No drain trap is ok?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Joy927, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Joy927

    Joy927 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago
    Hi this is the first posting. We purchased the old house last year and have doing some updating.

    We asked the local company in chicago to replace the tub and add the shower room in the basement. It took almost three weeks to complete and we started to use since last week. We noticed that the odd smells come from the shower drain and found out that there is no ptrap there in the shower drain. They said that the toilet had ptrap so the shower drain is not installed any trap since toilet has the one. I do not know that they are certified plumber. Do you have any idea that we could solve this issue? We paid for $9000 for this project. Thank you so much for your help.
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    Maine
    Every fixture needs it's own trap. The toilet trap has NOTHING to do with the shower drain.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Your "plumber" was not a real plumber. He wasn't even a decent handyman. Even a weekend DIY should know that every fixture that connects to a drain needs a vented P trap. That means each fixture in the house. A toilet does its trap built in, but sinks, tubs, showers, basins, washers, floor drains, humidifier drains, and any fixture that is connected to a drain must have a P trap that is properly vented. If you have not paid for this work, don't. If you have sue for a full refund. If the "company" is a legit company, then they did not do a check on the qualification of this worker. If this is a shady company, then they need to be put out of business.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  4. Joy927

    Joy927 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thank you so much for your response.

    Today, they told me that there are actually ptraps in the shower drain and the tub drain. I looked down from the shower drain and saw the 120 degree curved pipe, but there is no water even the shower is running.

    Do you have any idea where else I find ptrap other than the drain? Is it between the shower drain and the tub drain?

    Thank you so much.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    A trap should be directly beneath the fixture, and there should be one for every fixture. A double sink can be single trapped, but that's the only one. You should be able to use a flashlight and peer into a drain and see water standing. That's the sign of a P trap in place. The water in the trap seals the drain so sewer gas does not enter the house. If you are getting sewer gas smell through the drain(s) there's something amiss in the traps.
  6. Joy927

    Joy927 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thank you sssooo much for your help. i am a stayhome mother and have no idea.

    I could not see any water standing using flashlight. However, they said there are ptraps each. Other than the beneath of the drain, where can I assume? They are coming tomorrow to bring the camera to check where the odd smell are coming. is anything aware of? Thank you so much.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,911
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Run water in the sink, then go over to the shower drain and listen. If you can hear water draining from the shower drain location, there is no p-trap.

    Normally for a shower, you will see the water directly below the drain grid.
    They could have 90'd over to a p-trap, but frankly that is almost never, ever done.

    A tub, shower and sink all need p-traps.
    The toilet plumbing in the floor does not have a trap; the trap for the toilet is designed into the bowl.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,515
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A shoddy workman could install the trap somewhere and then pipe to the shower drain location. Flush the toilet and listen at the shower drain. IF you hear the water running there is no trap. since he gave you two different explanations, one, that it did not need a trap, and then, that there is one but you cannot see it, implies that he does not know if he put one in or not. Call your city or state contractor licensing department and see if he is a licensed contractor. Depending on whether he is or not could determine how they would handle your situation.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  9. Joy927

    Joy927 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thank you very much. I will test one more time. I wish you were in Chicago. Thanks.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,515
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I wish you were in Chicago

    Why? What did I ever do to you? Actually, my son asked me one time if I ever wanted to move back to Chicago, and I told him, "No, my mom didn't raise any stupid kids". The "blizzard" of '68 was enough, except I moved to Michigan where it was lke that every year, so I decided to move here where it only snowed every 10 years or so.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,920
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
  12. Joy927

    Joy927 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago
    Today, they found out that there is no ptrap under the drain, but they said that ptrap might share with the tub using Y pipe. Is this common to share ptrap? They said they can start over if I do not like. I asked them to bring the camera next time. Hope they will.

    Is it okay if they are not certified plumber? Can they still do business? I thought these workers would have some licence. I
  13. Joy927

    Joy927 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago

    I mean I can ask you to come to take a look my bathroom. I do not know any trusted pluming guy here yet. We are new here.
  14. protech

    protech Master plumber

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Central Fl
  15. Joy927

    Joy927 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago
  16. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I would agree about calling SewerRatz. He would be honest with you, even if just to tell you what needs to be fixed.

    Like you, I wished that Terry or HJ or Jimbo or MacPlumb or one of the other expert plumbers on here lived in my area. MacPlumb is a friend of SewerRatz, and I have seen other people be happy when they contacted him. MacPlumb recommended someone to me in my area, and I couldn't believe how great the guy was: fixed the problem nobody else could fix and charged a fair price.

    So when you have a chance to use one of the real experts in our forum like SewerRatz, you are very lucky. I would call him, and mention that someone on TerryLove.com told you to call him. I am sure he can help.
  17. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    HJ was being funny. When he says, "Why? What did I ever do to you?", he means, in a funny way, that he would not want to move back to Chicago. He lived there and did not like the cold. So he moved to Michigan, which didn't make it less cold, so then he moved to Arizona, where it is almost always warm.

    I understand what he means. I am from New York, where it does get cold. When I went to school in Chicago for 3 years, I thought it would be similar to New York. I was very, very wrong. I was so frozen after 3 years that I moved to Texas rather than back to New York. It was almost 10 years before I finally warmed up enough to move back to New York.

    But almost everyone I know who grew up in Chicago and around there loves it and can't imagine living anywhere else.
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,920
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    No. Also, you want the P-trap to be as close as possible to the fixture preferably with no elbows. The section of pipe between the fixture and P-trap can build up soap residue that then harbors bacteria which produces an odor. Every now and then, I pop the drain cover in my shower and scrub out the section of pipe with a long brush when I start noticing a smell.
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,924
    Location:
    New England
    The only place you can share a trap is in a double sink, and even then, you may not be able to depending on where you live. NEVER on separate, diverse fixtures like a shower and a sink or something else. With no trap, you have an open path for sewer gasses, bugs, rats, who knows what. It's unsafe, unsanitary, and against code.

    There's a reason why we have plumbing codes, permits, and inspections in this country...to avoid shoddy work like this and keep people healthy. It's pretty obvious there was no permit pulled for this, or the inspector got paid off, both illegal. A nice remodel is more than looking nice - it must work properly and keep you safe.
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,515
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Is it okay if they are not certified plumber? Can they still do business? I thought these workers would have some licence.

    In this area, there are situations where the plumbers do not have to be licensed, but for the work you had done, it ALWAYS requires a license. Legally, if he is supposed to have a license and does not, you usually do not have to pay him for the work done, because it was done illegally.
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