shower drain not plumb

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jerome7, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Hello all

    I am remodeing a shower stall. After putting back the subfloor, mesh, tar paper etc and getting ready to install the kerdi shower drain, I can't get it to level.
    The riser coming from the ptrap is not plumb. What are my option to get it vertical enough so the drain can be level? I would hate to have to cut off the subfloor again to align this ptrap.

    BTW, the kerdi drain requires a large hole in the subfloor, thus I have some room to get my hand into that hole if I need to put a brace ring or something like that to secure the pipe.
    The main challenge is how can I level it with the drain on top of the pipe and 1" above the subfloor, lock the pipe in place, remove the drain, and securing the pipe thru that hole. I am also hoping forcing the pipe into a certain position would not put to much pressure on it and make the ABS bond break down the road.

    Any tips could save me a lot of work. Really do not want to cut out my subfloor.

    Thanks in advance
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  3. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Thanks for chiming in John.

    the ptrap is less than 1" from the kerdi drain. The riser connecting the 2 is only about 3-4 inches long. There isn't enough space. The shower is on the second floor and the subfloor is about 20" from the ceiling underneath.

    But when you add those elbows, won't it move the drain and would no longer be centered?
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Location:
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    post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  5. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    I didn't pour the pre-slope yet. I was about to glue the kerdi-drain then pour the pre-slope, but ran into this problem.

    At this point cutting the subfloor is much easier than the ceiling. But I am hoping to avoid cutting and instead just strapping the ptrap to the framing in a way that the riser would be vertical. We are talking about 5 degree deviation from the vertical line.

    But even if I cut off the subfloor, I don't know how to make it straight w/o putting strain on it. How do you change those pipe to compensate for 5 degree angle?
    My plan was to strap it to the framing and force it into the ideal position.

    I find it difficult to fit all these pipes given the pipe going to the roof is lock in place providing not much of flexibility.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    Applying stress to the pipe is asking for it to break down the road, maybe years, but it could. The heating and cooling will also make it expand and contract, rubbing against any strapping you might use.

    You may need to cut back a bit further since you don't have the height from the p-trap to try to generate the right angle to get it aligned with elbows, at least in that section.

    When making any plywood subflooring patch, it's best if you can hit three joists so it isn't hanging from just the edges. Blocking there can give it enough strength, but that may get in the way of your pipes.
  7. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Thanks Jim. Given the heating and cooling, if you have a perfect set pipe and you don't "lock" it in a certain position, won't it move and go out of alignment?

    In a shower area it would be hard to go over 3 joists. They are 18" spaced.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    You need to get the pipe plumb...once you have the drain embedded in the thinset or mortar on the pan, it's not going anywhere, but the bond to the bottom of the flange isn't all that strong, at least initially, and you do not want it to come loose because the pipe is twisted and acting like a spring trying to push back.

    Are you using their preformed pan, or building your own out of deckmud? The reason I ask is that on the preformed pan, the center section snaps out to be used as a guide to position the drain at the right height and as a guide that it is sitting nice and flat.

    You could make yourself a similar one out of say plywood to check alignment and height, then take it out (or cut it in half so you can slide it out later) after you glue things up. A circular bubble level can help, too. Some cellphones have one as a free app, if you don't have one, and it might span the top of the pipe (just make sure your pipe is cut nice and square first, though!).
  9. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Hi Jim,

    Due to the shape of the shower, I can't use a preformed pan. I wish I could and it would have been much easier. Thus I was going to pour the deck mud but when fitting the kerdi drain, i realized I couldn't get it to level.

    My shower has 2 drains and I glued the first drain w/o problem because the riser is well plumb. I use a puck level and it makes it much faster to level it. Thus I can get by if the riser is correctly positioned.

    On the second drain, the riser coming out of the p-trap is deviating about 5 degree from the vertical position. I am hoping to get advices from the pros here as how to compensate for that angle before I cut the pipes. I just don't want to make things worse by attempting random methods. Making it tilt by few degrees does not look straight forward and seems like a high precision exercise.

    I don't seem to have a choice but pry out the subfloor, cut the p-trap and put a new one. But I am still unclear as what I can do so that the new p-trap isn't falling at the same position again. I have to use the same pieces as currently so that it end at the same location. Basically a p-trap and a 45 elbow to connect to the current drain line.

    many thanks
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,626
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You cut the "P" trap off and install a new one with a true "vertical" riser.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,626
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I presume you use the Puck level on the hub of the P trap, because if the end of the pipe is not cut square your level will be off.
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  13. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    I have not glued my riser to the p-trap yet. Thus if there is a way to put the riser in a vertical position, I'd would like to try that first.
    The angle is dictated by the p-trap position, which is dictated by the pipe it is connect to. Seems like a domino effect.

    This is what I do. My p-trap is fixed to the drain line. I put a short riser in the p-trap, then I put the kerdi drain on top the riser. The puck level sits on top of the drain.
  14. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Hi John

    What kind of coupling can be used w/ the 22.5? If I introduce a 22.5 turn into the drain line, I would need to correct by about the same amount so it drain stays located at the same location in the floor. Would that go on the horizontal part of the drain line?

    Currently, the p-trap is attached to a 45 elbow which connects into a long straight horizontal line. I was thinking if I relax the straps (holding the horizontal line to the frame) a little bit, I could get it to tilt in the right direction.

    Regarding the p-trap replacement, can both models below be used for shower?

    glued middle section
    pivoting middle section

    In my house, I only see the pivoting model being used under sinks. It looks easier to use since the middle section stay adjustable.

    Thanks much
  15. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,129
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  16. jerome7

    jerome7 New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    95020
    Thanks John.

    It turns out to be rather easy using the no hub connector. I cut the horizontal part which is at 90 degree turn w/ the ptrap orientation.
    Putting the no-hub connector allowed me to tilt the ptrap as needed.

    I don't use any 22.5. The horizontal line was connected to 45 which connects to the p-trap to form an l-shape to accommodate the shower layout.
    Kinda hard to visualize w/ou a drawing :)
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