I'm P-trapped in misery

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by santrim, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. santrim

    santrim New Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Hi everybody. I was sent over from the John Bridge forum. I have a pretty detailed thread running over there describing my problem.

    To catch everybody up over here, I am in the midst of a bathroom remodel where I am replacing a tub/shower with just a shower. I plan to use the Kerdi system for waterproofing and tile the whole thing.

    My house is single story slab-on-grade foundation. So far, I have removed the old tub as well as all the tiles. So I have a slab and studs. Furthermore, I have dug a trench through the concrete to the center of the alcove in preparation to install a new drain.

    Following the advice of the John Bridge forum folks, I planned to remove the original bathtub trap and install a new trap directly under the new shower drain. I had a plumber come in to do just that. However, once he started to remove the old trap, he noticed that as he was jiggling it, it was not coming loose at the proper spot, but rather he seemed to be moving the entire horizontal pipe that runs under the house.

    He stopped immediately, pushed the horizontal pipe 'back in place', and said, "We're not going to be able to remove this trap." After much debating back and forth, he assured me that everything was fine. Specifically:

    1) I did not now have a leak under the slab
    2) It was just as good to leave the original trap and 90 degree ell my way over to the new drain location

    Both points have been pretty contested by the John Bridge folks, so now I'm facing some tough decisions.

    I could go on, but I have already posted lots of detailed pictures and explanations at the John Bridge thread. I will put a link below. If this is a no-no, I will take the time to move all the content over here (just let me know). But if you fine folks don't mind hopping over, here it is (start with post #34, the one labeled 'desperate'):


    Thanks for looking, and I look forward to your insight.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    1. You may have a loose connection which will leak if the drain backs up, however if it was that loose it has probably been that way for a long, long time.
    2. Moving the trap is the only way to do it properly.
    3. period.
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  4. santrim

    santrim New Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Yeah, I'm pretty determined to move the trap. Based on my pictures over at the John Bridge forum, does it look like I can remove the trap where it meets the horizontal pipe by getting rid of that black gasket?

    Does anybody have a guess as to how far back the horizontal pipe goes before it hubs?
  5. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Sep 25, 2006
    Commercial Plumber
    Phoenix, AZ
    It could go back up to 10'...
    I doubt it would have moved if it is a long piece though...
    More than a foot or 2 probably would not have budged much at all...
    In my opinion, busting up some slab and fixing it right is the way to go...
    Dig back to the loose connection, cut the hub off the pipe and use a fernco/PVCXcast adapter to re-do the piping in PVC...
    While doing that, move the trap under the drain like it should be...
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    It is possible that there is a Fernco fitting in there which would be flexible. Also, a dognut into a hub would allow some flexibility and still be good. If so, then it should be very easy to replace from that point to where you want the new trap. That's if you are lucky. SO, the movement may be totally innocent and you have a valid connection. Or, you could have a flakey connection; you'll never know until you expose it, but my point is, there may not be anything to fix, but just to move.
  7. santrim

    santrim New Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Thanks everyone for the responses.

    Assuming I perform the leak test as suggested over at the JB forum (running a garden hose down the drain for a while and checking for leaks) and assuming the leak test turns up nice and dry, can I just remove the trap from where it connects to the horizontal pipe and start from that point with the new plumbing?

    In other words, what do I gain by tracking all the way back to where the horizontal pipe turns? Again, this is assuming that the leak test turns out ok.

    For pictures of what I'm talking about, check out posts 43 and 44 here:


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