Anyone familiar with this drain setup?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by garrison81, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. garrison81

    garrison81 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I just started my shower remodel and I've hit a snag with the drain. I have a house built in 1968 on a cement slab foundation. When I ripped out the shower floor, I found this drain set up. Is this a drum trap?

    How hard will it be to update this to a pvc p trap? If I chicken out, how much should that cost to have a plumber do it?

    Thanks!

    Jeff

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  2. garrison81

    garrison81 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I forgot to mention that the bottom of my slab is flush with the top of the horizontal drain pipe. That seems like it will complicate this.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,272
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    From your drawing it looks like every other shower drain that has ever been installed, since I am assuming that left hand pipe does NOT go upward, but rather horizontally. The height of the pipe may NOT be a factor, or it could just be a "nuisance" depending on the skill of the person installing the new drain. Cost ALSO depends on the abilities of the plumber you choose. Some can do it in a matter of an hour or so, others could turn it into an all day job.
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,281
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    What shower drain you will be installing is dependent on the construction of the shower. A fiberglass or acrylic shower pan does not require a pan liner or drain with weep holes as does a conventional tile shower.
  5. garrison81

    garrison81 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I've attached a photograph of my drain. There is a big chamber and a few discs that are unfamiliar to me.

    The horizontal pipe appears to run to the wall and meet up with a vertical pipe. I guess it vents to the attic.

    The pipe is something heavy duty like cast iron, I think. Can that pipe be severed for the installation, or does the PVC pipe and trap have to be installed where the horizontal pipe meets the vent at the wall?

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  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,281
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I don't know what you have under the ground. The branch drain cannot be smaller than 2". If the existing branch is 2", you should be able to cut it near the trap and then transition to 2" PVC.
  7. garrison81

    garrison81 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I was wondering if you can tell from the pictures if the threaded pipe on top is soldered in with lead or something? Would it be possible to heat it and unscrew/remove the threaded piece and then connect a PVC riser leaving the trap in place? If I don't have to, I'd rather not rip up my slab to replace the entire unit.
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,281
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I wouldn't waste any time trying. Once you get the remains of that drain out of the way cutting the trap off should be the easy part. If you are patient and careful, you might not have to open the floor up any more.

    I would start by cutting that nut and washer at the threads in a couple of places so it can be split in half. Once you get the drain out of the way, loosen the soil and suck it out with a shop vac until you have room to work around the trap.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,272
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    What you see there are the clamping and adjustable strainer. The "big" thing is the floor drain itself, and it is probably leaded to a 2" cast iron pipe riser above the trap. HOW you can install and connect to a new trap is not evident in the picture you have submitted.
  10. garrison81

    garrison81 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    hj,

    Should the adjustable strainer on top (that I've cut) be able to be twisted out?

    My current plan of action is to rent a small demo hammer and chip out the slab downstream so that I can cut the cast iron pipe and then attach a pvc trap with a mission clamp or fernco coupling.

    I don't have a big enough hole in my slab to show what is going on underneath. The best I can do is the drawing based on what I can see below the drain.
  11. garrison81

    garrison81 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    just out of curiosity, should this thread be in the "plumbing" section instead of showers?
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