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Unread 09-25-2020, 02:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ringwood, NJ
Posts: 46
Starting my master bedroom bath

Starting new project, the master bedroom bathroom. My kitchen is nearly finished. I know, I owe pictures after all the help I got from the forum.

Right now, though, I need a little help on the bath demo. I have an early 1970s fiberglass shower pan that I need to take out. YT videos showed an easy way to remove the rubber seal around the drain. The original plumber didn't go that route. Maybe it wasn't available in the early 70s.

The shower pan is a standard 32 x 48 in size. The drain grate has FIAT printed on it. There appears to be no rubber gasket between the shower pan drain and the drain pipe. Instead, it looks like lead (metallic). Underneath the subfloor, I can see twine crammed between the pipe and the pan drain.

I suspect oakum. I think it was used in the cast iron drain pipe stack as well. How do I disconnect the drain in order to remove the pan? I suspect heat is involved which is a problem as the garage ceiling has been sprayed with 1 1/2 inches of closed cell foam for insulation.

OK, I just googled removing oakum sealed drains and it brought me back to John Bridge. Seems like you can either cut out the p-trap, or drill out some of the lead oakum until you can break loose the drain.

What's do the experts think?

ref thread: Lead filled drain in stall shower drain by Ravenger dated 3-10-2010.

Thanks, Parke
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Unread 09-25-2020, 09:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 90,953
Easiest way to remove those receptors is to cut a square around the drain with your circular saw. With that out of the way you may find it much easier to cut off the drain riser and go on from there.

You got a photo of the other end of that drain line in the basement that I'm guessing goes to the shower?

I'm wondering why ain't nobody put some artificial leaves on that drain system and called it a feature.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 09-26-2020, 10:42 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ringwood, NJ
Posts: 46
The upper right photo is the underneath side of the drain. The bath is over the garage, and the opening is the garage ceiling. I have attached another view. Of course, the drain and p-trap is right up against the joist.

I drilled a few holes in the oakum last night. That stuff really grabs onto the drill bit. While I can see freeing the drain pipe (which is copper btw) eventually, it is not at all clear as to how I would get that pipe clean enough for another drain connection. In that light, cutting the pipe below the oakum would make sense.

Curious that you should mention adding leaves to the drain stack, these are the vent/drain pipes in the downstairs bath/laundry room, which also sit out in the breeze all day long.
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