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Unread 01-07-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
loudgonzo
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Help with tub to shower conversion

Hi everyone,

Recently started a tub to shower conversion and have decided to use the kerdi shower system with a center drain. We finished removing the tub last night and our first issue is the water lines are routed outside the corner studs. There are three 2x6’s on the back wall, and one 2x6 on the faucet wall, so 4 all together that the lines would have to be routed through including the 90 degreed turn. What is the easiest way to feed these lines through the walls?

Also, what is the average depth the 1 ½” tub drain goes down where we would have to tie into the wider drain to make the drain 2”? The stand in shower on the left should have a 2” drain, but I don’t imagine it ties into the smaller tub drain, I haven’t dug down that far, I’ve only cleaned out the hole around the drain.

Thanks in advance,
lg
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:27 AM   #2
Bodie Powers
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Welcome Leo,

Looks like flexible copper supply lines running out of the back wall? Was that tub added as part of a remodel? What's on the other side of that back wall? Unusual to see flexible on new construction in my neck of the woods.

Is your floor concrete or wood?
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:35 AM   #3
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Here's a closer look..

builders beer can....
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
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All walls are inside walls, the tub is from the original house constructed in '03, on the other side of the back wall is the 2nd bathroom. the floor is concrete slab.

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Unread 01-07-2014, 11:39 AM   #5
Bodie Powers
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You mentioned you're doing a tub to shower conversion......so what happens to that existing shower to the left of the tub alcove?
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Unread 01-07-2014, 11:49 AM   #6
loudgonzo
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we will be pulling that out and turn it into a closet with shelving. We would need to finish the shower first before we take it out to have a functional bathroom in the meantime.

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Unread 01-07-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
Bodie Powers
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Is it possible to reroute the supply in the adjacent room and run it straight through the stud wall between the shower and tub alcove? That's what the original builder should have done instead of drinking beer on the job and taking shortcuts with that flex pipe.

Another possible option would be notching that stud corner and installing rigid copper with the 90 elbow positioned in the notch, covering all the copper with nail plates. In order to do that, you'd need to figure out how to circumvent that vent/drain stack that's positioned between hot & cold supply where they enter the alcove from the adjacent room.

You might also consider building out the tub wet wall, giving you additional room to make the turn.

You might post your situation on terrylove.com/forums/ for expert plumbing advice.
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Unread 01-07-2014, 12:30 PM   #8
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I did think about building out the wall a little bit, that may be the easiest and less troublesome overall, there appears to be enough room to go around the vent stack, so i don't think that will be an issue, those studs are 2x6's.

the 1 1/2" drain has to go to a larger drain somewhere underneath, which is where I have to go to attach the new 2" shower drain correct? Or could I cap the top of the old tub drain and instead tie in to the vent/drain stack on the back wall, which is adapted to 2" before going down below the substrate?

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Unread 01-07-2014, 02:01 PM   #9
Bodie Powers
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Have you checked your local code to see if 1-1/2" is allowed for showers?

Are you certain that 1-1/2" tub drain doesn't tie in to the 2" already? At any rate, yes it may be possible to abandon the existing tub drain and install a new 2" drain, tying it into that 2" in the back wall. Before doing that, you must verify how many DFU's already share that drain....there are limits. Remember, too, you're going to need a trap for your new drain.
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Unread 01-09-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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I got down to where the pipe connects to a 2" trap, it looks like it's threaded and I should be able to unscrew it, any chance these are glued?

I'm waiting for the kerdi kit to arrive in a few days so I can mark where the center drain will go and then start to trench. Do I need the trap right under the drain, or can I use this existing trap and just slope from where the drain will be towards the existing drain (after its changed for a 2")? How much slope per foot?

thanks,
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Unread 01-09-2014, 07:26 PM   #11
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Leo, you can check with your local building department, but I'm pretty sure they're going to want to see that shower drain vertically into the trap and not horizontally.

Don't know if that compression coupling is glued. In my area threaded compression couplings must be accessable/servicable.
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Unread 01-09-2014, 08:40 PM   #12
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Thanks for helping with replies Bodie,

So by the looks of this, I could bust out more concrete towards the center, and basically keep the exact configuration there is now, but with a 2" drain in the center of the alcove.

I would remove the trap, use a 90 or whatever angle needed to change direction towards the center of alcove, add the trap at about the same depth it is now, and then attach 2" drain riser straight up to the shower drain, backfill with dirt/sand and concrete?

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Unread 01-09-2014, 09:20 PM   #13
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Leo, remember to maintain a minimum 1/4" per foot slope in that drain line when you move it. Backfill the trench with sand or gravel up to the bottom of the existing slab, then the concrete patch. Placing a 4" ABS sleeve around the riser will act as a dam when you pour the patch....this will leave you working space to attach your drain later. You can pull the ABS as soon as the 'crete is firm enough to support itself. Also, I recommend you make your riser taller than you think you'll need, then cut it down later...you don't want to leave it too short.

What's your plan on relocating those flex supply pipes?

I noticed what appears to be a vertical capped 1/2" copper pipe next to the trap in the second picture. Any idea why that's there?
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Unread 01-10-2014, 07:45 AM   #14
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Bodie, are you referring maintaining slope on the pipe which will connect the new trap to this existing drain? In other words, do not set the new p trap at the same level as the existing one, the new one should be set higher so that the pipe slopes down to the existing drain.

The existing drain will have the p trap removed, and fittings added so that it turns towards center of alcove and angles upwards towards the new trap. Is there a limit on how sharp the bend can be? As it is now, the drain pipe would need 90 and a 45 to direct it towards center.

The capped pipe next to existing drain is a piece of rebar, I think it was put there to support drain? That thing goes deep, I was only able to wiggle it slightly, it is not attached to drain, just rides up next to drain with a slight gap between both.
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Unread 01-10-2014, 10:42 AM   #15
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Leo, the general rule for drain lines is a maximum of 135 total bend degrees, with 90 degree bends requiring long sweeps. In my area this rule is applied to drain lines that fall beyond the vent; for trap arms, at least in my area, the rules are relaxed somewhat: Long sweep 90's are preferred but sharp 90's are allowed to accommodate short runs in tight areas. In your case, 135 degrees of bends should be OK as long as you maintain a 1/4" slope from the existing drain connection up to your new trap. If you have any questions about the requirements in your area contact, your local code compliance department.

Make sure you glue all buried connections (no compression couplings).
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