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Unread 06-20-2021, 12:57 PM   #1
Lou_MA
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Help with outdoor shower drainage

Looking for any advice and details how to proceed with outdoor shower drainage. I’m on a septic system and technically, the shower is supposed to tie into the septic.

The main outflow pipe from the house is within 3’ of where the shower will be, and I’ve uncovered that pipe so a plumber can tie into it. Attached photo shows some of that detail, with the bucket marking where the outdoor shower drain will be.

The shower footprint will be about 3’ x 4’, and our soil is very sandy. However, this is right up against the poured concrete foundation. And I’m in Massachusetts so freezing temps in winter are a given.

I need to trench over so 2” pvc could be installed for shower drain but after that - ?? Would Kerdi or Laticrete topical membrane be suitable for shower pan?
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Unread 06-20-2021, 02:10 PM   #2
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Is this to be an enclosed shower, Lou?
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Unread 06-20-2021, 05:53 PM   #3
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Hi CX. No, it’ll be a 3-sided enclosure, with the house siding acting as the 4th side. No roof or covering on the top.

Given that our regulations also prohibit storm water going into the septic, I don’t know whether the lesser sin is to tie into septic for grey water from shower (but probably have storm water enter septic as well), or just have grey water drain into a few inches of crushed rock on the surface.
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Unread 06-20-2021, 08:23 PM   #4
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Well, that sounds like an enclosed shower to me if it has four sides, Lou.

My question was leading to the question of "why bother with waterproofing" on an outdoor shower, but if it's to be enclosed I suppose a fella wants water containment.

So now my question is, "what do you plan to do with the basement window in the bottom of your shower enclosure?"

Unless I were within a code compliance jurisdiction where I couldn't avoid the plumbing inspection, I wouldn't drain my outdoor shower (or that of my customer) into the OSSS. I'd want to run the gray water to daylight. Perhaps there are reasons not to do that where you are, though.

The rainwater catchment would further reinforce my decision to run the gray water somewhere else. Why be filling the septic system (leach field I'm guessing?) with rainwater unnecessarily?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-20-2021, 11:17 PM   #5
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Good question about the window.

Visibility-wise, not an issue to me.

Water exposure-wise, I’m assuming it’s fine since it stands up to storms and the like.

Only concern is with the close quarter splashing from a shower, since the underside of the 2x sole plate of the 1st floor framing is exposed in that window opening, right behind that bottom row of shingles. I was thinking I’d Kerdi-Fix a piece of foam board on the flat to cover it, then slide a metal drip edge over that and under the shingles.

I’m having second thoughts about tying into the septic. Mainly due to how to keep out rainwater. Was instead thinking about excavating 6” or so under shower footprint, grading that spot away from house at 1/4” per foot, placing a piece of pvc shower liner in that area (rolling it up the sides and against the foundation, but leaving it flat at the front), then backfilling with crushed rock.

Any thoughts on that approach? Or would it be better to leave out pvc liner so it could drain straight down into sandy soil? I’m just concerned that then it would be right up against foundation.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 09:43 AM   #6
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You could hook up a 2" pipe to it and tie that in to a perforated pipe and that would spread the water out through the yard or you could hook it up to a 2-in pipe and have that just pop out somewhere in your yard.

If you are going to go perforated then you would want to place geo textile nonwoven fabric in your trench then put your pipe in the fabric and put gravel on top of that then wrap it uplike a burrito and back fill will Graceland place 2" of black dirt on top. That is how we build finch drains
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Unread 06-21-2021, 09:47 AM   #7
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I have frequently made mini-leach fields with 4" perf pipe for gray water drains in my new construction, Shawn. Not sure I know what a "finch" drain is, though.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 02:01 PM   #8
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"French" talk to text I was driving
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Unread 06-21-2021, 03:32 PM   #9
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Change of plans. I uncovered old piping to an unused dry well so I’m going to try and clean / replace / re-use that setup.

That brings up a few new questions for me.

1. The dry well has a knockout for 4” PVC. I came across this drain https://www.homedepot.com/p/OATEY-Ro...5832/100181886. Do I use a p-trap with this?

2. I was going to use dry pack to slope shower floor to drain. But is dry pack suitable for snow / freezing climates?

3. Do I need to use a waterproofing membrane on shower floor? Or will a sloped finished surface direct enough of the water to the drain?
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Unread 06-21-2021, 03:48 PM   #10
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I dunno what a "dry well" might be. You sure you wanna be dumping gray water in it?

1. That's a floor drain, Lou. You are/are not planning to tile this shower receptor?

2. Not as a traditional receptor. If you plan a direct bonded waterproofing membrane, it should be fine. Dry-pack/Deck Mud is not suitable as a wear surface under any conditions.

3. See #1, 2.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 04:48 PM   #11
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CX - a dry well is basically a big pit, located in a lower part of the yard, several feet away from the house. It’s lined with permeable fabric, with several inches of crushed rock on the bottom. A barrel with no bottom and perforated holes on the sides is placed in the pit, more crushed rock fills in between the barrel and pit, and a pvc pipe goes from the shower drain and empties into the barrel. Water then percolates into the soil.

1. I’m planning to tile shower receptor

2. Dry pack would be the substrate for the tile. My plan was to excavate the shower footprint down about 3-4”, and then do a dry pack slope to...some kind of drain.

I’m confused because I don’t know if dry pack is freeze / thaw stable.

And while I’ve done plenty of direct-bonded waterproofing in interior situations, I don’t know what components or methods carry over to an exterior, freeze-thaw climate.

It’s complicated somewhat because this will just be a shower pad, there’s no curb or sides for any waterproofing to lap up onto.
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Unread 06-21-2021, 11:36 PM   #12
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If you cannot keep that dry-pack dry, Lou, I'd not use it in an exterior application in your climate. You may get other opinions on that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-30-2021, 07:33 PM   #13
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Outdoor shower frame is up, next step is getting the floor done.

Shower footprint is excavated down about 8”, although it’s not a consistent depth due to septic outflow pipe running under one half of the shower.

Spoke with my Laticrete rep and hashed out a plan to do a base of several inches of paver base, followed by a 3” mud bed with their 3701 polymer-modified bagged mud, reinforced with welded wire, tied into a bonding flange drain and covered with Laticrete sheet membrane. Everything will be tiled with some leftover 3/4” bluestone I have.

Any thoughts or input on proposed plan?
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Unread 08-30-2021, 09:34 PM   #14
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I figger it'll either work or it won't, Lou, but that's just a guess.

Does look cool.

I am reasonably sure I would have wanted to complete the floor in that application before I assembled the wood enclosure, but looks like that ship has sailed.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-30-2021, 09:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
I am reasonably sure I would have wanted to complete the floor in that application before I assembled the wood enclosure
Why’s that?
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