PVC Pipe Size for Shower Drain?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by gplumb, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. gplumb

    gplumb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    My house was built in 2003 in Winston-Salem, NC with the plumbing roughed in for a basement bathroom. The PVC pipe for the shower drain is 1 1/2" diameter. I was told by one plumber that it requires a 2" pipe but this is the pipe that was originally installed when the house was inspected at the time. Now I don't want to dig up the concrete floor to replace it if I don't have to. I know codes vary by jurisdiction and may have changed but before I call the permits office here can someone tell me if this might be true i.e., is this a requirement anywhere you know of?
     
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    I do not know of any time when a 1 1/2" drain would have been approved for a shower. The inspector might have been told it was for a bathtub. But in any case, why would you want to spend money finishing that room and then wind up with a shower that does not drain properly, and becomes obstructed quite often? Not to mention possible problems snaking a line that size.
     
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  4. gplumb

    gplumb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I looked at the drawing and it shows a tub/shower. Would a 1 1/2" pipe meet the code for that? I understand that a 2" would be better.
     
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Yes, 1-1/2" is large enough for a tub-shower. That is because the tub offers an emergency reservoir in case of a clog. It's that shortcoming that a shower only does not offer.
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    If your code does not specify a minimum 2" pipe for ANY underground drains, then 1 1/2" will pass.
     
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