Am I right with this shower drain?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Ryan_Z71, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Ryan_Z71

    Ryan_Z71 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    South Jersey, USA
    My brother has a 3 year-old manufactured home that was set atop a rather nice poured wall basement (10-foot height even). The Master Bath has a 48" walk-in shower stall whose drain was leaking into the basement. The problem is that the shower P-trap sits right on one of the main steel girders and there's only 10" of clearance between the beam flange and the foundation wall on one side, and to the other is the HVAC plenum and return ducts so it just can't be reached with any kind of tool and barely with a blind arm. The original drain from the manufacturer was an ABS no-caulk Oatey piece. Basically, we think the ABS body was overstressed during tightening of that accordian gasket and just gave way.

    My brother tried to replace the drain with a Wingtite replacement assembly, but there wasn't clearance for the wings to expand. THANKFULLY, the shower stall was a 3-piece unit and easily freed after RotoZipping back some of the drywall to expose the nailing lip and removing the screws. So the pan is up and we can get a new drain assembly in-place and cranked down before we set it back down. I was thinking that a brass no-caulk drain is our only choice here. I only worked with one of these once before in my life, and it was a problem. I think it was really problematice because the drain pipe was not perfectly vertical and angled into the drain assembly so the accordian gasket didn't sit as intended by design. I ended up having to caulk it with a liberal amount of aquarium-grade silicone to stop the leak. So, obviously I'm a little hesitant and researching our options. The pipe in this case is almost perfectly vertical, and I would caulk the no-caulk just to feel more secure unless there is a better option.

    So, with the knowledge and experience here, is there a better option out there for a shower drain for a prefabricated fiberglass base with no below access? I was looking at an Oatey "Receptor Base" drain assembly which seems to suggest the base can be solvent welded to the pipe, the pan set, and then the top of the drain screwed in from above, but I don't see how that seals the drain well to the shower base???

    My sister-in-law is already ready to kill us both from the drywall dust and void where the shower once was, so we need to button this project up quickly so we can trim out the surround to hide the scarred drywall and flange and bring the shower back into service without leaking. I would most greatly appreciate any insight - I did search the archives too.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Any of the shower drains should be usable from above. When we install shower pans over slabs, it's always done from the top.
    That means pulling out the shower as you have done.
    If you want to repair a shower drain without removing the pan, then that is done from below.

    I haven't tried the wing-tite drain yet.

    http://www.wingtite.com/

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  3. Ryan_Z71

    Ryan_Z71 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    South Jersey, USA
    Hi Terry,

    So if I understand you right, you mean that we could use a solvent weld drain? I would imagine that would then entail installing the assembly onto the base first, trimming the riser off the P-trap just right, and then working like mad to apply the solvent and drop the pan/drain assembly over the pipe (and probably stand on the drain to get the pipe fully engaged)? I like the idea of a solvent weld drain because I never have had issues with one I've done that way, but normally I have installed the drain to the pan and then set it in place and finished all the plumbing from below.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You can use solvent weld, but for the pans that I can't get to, I prefer the ones with a rubber seal that a compressing ring that tightens from the top.
    They you can really take your time.
  5. Ryan_Z71

    Ryan_Z71 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    South Jersey, USA
    Sounds like we are on the same page to use a no-caulk drain. Would you agree using a brass model is better than using another ABS one? The original ABS one opened up between the threads that the compression rings tightens into to squeeze the accordian seal. Thank you for your replies!
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Brass is better.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
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