Need some direction, adding basement shower

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by clav8, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    Hi guys,

    First...thanks for all the informative posts....I've spent countless hours learning from them!

    Asking for help...please view pic (I am facing the back of the house/away from the street)and any advice would be appreciated.

    As per pic - #1 = 2nd floor Main bath Drain
    - #2 = Vent Pipe
    - #3 = Main floor kitchen sink drain (wyes into base of vent pipe)
    - #4 = Main floor 2 piece bathroom drain (notice wyed, and invented bar sink drain)

    Current basement has 2 piece bathroom and we would like to install a shower (highlighted area in green). I could, and still may, hire a qualified plummer, however would prefer to attempt at least the grunt work on my own. So here are my questions:

    1. Where do you think my best option would be to wye the shower drain into (ie. where to dig?)

    2. Do you think all drains going into concrete merge together somewhere? I have looked, and cannot find the main cleanout at the front of the house.

    3. The main water line (and water meter) is right behind the toilet, just to the right of the 3" drain. If this runs straight to the front of the house, will it be a problem?

    4. How should I vent the shower drain? Up from the concrete 42" high and across to the other vent pipe (#2)?

    Thanks for your help!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  2. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    OK...I'm thinking i'll cut the concrete and chip away toward the left and try and tap into the drain that should be travelling toward the front of the house from the toilet. My only concern is that I may run into the main water line before I hit the drain. Any thoughts?
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    plumbing

    1. Where do you think my best option would be to wye the shower drain into (ie. where to dig?)

    Good question. If we were there to check out the entire system we MIGHT be able to tell you.

    2. Do you think all drains going into concrete merge together somewhere? I have looked, and cannot find the main cleanout at the front of the house.

    Depending on the age it could be 6 or 7 feet down. Even if it were elevated once the landscapers, who seem to despise cleanouts, covered it, it might as well have never existed.

    3. The main water line (and water meter) is right behind the toilet, just to the right of the 3" drain. If this runs straight to the front of the house, will it be a problem?
    Maybe, but we do not know how the plumber installed it.

    4. How should I vent the shower drain? Up from the concrete 42" high and across to the other vent pipe (#2)?

    There may be a better way, but we are not there to diagnose it.

    This is a case of plumbing that "even a cave man can do it".
    But doing it and doing it correctly can be miles apart. Which is why plumbers go to school. I hope you did not put that trap for the basement sink inside the wall, or that you intend to use it for that.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  4. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks HJ,

    Certainly, don't mean any disrespect to the trade..but like most people asking for help on here trying to save a little cash and also get enjoyment out of pushing my handyman abilities.....oh and if I can impress the wife at the same time...well that can have it's rewards too :eek:)

    This house is 30 years old. Trap is not inside the wall, it's in a nook under the light (and between the studs which are 32" apart).

    The city water shutoff to our house is near the sidewalk infront of our house. Can I make the assumption most fittings run toward the front of the house?

    I attached a new pic with possible drainage and venting options...let me know if this looks acceptable and any concerns.

    thanks...much appreciated!

    Attached Files:

  5. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    Any plumbers out there able to look over the second diagram to let me know if that would be acceptable?

    Thanks.
  6. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Unfortunatly with under slab there's going to be a "best guess" scenario when it comes to digging up the floor. I usually start wher I know there is a drain and chase it from there.
  7. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks NHMaster,

    So if I can see where they previously dug out the concrete for the toilet, (the digout extends toward the front of the house about 1 foot from the base of the toilet) it leads me to believe that it continues towards the front of house. In that case, would the piping in my pic be acceptable; wye into the toilet line and vent after the p-trap from the shower, up and over into the existing vent (42" up from ground)?

    Thanks
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    What you have drawn MIGHT be acceptable, it depends ENTIRELY on exactly HOW you do it. Done one way it would be correct, done differently it would not be.
  9. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    OK..I ran a small camera down into the pipe about 5 feet and to my surprise it runs diagonally toward the front corner of our house. I thought for sure it would run straight toward the front. There are no other drainage pipes to the left of this one. Does this mean that all the others likely run in the same direction? I'm having trouble getting the PVC cleanouts off of the other 3" drains to check thier direction.

    If they do run in same direction, or join with drain #1, I should be able to easily wye the shower drain into drain #4...no?

    Thanks...if anyone's out there???

    Attached Files:

  10. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    few responses....I guess all the plumbers are plumbing this weekend! :p
  11. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    huh? would you mind to elaborate? your response doesn't get me any further ahead.

    If you could suggest a possible solution based on the info I have provided within the thread, or ask a question to clarify the problem that would at least HELP work towards a solution here.

    Is that not what this forum is for?

    Terry Love's Plumbing & Remodel DIY advice forum > Plumbing Forum discussions > Need some direction, adding basement shower
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    IF your second drawing is correct, you still need a vent for the shower drain, and that vent MUST be above the level of the pipe to the shower drain, and preferably not be horizontal in the first place. There are few installations where the drain cannot be rerouted to give a vertical vent connection.
  13. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for the advice! I'm getting a pipe wrench to get the cleanout valves off the other stacks so I can check direction with my camera....want to ensure the least cutting of concrete possible.
  14. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    OK...dug down into concrete almost right underneith where I want the shower is the 4" ceramic drain pipe that comes through from the floor drain that's 4 feet away.

    Can I plumb the shower (with p-trap) into this ceramic drain somehow and then run a vent pipe up into the existing vent stack?

    Urgent answer lease....need to bring the jackhammer rental back in a couple hours.Thanks!
  15. sjsmithjr

    sjsmithjr Geologist

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    I'll give you the quick answer since you're in a hurry - there is a real probability that your floor drains are not connected to your sanitary sewer. There is also a real probability that you will revising your plans and busting up more concrete.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  16. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    Keep the jackhammer another day. Open the floor as much as you can. Dig down to find all the pipes you may or may not need. Then think real hard what you can or can not use. Take more pix.
    This is a DIY place but getting mad and will not help you but hinder you more.
  17. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    Really? Here is a new pic. I don't know for sure, but it looks like the Ceramic line will run into the PVC that comes from the toilet.

    Do you think I can hook into the ceramic still?
  18. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks Patrick...I may just have to do that...but obviously avoiding more digging if I can.

    Good advice.
  19. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    forgot pics....interested to know your opinion

    Attached Files:

  20. clav8

    clav8 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Canada
    I think it is connected to the snitary....just cleaned out the sludge from the floor drain....and it stinks like s***. I sucked out all I could with the shop wet vac and it stayed dry for about 2 minutes and then the trap filled again by itself. Is this normal? I think it's backflow...but we've never had a problem with smells or flooding.
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