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Unread 05-19-2019, 05:11 PM   #1
dkalemba
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Shower Drop Ear Elbow for extended heads

Hi All: Working through my Schlueter shower install, and I have a quick question regarding the size of the 1/2" drop ear elbow for the shower. My shower stem is rather long and the head has some mass to it as well. Seems I am asking a lot of the rather small drop ear elbow (sweat) purchased at Home Depot. Are there other options to beef up support? I've searched the web with no luck, but I may not be using the right search criteria. Thanks..... Dave
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Unread 05-19-2019, 05:17 PM   #2
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Welcome, Dave.

If you properly fasten the ears to the wall framing, your drop el should be fine. But, then, I don't know what you consider "rather long" nor "some mass," eh?

Drilling the exit hole in the wallboard and tile and caulking around the gap around the pipe can help reduce the strain on the plumbing elbow.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-19-2019, 07:37 PM   #3
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I’ve seen all copper sweat/sweat drop ear elbows, but they’re somewhat unusual in this area. The usual type I use is brass sweat/threaded (FIP) with a fairly substantial molded mounting ears. I doubt your shower arm is long enough to get enough leverage to damage the elbow. Even with a really long arm and a heavy head, I bet you break the arm at the threading before you’d break the elbow. My suggestion is not to do pull-ups or swing from the thing.
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Unread 05-19-2019, 08:17 PM   #4
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When you attach it to the framing, use deck screws, NOT drywall screws.
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Unread 05-19-2019, 09:55 PM   #5
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Thanks Kman, Gozo, and cx for the replies. My stem is about 12" long and when addding the 6" diameter head the whole thing weights about 1.5lbs. Correct in not doing pull-ups on the stem..... I do have the brass (sweat) drop elbow with the ears, but the ears just seem a bit undersized IMHO. I may check the web for an elbow with a bit more substance. I like your suggestion cx for a tight hole at the finished tile to relive the tension on the threaded elbow. All good ideas and suggestions.... much appreciated.
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Unread 05-20-2019, 07:35 AM   #6
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Something like this with a reinforced mounting base might give you peace of mind. Not sure, though, if this allows for sweat connection on the inlet side. You might have to find a different one that does.

https://www.grainger.com/product/VIE..._vc=IDPPLARECS
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Unread 05-20-2019, 07:55 AM   #7
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Maybe use ss washers when attaching the drop elbow to distribute the load over a larger area of the ears?
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Unread 05-20-2019, 12:23 PM   #8
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Wolfgang, that one would never work. The inlet portion is pointed up. He needs one that points down.

Dave. I've put a good amount of pressure on those elbows while tightening up the shower arm. Always worried about one snapping, but it never happened.

They're actually pretty sturdy, and deck screws hold them in place pretty well.
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Unread 06-19-2019, 09:59 PM   #9
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Dave's Schluter Shower, Knee Wall & Bench

Hi All: After reading many posts, completing the shower framing / plumbing, reading The Kerdi Shower Book, and receiving Schluter materials (Kerdi Board, curb, niche, shower tray, and accessories), it's time to start this thread and seek out the advice of those more experienced than myself. I am competent, but wise enough to seek advise. I will start another thread on my Ditra floor when the time comes.

Simple design to include a knee wall and shower bench. I've attached and numbered the pictures and areas in the picture to simplify references for replies (more pictures to come I'm sure). To address the comments about overkill on the framing, I had fun which makes it totally worth it. Also, the bench plywood will be trimmed to size before securing. Niche framing to come. Large format tile planned with curb, bench and top of knee wall to be fabricated from quartz (same as sink counter). Initial questions:

1) The 2x4 pressure treated curb will be removed in favor of the Kerdi preformed curb thinset in place. How much additional sheet rock should I cut back for the curb and Kerdi Board? The curb will extend 1/2 from the 2x4 in the P1(A) area so I have about another 1/2" for the tile and thinset. I am already close to the door jamb, so looking for suggestions.

2) The new framing is perfectly square/plumb, but the existing framing (especially on the plumb wall) has some imperfections to include slight twisting on some vertical 2x4s. Nothing severe but there are areas where variances reach 1/8" (twist and out of plumb). I've read a fair amount about "wet shimming" which is a Schluter approved method of addressing imperfections in framing, but I have yet to read anything positive in these threads about wet shimming. Seeking opinions of others here.

3) Taking John's advise, I would like to block for future grab bars (P2), but wiring and electrical boxes are at the 36" level. Not sure I have many options here (vertical blocking?).

Thanks in advance for your replies, and I look forward to sharing my progress..... Dave
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Unread 06-20-2019, 05:56 PM   #10
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Dave, just on a whim: You might consider putting fiberglass insulation or rock wool in those walls. Depending on what's on the other side, that might provide some desirable noise dampening.

A Kerdi foam curb would be fine but my preference would be brick pavers bonded to the slab with thinset. Likely cheaper and very sturdy. Same is true for dry pack mud floor vs. foam tray. But both will work.
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Unread 06-20-2019, 06:53 PM   #11
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I haven’t used the preformed curb in a long time, but I recall it being too wide for my liking. I’d skip it in favor of bricks or 2” k-board.

I don’t know that you need to cut back any more drywall. If it’s even in the wet area, seems like it’ll be minimal, so just cover it with Kerdi band.

I’ve never done the wet shimming. Always used the 1/16” drywall shims and a planer to get the framing where I want it to be.

I don’t understand the wet shimming...seems you apply thinset to the entire stud, press the Kerdi board plumb and square, and only tack it in place using minimal screws. You wait til the thinset dries before screwing the sheet in completely, but seems like you might shatter the thinset, leading to voids.
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Unread 06-20-2019, 07:21 PM   #12
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grab bars suggested ADA height of 33-36"

Some drop ears have 2 tabs and some have 3 ears. They do look wimpy...
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Unread 06-20-2019, 10:47 PM   #13
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Wolfgang.... you reminded me of another question I wanted to post, and you are spot on for the added insulation as the other side of the wall is the living room. I will most definitely insulate the wall before the Kerdi Board. The plumb wall is the closet (notice the access door from a prior valve replacement). No need for insulation there.

Thanks all for the replies.... I have not heard bad things about the preformed curb, but I did question it's stability when I ordered. Seems an accidental kick when installing tile will case significant damage. Perhaps masonry curb is a better choice. Key would be to get a masonry product that when Kerdi band is applied will match the width of the knee wall with the Kerdi Board. I don't have a problem with the foam pan. I really like the Kerdi drain and pan combination.
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Unread 06-21-2019, 09:06 AM   #14
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They're always be different ideas about the curb and using the foam versus a mud pan. The kerdi pans are quite expensive and can dent with a knee. but you don't have to lug around heavy bags of cement and sand (or as many) but they don't always conform to your footprint without having to use some mud bed anyway. I like the argument that the sc120 curbs are so wide why use up that footprint space but if it needs to match a knee wall.
I considered the idea of going with the wet mortar behind the wall for getting it flat. but I could not imagine how you would hit everything just perfect without pushing in one spot to much and having to take the panel off and put more mud and try again and again. I spent about 4 hours leveling and planning all my walls using the cardboard shim pack at Home Depot. You need a straight edge that fits on your walls pretty good and a level of course that you trust.
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