Drain plumbing for Steam Shower

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Smitny, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    Feb 9, 2012
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    (Posted this in General plumbing, and then realized it should be in this forum instead so I am reposting it here.)

    I am doing a shower remodel, ripping out a bathtub and shower and replacing with a larger shower including a steam generator. I am DIY'er with some limited plumbing experience but little 'code knowledge'.

    The p-trap in the foreground is for a 2" shower drain, and the smaller p-trap towards the back is for the drain line from the steam generator. The drain line coming out of the steam generator will be 1/2" copper, and at some point it will 'elbow down' into this drain. The generator is equipped with auto-flush, which means that after every use of the generator (and after a two hour wait for the water temp to cool down) the auto flush valve will open and drain the tank. This same drain line will be connected to the drain pan that the generator sits in.

    New Plumbing_2.jpg

    In the picture, I simply laid a copper pipe with elbow above it on the footer for demonstration.

    First of all, does this setup look okay? I have had someone question whether the venting is adequate?

    Also, as to how to tie the copper drain line into the abs drain assembly in the background, I was thinking I could either extend the p-trap a couple more inches so it sits directly under the footer, then drill a hole through the footer and extend the copper right through so it sits just above the abs pipe and drains in, OR...

    I could extend the p-trap laterally a few more inches so it sits under the closet floor next to the steam generator (see the hole in the sheetrock, that leads to my closet where the steam generator will be located) and then either install an actual floor drain or just have the abs come up through the floor here and 'hover' the copper pipe 3/4" above it.

    (In case it's not obvious, there is a constant gradual slope from the shower drain, 'round the bend, and all the way along until it drops into the floor.)

    Thanks. -Smitny
     
  2. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    Feb 9, 2012
    Location:
    Parker, CO

    John,

    I have been told that (per code) the copper has to have 3/4" space between the bottom of the copper elbow and the top of the drain line. I would personally prefer a solid tie in like you mentioned, but I'm trying to be as close to code as possible.

    In my understanding the 'auto-flush' is more of an 'auto-drain' - simply draining the water in the tank as opposed to actually flushing it out. The install manual says I can use the cold or hot water line for supply, but recommends the hot. I'm almost certain that draining out of the steam head is not an option with the Mr. Steam 225 that I have already purchased. It sure would make things easier if I could. But I will verify both of these things when I call Mr. Steam rep again today.

    I'm using the Kerdi system for vapor (over the blue M-bloc board at HD, even though Kerdi actually says to use plain sheetrock), I believe that is what you're asking.

    The vent in the picture goes four feet up into the wall and then joins a larger vent from the first floor of the house, laundry room and powder room are directly below)

    Admittedly, I have a lot of things going on in this tiny space. Another option I could explore if this doesn't look right is to put a tee over the drain where it drops into the floor, and then use the right side for the shower drain (it would still have to make a 180 turn for the drain placement I want) and use the left side for the steam gen drain. With that setup, I could probably vent both sides after p-traps but before the 'drain drop'.

    Thoughts?

    -Smitny
     
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  4. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    I know. As I posted in my ongoing thread over at JohnBridge, "leaving an open gap in plumbing lines goes against what little plumbing logic I may possess".

    Experts??
     
  5. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    I think I have decided what to do with the steam generator drain.

    Can anyone pass judgement on whether they think there is a problem with the venting in this arrangement? Any suggestions are appreciated.
     
  6. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    Retired
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    What there looking for is a air gap. If the line had a solid connection any stoppage in the drain line could put sewerage into the steam generator.

    john
     
  7. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    That makes sense, thanks.
     
  8. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    Alabama
    The plumbing is wrong. You need to cut all that out and start over.
     
  9. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    Okay. Im gonna step back, do some reading and try for version 3.0 on this.
     
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    quote; If the line had a solid connection any stoppage in the drain line could put sewerage into the steam generator.

    Exactly. At least with this configuration, all that will happen is that the steam "P" trap will overflow and flood the lower level of the building, but at least the shower will not fill with water. The shower drain is very convoluted and I might had tried to install a "neater" system.
     
  11. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    From the vertical pipe coming out of the floor.....use a wye and catch the shower. Continue to the wall and turn up the wall. Now in the vertical stack install a sanitary tee and p-trap for the steam drains. You would be wet venting the shower and thats fine. Raise the steam generator so your line will have gravity fall to the trap. Its that easy.
     
  12. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    Location:
    Alabama
    You stop it with an indirect connection. The connection is not sealed and would overflow onto the floor instead of backing up into the steam unit.

    You seem to know your crap about the kerdi stuff.....I enjoy reading your posts.
     
  13. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    Try somthing like this. Your steam unit will need to be elevated. the p-trap for it would be above the floor. I'm not trying to say you should use every fitting that i have pictured here. This is just an example to show how everything is vented.

    View attachment 15560

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  14. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    Thanks for the visual, and all of the suggestions. I am still playing with a way to keep this all (or most) inside the joists because I dont have any room to spare in the closet to raise up the generator more than about 4 inches inside the closet. If I get anything that looks workable, I'll submit a new picture for further critique.

    As for the Noble TS suggestion, the Kerdi cult got to me first, and I will probably stick with that system as I have already purchased all of the membrane and the drain kit.

    -Leland
     
  15. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    Okay, this seems better to me.

    Plumbing V3.jpg

    My first concern with this is the distance that the vent line has to travel laterally before making the rise. It tavels 6'6" of horizontal distance, with enough space to rise vertically about 6" over that run. Is this enough of a slope for the vent? The vent I would use off to the right used to serve the old shower, and I had capped it off thinking I wouldn't need it. It is not tied to anything else, and goes straight up to the roof after that run of 6'6"

    The other vent line in the wall on the left that will vent the steam gen drain line was previously used to vent the bathtub drain. The bath was ripped out and this is where the shower will be now. This vent line rises inside the wall to the left and about four feet up it joins the larger 2" vent pipe you can see at the very bottom of the picture.

    As for the steam generator drain, I would like to extend it another foot to the left so the trap lies beneath the subfloor in the closet, and then have the riser come up through the floor where it will meet the drain line from the gen.

    It might not be perfect, but will it be sufficient?
     
  16. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    Notice how much less convoluted and how the 180* change of direction isn't so tight on Hackney's version?
     
  17. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    Ok. I have more room between the joists to work with, and can make that big turn more gradual with another trip to the store.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  18. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    You can still pipe it basicaly like I have shown but to keep the trap below the floor just install another wye fitting rolled the other direction from the wye catching the shower. Then use 22.5's or 45's and swing the trap to your exact point you would like to go vertical with the riser.

    I urge you to find a way to raise the steam unit drain and inlet to the standpipe above the flood rim of your shower. If you do not and the shower backs up it will overflow in your closet and whatevers below.. Thats not the best design.

    My intent is to give you good advice. I'm not trying to force the issue.
     
  19. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    I don't feel like you're trying to force the issue at all. Im very grateful for all of the advice.

    So (referencing your picture) are you saying to install another wye along the horizontal section between the existing horizontal wye and where it makes the 90 to rise? If so, what goes where from there - - The in line extension of this new wye ties into my existing vent in the wall and the angled branch goes to the steam drain p-trap?

    I will just have to figure out a way to make the top of the steam drain higher than the flood rim of the shower.

    Just out of curiosity though, would my newest setup have worked, in your opinion? Would the 6'6" long vent run have created a problem with such a slight slope to it? I'm not trying to force my side of the issue either, just curious if my understandiing of plumbing principles is progressing in the right direction. :)
     
  20. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    Yes,install another wye between the 90 turning up in the wall (the vent) and the wye for the shower. I relly like the way I did it in the 1st pic because that way the vent gets washed. The way we are talking about doing it now the vent is not washed. You need to install a cleanout in the vent line thats accessible just incase the vent needs cleaning. It is very important.

    As always check with your local codes and inspection department before making anything permanent.

    ADD> Yes and no on your last piping arangement. Your traps are protected and vented. Again the flat vent issue comes up without being washed. Its just not good plumbing and in most cases it will not pass inspection unless arangements are made like the cleanout I'm telling you to install. Some cases it still may not be acceptable but some inspectors make exceptions for existing construction/remodels. Inspectors vary and laws vary so much theres no cut and dry answer.

    I do not like the cross fitting from horizontal to vertical. If I used a cross fitting like that I would want the top being used as a cleanout. Thats good plumbing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  21. Smitny

    Smitny New Member

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    Parker, CO
    Okay, I put it together like your version 1. Here's three shots, let me know if I got it right.

    Plumbing_V4-1.jpg

    Here is the shower drain, I made the turn as gradual as I could inside the space I have. Plenty of slope even though this picture, taken from above, might not show it.

    Plumbing_V4-2.jpg

    Here is a shot showing the riser, and the steam generator trap from behind, looking into the closet. The vent pipe coming out the top will take a 90 to the left, pass through the stud, and then 90 up to join the vent pipe you can see near the top of the picture. I just have to re-route the copper line to make it happen. That's next week.

    Plumbing_V4-3.jpg

    Here is a shot from inside the closet, showing the p-trap, and the drain pan for the steam generator. This platform for the gen will be raised to provide slope into the drain pipe. I didn't know if you meant that I should install a cleanout only if I went with the 'extra wye' configuration we discussed, but I put one in anyway. I figured it couldn't hurt, right?
     
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