand, copper pipes are known for their strength, stability, and resistance to corrosion, making them another suitable option for outdoor use.

Proper sizing of the water lines is crucial to ensure adequate water pressure and flow for all outdoor kitchen or bar fixtures. A licensed plumber will calculate the appropriate pipe size based on the fixtures’ number, flow rates, and distance from the main water line. This ensures that your outdoor sink, faucet, or other fixtures have sufficient water pressure and flow to function optimally.

Consider strategically placing shutoff valves in your outdoor plumbing system. These valves allow you to easily turn off the water supply to specific fixtures or sections of the system for maintenance or emergencies. Installing shutoff valves at key points allows you to isolate any issues quickly and minimise potential water damage.

Drainage and Waste Lines

Proper installation and maintenance of drainage and waste lines are essential for the efficient functioning of your outdoor kitchen or bar. The process involves connecting fixtures to the main sewer or septic line, ensuring adequate slope for smooth water flow, and proper venting to maintain pressure and prevent odours.

Consider installing grease traps or interceptors to capture grease and solid waste, preventing clogs in the pipes. In cold climates, insulate the pipes to protect against freezing and potential blockages.

Proper outdoor kitchen or bar drainage prevents water pooling and structural damage. Regular maintenance and inspection of the drainage system are crucial to promptly identifying and addressing any issues.

Hire a licensed plumbing professional to handle the installation, ensuring compliance with local codes and regulations for a reliable and long-lasting outdoor plumbing system.

Plumbing for Outdoor Fixtures

When adding plumbing for outdoor kitchen and bar fixtures, several considerations must be considered to ensure proper functionality and longevity. Let’s explore the specific requirements for various outdoor fixtures and how to plan for their installation.

Outdoor Kitchen Area


  • Proper connection of supply lines
  • Adequate sizing of drains for expected water flow
  • Selection of outdoor-rated materials, such as stainless steel or weather-resistant finishes

Ice Makers and Beverage Dispensers

  • Dedicated water lines for reliable supply
  • Drain connections for efficient removal of excess water
  • Placement in proximity to water supply and drainage lines

Outdoor Refrigerators

  • Water lines for built-in ice makers or water dispensers
  • Drainage for condensation to prevent water accumulation
  • Consideration of the unit’s location relative to plumbing lines

Fixture Placement and Plumbing Runs

  • Strategic placement of fixtures to minimise extensive plumbing runs
  • Efficient layout to optimise water supply and drainage connections
  • Consideration of the overall design and functionality of the outdoor kitchen or bar area

Selecting Outdoor-Rated Fixtures

  • Choose fixtures designed for outdoor use to withstand the elements
  • Opt for durable materials like stainless steel or weather-resistant finishes
  • Invest in high-quality fixtures to ensure longevity and reliable performance

Gas Line Installation

Proper gas line installation is crucial for safety and performance if your outdoor kitchen or bar includes gas appliances like grills or fire pits. The process involves tapping into the main gas line and running pipes to the desired location.

When selecting pipe materials, black iron or galvanised steel are commonly used for their strength and durability. Following local safety regulations and codes for outdoor gas line installations is essential to ensure compliance and prevent potential hazards. Hire a licensed and experienced professional to handle the gas line installation, as they have the knowledge and expertise to ensure proper sizing, connections, and testing. They will also be familiar with the specific requirements for your area and can obtain the necessary permits.

When planning the layout of your outdoor kitchen or bar, consider the placement of gas appliances and their proximity to the gas line to minimise the need for extensive piping. Gas appliance ventilation should also be ensured to prevent the build-up of dangerous fumes.

Outdoor Plumbing Maintenance:

Regular maintenance is crucial to maintain your outdoor plumbing system and avoid costly repairs. Here are some key aspects of outdoor plumbing maintenance:

Protecting Pipes and Fixtures:

Safeguard pipes and fixtures from weather elements to prevent damage

Regular Inspections:

  • Conduct regular inspections of your outdoor plumbing to identify potential issues early
  • Check for signs of leaks, clogs, or damage, such as:
  • Visible cracks in pipes or fixtures
  • Corrosion
  • Loose connections
  • Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and costly repairs.

Drainage Maintenance:

If you notice slow drainage or frequent clogs in outdoor drain lines:

Regular cleaning and maintenance of drain lines can prevent build-up and maintain efficient drainage.

Proactive Approach:

  • Stay proactive with outdoor plumbing maintenance to extend the life of your system.
  • Schedule regular inspections and maintenance tasks to catch potential problems early.
  • Keep a close eye on your outdoor plumbing system and address any concerns promptly.
  • By being proactive, you can avoid unexpected disruptions to your outdoor living space and, in the long run, save money on costly repairs.

Budgeting and Hiring Professionals

When planning to add plumbing for an outdoor kitchen or bar, it’s important to establish a realistic budget. The project’s cost will depend on several factors, including the scope of the work, the materials used, and the labour involved.

Large Outdoor Kitchen

Fixture selections can greatly impact the overall cost, with high-end options typically commanding a higher price tag. Pipe materials also play a role in budgeting, with options like copper and PEX varying in cost. Labour rates for plumbing professionals can also affect the total expense, with more complex installations or custom work requiring more time and expertise.

Hiring licensed and insured plumbing professionals ensures a successful and safe outdoor plumbing installation. They have the knowledge, skills, and experience to handle the specific challenges of outdoor plumbing and ensure compliance with local codes and regulations.

When obtaining quotes from plumbing contractors, provide detailed information about your project and ask for itemised estimates to compare costs and services.

Enjoy The Outdoors With Your New Kitchen Or Bar

Adding plumbing for an outdoor kitchen or bar can greatly enhance your outdoor living experience, providing convenience and functionality for entertaining and everyday use. However, proper planning, permitting, and execution are essential for a successful and safe installation.

Understanding the key considerations involved in outdoor plumbing, such as water supply lines, drainage and waste lines, fixture requirements, and gas line installation, can help you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

Remember to prioritise regular maintenance to keep your outdoor plumbing system in top condition and extend its lifespan. When it comes to budgeting and hiring professionals, invest in the services of licensed and insured plumbers with the expertise to ensure a high-quality installation that meets all necessary regulations.

If you live on the Gold Coast and are ready to transform your living space, speak to the local and friendly plumbers at Gold Coast Plumbing Company. We can make your vision a reality, whether you dream of an outdoor kitchen or bar or a beautiful kitchen renovation for your home. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let’s get started on your dream project!