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Unread 04-23-2010, 01:25 PM   #1
kh997
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Remodeled shower does not drain property!!

We have recently completed a large bathroom remodel, where we removed our old leaky shower and our whirlpool tub, and turned the space into an 11 x 4 tiled shower. It turned out beutiful. All of the water source is at one end of the shower (overhead rainshower, wall showerhead, four body sprays and a handheld shower) and each can be turned on/off separately or used together.

We wanted the shower to be curbless so there is a 3 ft. opening about 6 feet from the water end. The other end of the shower is intended to just be a "drying-off" area. Now that everything is complete we have discovered that there is so much water pressure (even when using only one water source) that the water starts to "roll" over the hump that was located in the shower floor just before you get to the door opening. Our instincts tell us that we need to have the floor taken out and redone with better sloping and some kind of curb at the opening to the shower, but we are trying to avoid that. We are now considering installing a marble threshold at the highest point on the floor, that would be about 1-1/4" high with the hope that the water will hold at that level and not run over to the dry area, and then of course into the bathroom itself.

Two questions - first, do you think we have a prayer of this doing the job; second, how would you go about attaching the marble threshold over the porcelain tile that is already there (2 x 2 inch)?
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Unread 04-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
ceramictec
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Sorry to hear about your pitch and draining problem.
GPM (Gallons Per Minute) and drain size is critical in a barrier free curb less shower.

drain top height to the top of finished floor is also important.

have you tried looking at a head that puts out less water ?

if I were to attach a threshold to the tile I would use a modified
thinset or for overkill an epoxy.
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Unread 04-23-2010, 01:37 PM   #3
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do you have pictures to post ?
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Unread 04-23-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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Too late now but any chance the old tub drain was 1 1/2" instead of 2"? If it is an 1 1/2" and you can get to it from below, it would be a good thing to change. Probably can't change that unless you can get to it from below and since there was also a shower before it should have been a 2" drain.
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Unread 04-23-2010, 08:10 PM   #5
Davy
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Barlow could be right. Tubs usually have a 1 1/2 inch drain and showers require a 2 inch. If the 1 1/2 was left in place, making the floor with more pitch won't help much because the smaller 1 1/2 pipe is restricting the flow.
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Unread 04-23-2010, 08:29 PM   #6
scuttlebuttrp
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Only time I saw this issue was when the GC tried to cheat and only replaced the last foot of a tub drain with a 2" pipe. Left the rest as 1 1/2" and it almost overflowed. 9 showerheads.

Also how much slope per ft. do you have?
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Unread 04-26-2010, 12:07 PM   #7
kh997
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Smile

The drain is a 2" drain, and the rainshower head is 2.5 GPM. We have other shower heads installed as well, but so far, with just the rainshower head going it overflows.

I know that the shower floor should have sloped 1/4" per foot towards the drain and I don't think it is quite that much - maybe 1/8" per foot. I would attach a picture but the size of my picture is too big for this site, and I haven't figures out how to save the picture any smaller. Maybe someone can give me advise in that department as well!!!

So if I install the 1-1/4" marble threshold directly on top of the highest part of the shower floor, which is about 3 feet from the drain, while that doesn't change my slope, do you think it would help with the drainage issue? And do you think that setting the threshhold using thinset and/or epoxy should be sufficient to hold it?

Thanks for all of the advise/responses. If this doesn't work, it looks like we'll be tearing out the shower floor and jack hammering into the concrete slab to get the proper slope to the drain - which of course, we are trying to avoid.
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Unread 04-26-2010, 12:21 PM   #8
barlow46
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I still think you have a drain problem and not necessarily a slope problem (even though it is less than minimum at 1/8th). How is your drain vented and did you do a flood test before installing the floor tile? Could the drain have discarded materials in it (something falling in)? Do you have an outside (yard) sewer plug that you can remove and watch water release from other fixtures in the bathroom? If the shower floor is standing in water and not draining, that takes the slope factor out of it. Should be just like pulling the plug on a bathtub. Any chance you have a studor vent or is the vent stack for you bath through the roof? I'm bettin' on the drain being blocked or vent not working properly.
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Unread 04-26-2010, 12:24 PM   #9
dhagin
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When you say "overflows", what exactly do you mean? 1 shower head at 2.5 gpm shouldn't overflow a 2" drain, but with 1/8 per foot slope it may overflow past the sloped floor before draining... The curb will help, maybe not enough tho. I'd caulk it in place and test before committing to thinset/epoxy permanence.

Have you snaked the drain line? Is the drain properly vented? An obstruction in the drain or vent line, or an improperly vented drain could slow draining... maybe to the point of "overflowing".
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Unread 04-26-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
kh997
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Correction - the rainshower head is 2.5 gpm for each of the 4 spray heads in the overhead shower, for a total fo 10 gpm.
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Unread 04-26-2010, 01:24 PM   #11
dhagin
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Well, now we're getting somewhere.

That configuration would require a single 3" shower drain, trap and trap arm OR two 2". Still may want to snake the drain and verify proper venting, but without a bigger drain setup, you're gonna be swimmin.
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Unread 04-26-2010, 03:41 PM   #12
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I'm with Barlow on this one. Before I was a tilesetter, I did plumbing for a couple years. If your drain isn't properly vented, it won't drain fast enough. If you post a few pictures, maybe someone can come up with a creative idea for adding a vent. One way to test it is to listen for gurgling when the shower is almost done draining. A properly vented line won't gurgle, because it doesn't have to suck air in. Also, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I once forgot to cover a drain when I grouted and ended up with a bad clog in the p-trap that made it drain slowly. Try snaking it, and also do the gurgle test. Good luck.
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Unread 04-26-2010, 04:54 PM   #13
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The first thing I would do is get some tubing, connect them from the shower heads direct to the drain. See if the drain can handle the load adding one shower head at a time at full throttle. Cap off the others if they all don't have individual controls. That way you can eliminate the drain issue from the slope issue.
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Unread 04-26-2010, 05:13 PM   #14
dhagin
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The 3" minimum drain size for 10 gpm comes from both the UPC and IPC/IRC. 7.5 gpm is max for 2" drain, trap & trap arm, but this assumes all other requirements are met, which in this shower they are not.

Many factors can allow one to get away with smaller diameters. For example a 2" drain with a short riser & trap that immediately dumps into a larger drain may not drain 'noticeably' slower than a 3" drain in that shower. The 1/8 per foot slope and curbless design amplify the smaller drain issues. The location and direction of spray of the shower heads may also amplify the small drain issues.

edit; I recently had an old 1-1/2" drain in a shower. We tested it like Paul mentioned above and found it handled as much as 1 shower head will ever put out so we left it in place... saved the client a few duckets on that one.
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Last edited by dhagin; 04-26-2010 at 05:27 PM.
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