Installing drain on fiberglass shower unit

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by chiguy, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. chiguy

    chiguy New Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Hi. This post is probably going to make me sound like I have no idea what I'm doing, and in this case, that is true, but I'm normally pretty handy and do all my own plumbing and have built a mortar bed shower in the past. This one has me stumped though.

    My problem here is that I have no idea how to proceed on this drain installation. I have searched for any posts that could clear this up, but can't find an exact match, so I thought I'd try my own post. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    I have a one-piece fiberglass shower unit that I am installing in a new bathroom in a basement I'm finishing. I have rough-in plumbing that provides a 2" PVC drain pipe sticking up several inches through the slab (I have confirmed that it is trapped so no problems there). I have a two piece Plumbest plastic shower drain. It consists of a piece that goes under the shower floor that glues onto the 2" drain line. It then has a piece that has a strainer attached with screws that screws down into the piece under the pan from inside the shower. In between the two are a rubber gasket and a cardboard friction gasket.

    I am very familiar with gluing up pipe, but I'm not sure how this all works. I know I have to cut the pipe sticking out of the floor to the correct height. It appears that there is enough clearance with this particular shower unit that I do not have to chisel out any concrete around the drain pipe (is that a safe assumption? Or is there something I'm not realizing). I'm confused by the fact that it looks as though I have to be virtually exact on the height I cut down the pipe to, as the drain piece that glues onto it only has about a 1" sleeve length for the gluing surface.

    Next, I'm not sure whether I glue the piece onto the pipe and then position the shower over it, or whether I attach the drain to the shower and then put glue on the pipe and set the whole thing in place over the pipe. If so, that's where I'm really nervous as it is obvious that I only get one shot at this and everything has to be just right.

    Finally, I have no idea how the gaskets play in all this and which go where. Do I use any other putties or materials? I just love how the shower unit instructions say, "Install drain per manufacturer's instructions". But, of course, the drain manufacturer provides no instructions!

    I was seriously considering just hiring this particular job out since it is something I haven't done before, and is a one shot deal, but after getting a couple of quotes, and them being over $500 just to set a shower, it just seems so unreasonable for something I'd be fine with after a 5 minute instruction course!

    Is this simpler than it looks? Am I using the right type of drain, or would something else be easier? Should I do this myself, or not risk it based on the one shot nature of it and chock it up as a learning experience? I really appreciate any help.

  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    I would use a drain that fastens to the base first, then you set the base with the drain attached over the pipe and seal it with a washer that slides over the pipe and down into the drain. You can either cut the pipe to size first or cut it down after the base is installed.
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  4. khayes

    khayes Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Alpharetta, GA.
    I used this from Plumbrite on my recent bath remodel. It's a bit pricey, but it worked as can be installed from the top side of the shower pan. Fairly easy to install, no leaks - life is good!
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