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Unread 10-22-2015, 06:23 AM   #1
nelsonkoehn
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City Inspector/ADA Quagmire

I've been asked by a retirement center to convert a tub space to a ADA accessible shower.

The building is Slab On Grade.

I go to Inspections and ask what are all the requirements that need to be met on their end.

Their main requirement is that it has a pvc liner in.

1. Is it even possible to put a liner under a curbless shower?

IF I can put a liner in that means that the slab needs to be completely removed and put back in recessed. The location of the bath is against an outside corner. IMO this is not a good idea to do that to the foundation of a building in our local area. There is also the possibility that the slab is a post-tension.

My thought is to follow method 421 or 422. (Is that the right number?) Can I just score the slab with a saw and use a sds bushing bit and remove the top layer enough to topcoat back in the proper slope. Then all the slab that would need to come out would be the little to move the tub drain to the proper shower drain location. (I think ADA calls for a off-centered drain anyway)

2. What documentation can I present to Inspections that this is a valid install. They did take a copy of these TCNA install methods and are looking at them.

Another requirement was that the slope needs to be less than 1:50. If my math is correct that is flatter than a 1/4" per foot. And that would also be close to, if even, 1/2" drop at the drain.

3. Will the 2" drop to drain be overridden by ADA?

4. Any other route I can take to get this done?
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Unread 10-22-2015, 06:41 AM   #2
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Nelson,

You'll need to provide the folks with information on some of the direct bond methods of shower building. Ask for a variance when you give them the documentation.

No, it's not feasible to use a PVC liner without a curb, and without floating the entire bathroom floor up a couple inches.
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Unread 10-22-2015, 08:57 AM   #3
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Plumbing code requires the slope to be a minimum of 1:48, and more is acceptable. 1:50 does not meet the plumbing code requirement. A wheelchair ramp has to be less than 1:12. The use of a ramp to get into the shower might provide enough height to get the slope to work with one that meets plumbing codes, but you may also need a drain outside of the shower to contain any runoff or spray that got out of the direct shower area. Makes it harder to have a flat surface around the toilet or vanity, as well.
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Unread 10-22-2015, 03:42 PM   #4
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Take the Kerdi installation brochure along with all the technical documents and code certifications. The brochure has all the pictures you need. Just point to the one you'll be building. Show them the UPC and rest of the alphabet soup of certifications. Photo copy sections of the TCNA manual. Use a yellow highlighter to direct their eyes to the appropriate spots on each page. Answer all their questions. Smile a lot. Be your normal cheerful self. Whatever it takes to get their approval.

If I had a dollar for every time.....
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Unread 10-22-2015, 04:23 PM   #5
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ADA calls for a pitch of at least 1/8" but not more than 1/4" per foot. Drain location doesn't matter. As long as the door is placed within the pitched part of the floor you shouldn't have issues with water running out of the shower. the rest of the floor can be flat as usual, though I usually waterproof the whole floor and up the wall a few inches to be safe.

I've dealt with the same nightmare a few times doing showers paid for by the VA in a county that essentially doesn't allow for ADA requirements. I agree with Paul, be nice and smile, but also remember in the end they have no choice but to agree to something that both meets ADA guidelines and doesn't violate proper product use. If it comes to playing hard ball the law is on your side.
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Unread 10-22-2015, 07:21 PM   #6
nelsonkoehn
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Thanks for the response, guys.

It's not that Inspections Dept is so hard to get along with. I know the people on a first name basis, it's a small town here.

This is the response I got from them tho, just to give perspective. "It's taken us years to get everyone on board putting liners in under showers, we're not letting that go."

It's not that I want to forgo the water containment, I just think there is another way to accomplish that.

I think that now that they have had time to look at the TCNA methods I can take in the product sheets and point out the proper qualifications.

On an interesting side note, there was another retirement center just underwent major renovations here. Their showers were full acrylic receptor units, set on a recessed slab area. The 'drain' to the 'curb' was less than 3/4", closer to 1/2", of rise. I asked what they did at that point where the receptor abutted the elevated slab for water containment, and they could not answer.

I don't think the 2" drop is an issue, I can get a variance there. BUT, would any of you have a problem with only 1/2" of water containment in a shower if there were no codes to comply with?
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Unread 10-22-2015, 08:28 PM   #7
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I've done many of them. The key is to make sure that the curtain or door is placed within the slope. Unless there is an unusually high volume of water it will drain plenty fast. Interestingly, in my discussions with some of my european counterparts it seems that in many places across the pond 3-4mm (1/8") slope is the norm.

Some people do barrier free showers for aesthetic reasons and a little extra slope is probably O.K. But if the shower is to meet ADA to much slope may make it harder to use and in some cases may even be dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson
It's taken us years to get everyone on board putting liners in under showers, we're not letting that go."
So what where they doing then? Or is everything in your area SOG?
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Unread 10-22-2015, 10:01 PM   #8
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Bring a 2015 TCNA handbook with you and show them method B421 or B422. Both (curbless) methods are new to 2015. Beyond that you might try to get a specific manufacturer to help you fight the fight. Whichever product that you intend to use.

Send me your email address if you want and I'll email you copies of both methods. But if you're going to city hall it might be better to have a book.
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Unread 10-23-2015, 06:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
So what where they doing then? Or is everything in your area SOG?
Yeah, mostly slab houses here. I've pulled out some galvanized pans, looks like???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim
Bring a 2015 TCNA handbook with you and show them method B421 or B422. Both (curbless) methods are new to 2015.
I pointed out methods 421 and 422 out of a 2014 book. Didn't realize there was a change there in 2015. Does it specifically call out how to handle the curbless spot? If so would definitely be interested.
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Unread 10-23-2015, 07:46 AM   #10
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Maybe they were new in 2014? I'll email them over tonight when I get home if you still need them.
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Unread 10-24-2015, 02:05 AM   #11
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Nelson, 1:50 is another common way of saying 1/4"/ft, they are nearly identical. It will pass every single plumbing inspection in the country.
If you go with less than the 2" dam, most will tie the pan into waterproofing for the whole bathroom floor, including upturned behind the base as in the Kerdi instructions. If they get sticky on wanting the full 2", as some of them occasionally do, you can make the whole bath slope uphill until you get your 2" somewhere in the middle of the bath floor, than gradually back down to the door. another option is floating a gradual ramp in the floor outside the bathroom, under the carpet, to buy yourself a little extra slope. I've done that a couple of times.
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Unread 10-24-2015, 08:27 PM   #12
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As good or better than the handbook, look up and print the ESR report for the product you want to use.

http://www.icc-es.org/Reports/pdf_files/ESR-3474.pdf
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Unread 10-25-2015, 08:01 AM   #13
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In closer scrutiny of method 421, the divot method, it shows a bonded waterproofing again over the top of the divot fill.

That is something I had not noticed prior to this, and I have not done.

What are the thoughts on this?

Wait 3 days to cure main bed, waterproof, fill divot, another 3 days to coat the divot?
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Unread 10-25-2015, 09:15 AM   #14
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It does look like that's what it shows. I have to wonder if that's a typo or not?

I'm not sure what you're thinking for products but the Noble drain flashing has an excellent drawing that shows that the membrane doesn't extend past the divot.

http://noblecompany.com/storage/docs...structions.pdf

If you're wanting to use a liquid then I'm not sure. You might take a look through Redgard's instructions. They don't have a proprietary drain so they may have some instructions for a divot.
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Unread 11-15-2015, 12:48 PM   #15
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You wouldn't paint over the divot mud. You would want to water to make it down to the weep holes.
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