Plumber didn't center shower drain rough in under the drain hole - how big a problem is this?

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Cacher_Chick

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Note that Mark has no understanding of how a Kerdi shower base and waterproofing system works before you take his advice.

I don't know what the challenge is in taking up that piece of subfloor, but I do know that once it is done, cutting off the trap and fitting a new properly positioned assembly in place is not rocket science. If there is any issue, may that a joist is in the way under the subfloor, but we have not seen that yet in this job.
 

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Note that Mark has no understanding of how a Kerdi shower base and waterproofing system works before you take his advice.

I don't know what the challenge is in taking up that piece of subfloor, but I do know that once it is done, cutting off the trap and fitting a new properly positioned assembly in place is not rocket science. If there is any issue, may that a joist is in the way under the subfloor, but we have not seen that yet in this job.




Yes you are absolutely right....PLEASE dont take my advice...
I just got an education on this product and I am not impressed....

I just watched this U-tube video and I cant believe what
a crappy system this acutally is.... Everything taped together and
installed with plain thin set morter....on top of the drywall instead of behind it...
OK that is interesting......

I am pretty old school and have actually helped installed lead pans a long, long time ago.. and they will last a life time.....
.
Personally I would prefer the real vinyl membrane type of shower unit with a clamp down floor drain with the membrane clamped into the drian.. and
concrete under the membrane with fall graded to the drain....
Also the membrane going up the walls behind the wall board about 7 inches.
and a concrete floor with fall to the drain.....


that is just what little old me would prefer
but I dont know what I am talking about ....



From watching the video , I would never , ever trust that kerdi membrane seal to last
a life time compared to the old school way with vinyl membrane and concrete floors.
I cant believe they install the corners on top of the wall membranes and only up about 3 inches....WOW that is craftmanship

I cant believe that they just seal that floor drain down into that base
with thin set only ...that is absolutely un-real ......
you get some 300 lb lady
in that shower and the slight movement will eventually break that thin set seal over time..... There is absolutely nothing to keep the water from leaking
through that floor drain base once the thin set gives way.

I am not even sure if the kerdi base actually has fall to the drain that this fellow is installing....I assume it has some fall to keep the water from
ponding at the seams???


Perhaps I am wrong but if you watch that video and how they
have seamed those corners with thin set morter on top of the
wall membranes,
if that shower stall does not leak some time
in the future, and those seams dont fail due to
moisture getting into them....
I will kiss your ass........




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5390_020.jpg



 
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Troutd0g

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Thanks for the well considered ideas and guidance thus far. I will post a pic of the end of the not-yet-trimmed-to-length riser with flange attached so you can see how far off level it on Fri when I get back from a business trip. It measured 0.25" higher on one side. In order to level the drain to the floor, the assembly needs to rotate axially with respect to the outflow end of the p-trap, if that helps you visualize it. And that happens to be the direction with least natural play in this case. However, rotation along this access won't affect the slope that is built into the drain. So hopefully that gives you a mental picture.

Removal of the 15/32 plywood layer involves simply removing screws - I was going to glue it down but decided against it at the last minute - glad of that now. The 3/4 OSB is screwed and glued to joists as well as edge blocking on all 4 sides that I added to fact that the floor became a patchwork quilt after replacing several sections that had water damage and to provide plumbing access.
Because the joists are TJI's I used joist hangers to create the edge blocking between joists, and then had to route out areas where the screws and hangers intruded into the floor joist plane. It was a PITA.

Alternative is to access the plumbing by cutting access hole in the kitchen ceiling below. Hard to hide the seams when patching finished drywall - even for the pro's and I would definitely have a pro do the joints on something like that. I have no allusions about matching their quality.
 

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Yes you are absolutely right....PLEASE dont take my advice...
I just got an education on this product and I am not impressed....

I just watched this U-tube video and I cant believe what
a crappy system this acutally is.... Everything taped together and
installed with plain thin set morter....on top of the drywall instead of behind it...
OK that is interesting......

I am pretty old school and have actually helped installed lead pans a long, long time ago.. and they will last a life time.....
.
Personally I would prefer the real vinyl membrane type of shower unit with a clamp down floor drain with the membrane clamped into the drian.. and
concrete under the membrane with fall graded to the drain....
Also the membrane going up the walls behind the wall board about 7 inches.
and a concrete floor with fall to the drain.....


that is just what little old me would prefer
but I dont know what I am talking about ....



From watching the video , I would never , ever trust that kerdi membrane seal to last
a life time compared to the old school way with vinyl membrane and concrete floors.
I cant believe they install the corners on top of the wall membranes and only up about 3 inches....WOW that is craftmanship

I cant believe that they just seal that floor drain down into that base
with thin set only ...that is absolutely un-real ......
you get some 300 lb lady
in that shower and the slight movement will eventually break that thin set seal over time..... There is absolutely nothing to keep the water from leaking
through that floor drain base once the thin set gives way.

I am not even sure if the kerdi base actually has fall to the drain that this fellow is installing....I assume it has some fall to keep the water from
ponding at the seams???


Perhaps I am wrong but if you watch that video and how they
have seamed those corners with thin set morter on top of the
wall membranes,
if that shower stall does not leak some time
in the future, and those seams dont fail due to
moisture getting into them....
I will kiss your ass........



I might not be a smart man but I know what shit is.....

.
5390_020.jpg





You're entitled to your opinion, I'm sure it's formed over many years of experience. Over time as you learn more about the Kerdi system, I bet you'll change your mind about it though.
 

jadnashua

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FWIW, the Kerdi shower system has been in use around the world and in the USA for nearing 30-years now. IT works, it passes all certification tests by independent test labs and building codes. In one class I attended, they had a paper box covered with Kerdi using unmodified thinset and daily, they filled it up with ice and drinks - by the end of the day, it was mostly water. That particular one had been in use for months (eventually, through flexing, the box becomes unstable, but not from being wet through leaks) and they'd make a new one. I'm sure you've seen a cardboard box that went through hell and was no longer stiff...that was the limitation, not leaking. The stuff works, they have millions of showers constructed around the world with the stuff. Last time I had a class, they said they sold over 100K drain assemblies a year, and more in their complete kits. That's just in the USA, and it's parent company is in Germany, and sold many places. Like anything, you have to follow the instructions, but if you do, it is reliable. I look at the drywall issue this way...you don't worry about it on your ceiling underneath your roof because you expect that the roof was installed properly and doesn't leak. Same issue around doors or windows. Installed in a shower, the drywall (or any other approved, tested backing material - you can use cbu if you want), it is on the dry side of the wet room...IOW, it doesn't matter. Use something else if that makes you feel better, but it won't necessarily be better unless you normally have leaks in your plumbing! Schluter had a test chamber made out of Kerdi, something like 10' tall and filled with water. Had it for years...never leaked. Vastly more water pressure (head) than you'd ever see in a shower. Only used the minimum of 2" overlap of seams. The stuff works.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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You're entitled to your opinion, I'm sure it's formed over many years of experience. Over time as you learn more about the Kerdi system, I bet you'll change your mind about it though.

I can see the advantages of installing the membrane over the walls...like it shows
in the video.... this would certainly seal the tile walls probably forever from leaking..
Of course most problems are going to be with issues with the drain and the base leaking
or ponding in spots....

I would prefer the old fashioned vinyl membrane and a tapered concrete floor going into the
centered drain ...we have done hundreds of them over the years and I assume they are still
in operation today ....

you go ahead and install anything you wish,,,
if they say it works, its just fine with me..
and I dont live there either.....
 

jadnashua

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You can makey our preslope out of deckmud, of, if your particular situation will work with it, you can use one of their preformed foam pans. The foam pan trades ease of use, perfect pitch (if the floor is level!), and speed for costs and more intolerance for improper prep. The system will work perfectly well with a sloped mudbed, which will be less expensive (unless you're paying someone to do it), fit the minor displacement of the drain, or other irregularities of the particular situation. This is all dependent on having the proper substrates, proper technique, and following the instructions. It's a very flexible system. Copyrights only last so long, so in the last few years, there have been a bunch of copy-cats that have come to the market with slight twists on the original. They each have their good and bad points, depending on your needs and point of view - none of them are perfect, and certainly not for every situation, but they are highly flexible. There are only a couple of companies that have real, long-term experience with this sort of shower, IMHO: Noble, and Schluter.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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I spoke with our local bath and tile place that we used to buy a ton of tile from
10+ years ago and they claim these units are not too bad..... at least they claim
they have been selling them for 15 years with no major issues.....

the place also told me the Kerdi shower drain is supposed to be
adjustable at the floor if one side is higher
than the other.....

I still would rather install the vinyl liner under the pan and lay concrete.

Here is another brand they sell at my local store that worries me too




Here is a job we had to do on Monday.... cut out a bunch of rotting copper drain lines in a basement .... Someone installed a neo-angle shower on the first floor with the styrofoam padding under the base... The drain was leaking around the pvc sticking through the concrete board.....

I had to get very creative with a commercial floor drain . Had to cut out the wood then silicone glue the flat top of this cast drain to the bottom of this pan to catch all the excess water coming through the hole...

If this does not work or the water finds another way to the basement, then we get to tear out this whole shower unit and start over..

Go ahead and tear the work apart.......







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jadnashua

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The grate assembly in a Kerdi drain (like most) is adjustable in height to account for variations in tile thickness, but the flange on the drain body itself must first be level. The grate assembly does have a slight plumb adjustment, but not the drain body. The thing is that you're tiling the flange. In a mudbed, you are not with a clamping drain, so slight errors in plumb aren't a huge issue WRT the tile around the grate (but it will still throw off the screw in grate holder!). Because the grate is MUCH smaller than the flange on a bonded flange, small errors get exaggerated...think 12" across verses the grate which (on a Kerdi drain) is 4" square.

The hassle with a liquid applied waterproofing is the variability between two people painting it on...each one will have different coverage numbers. The stuff needs to be installed in two layers, and EACH layer needs to be between the min/max. Too much is as bad as too little, so you need a wet film thickness gauge to verify your technique while doing it. It's easy to get a bit too much on, and then it runs. If it's too thin, you can end up with a pinhole. A uniform sheet membrane is waterproof as long as you do your seams properly. It's sort of like installing wallpaper, but you overlap the seams, or use the (thinner) banding material to cover the seam (less buildup, but it's 8mils thick, so not catastrophic - the banding is 5-mils).

There are numerous companies that make tested, approved showers. In all of them, it is important to follow instructions. They all work, if you do it properly. They each have their own benefits and peculiarities that you need to understand to do it correctly.

In the Redgard one, you have lots of points of failure where you can create an error, and FWIW, their sealant/adhesive is not inexpensive. A Kerdi shower can be done with only thinset. It was introduced into the USA in 1989 when it got first code approvals. That's 28-years. It started in the US with a small building with about 1000sq ft...the main facility is now easily over a million sqft, and there's a second major facility nearly the same size on the other side of the US. Kerdi for sale in NA, is, I think, made in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where they have cheap electric rates from the hydro at the falls.
 
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Master Plumber Mark

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jadnashua Thanks for the information.....
I would not mind using the membrane on the walls and could see a benefit
to doing this , but I would still prefer the old fashioned way for the floor with
the vinyl and concrete base.... At least you know you never have issues with that
funkey drain.... I dont trust a drain just being imbedded in thin set....

on another note... with the Redguard stuff, 2 gallons of the paint cost about 110 dollars...
according to my tile guy it has been used to water proof many things... its even been painted on
the outside of copper drain lines to extend the life of them ....

I got a customer that has older copper
drain lines that appear to be on the verge of having issues ,
you can see pock marks and green wiskers beginning to form on the pipes......

We are gonna do a little experiment with the redguard stuff and paint the copper
pipes in his basement to see how well it holds up.....


at this point the guy really has nothing to lose and for 110 bucks
its a Satruday paint project..

 

jadnashua

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RedGard will fail when exposed to a pressurized leak from beneath it. How long it will take, can't say.

FWIW, the Kerdi drain has fleece applied, so that bond is essentially the same as any between the sheets. Industry standards say you can only utilize a surface applied membrane on the walls when it also covers the pan to enclose the entire shower. The TCNA is the industry bible for tiling things, and has a big section on shower builds...follow one of the methods, your shower will work. Anything else, you're at risk, and if there's a problem, you'll have no support. A fine point, but rarely enforced...those approved methods are generally backed by certified testing agencies, and failing to follow the instructions means it doesn't actually meet the plumbing codes.

Because your mudbed does get damp, it can wick up behind the now waterproofed walls, and then, there's no way for the moisture to exit towards the inside of the shower. The moisture barrier you use on the walls was penetrated with screws or nails, so there's a path for moisture, and even a moisture resistant coating on the fasteners, after extended exposure, can corrode, making things worse.

These things are engineered 'systems'...while you might get something to work when you mix and match, it's risky. You become the testing agency.
 

Troutd0g

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As mentioned the plumber realigned the drain rough in to the hole using street 22's to offset but in the process got careless with aligning them while gluing, resulting in a centered drain that is now no longer level.

Picture attached.

Question is whether the ABS fittings can tolerate the strain that will be necessary to level it. Since the flange is plastic I think drawing it down on the high side as suggested is a non-starter. I believe it would warp the surface and possibly crack it.

Strapping the bottom of the trap to fix it in place and placing a block near the top of the stand pipe would allow a precise rotation, but I am still concerned about strain.

I think tearing up the floor and redoing the drain may be required.
 

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Master Plumber Mark

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you know I dont care too much for this system.... but from the pictures you have
posted the most likely easy way to make this work and flush with the floor would be to
prefab the stand pipe and install a 2 inch fernco fitting in the line....

That is IF you have the space below the floor to add a fernco... With the fernco you could
simply adjust the pipe in the gasket and make it level and perfect ,,, tighten down both clamps
and glue the final joint together under the floor... probably into a 2 inch coupling...

or maybe perhaps you will have to start over... I think I would cut the hole in the ceiling and
add a dummy heat register before going to all that trouble....

good luck

and may god have mercy on your soul......


 
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Sylvan

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I am so glad I use sheet lead for showers and use cast iron for drainage . Even a Terrazzo base with a caulked joint seems to have less problems

sylvan-melting-lead.jpg
 

Cacher_Chick

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Since you seem to be trying really hard to not take the floor back up, here is something else you can try-

Use a wedge between the outside of the pipe and the hole in the subfloor to pin the pipe hard over towards the side that you want it to go, and then use a heat gun to blow hot air into the pipe until it softens up a bit and finds a happy place. It will work, but I am not sure if you will be able to heat it up enough by blowing hot air into it.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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I am so glad I use sheet lead for showers and use cast iron for drainage . Even a Terrazzo base with a caulked joint seems to have less problems


I am in total agreement with you.... did you watch the tutorial on how to do this/?
that seems just too easy and there are too many ways it can fail.. in all the corner joints .......

I prefer the vinyl membrane with a real cast drain
at least I know I am not just inserting that drain into moarter mix then hoping for the best
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Since you seem to be trying really hard to not take the floor back up, here is something else you can try-

Use a wedge between the outside of the pipe and the hole in the subfloor to pin the pipe hard over towards the side that you want it to go, and then use a heat gun to blow hot air into the pipe until it softens up a bit and finds a happy place. It will work, but I am not sure if you will be able to heat it up enough by blowing hot air into it.


Why not just get out the propane torch and really heat it up good???:D:D:p
 

jadnashua

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While it's not considered correct, for a condensate drain on my a/c, using PVC pipe, I've used a heat gun to bend smaller pipe into right-angle curves rather than use fittings. IT was just draining to outside, so I wasn't worried about it much.

IF you decide to cut things and reglue...Schluter includes four foam position jigs designed to hold the drain at the right height and level when gluing things up...if you didn't throw them away with the packaging, I'd seriously consider using them, even if you don't want to glue the drain, you can use it to get the riser in the right position and just place the drain in place. My experience with their drains is that they do not have the full, normal taper inside, and you can dry fit the drain on the end of a pipe. I think they do that intentionally, so there's less tendency of the drain moving while the cement hardens. ON a typical joint, especially the larger the pipe, it can tend to push the pipe out of the fitting.
 

MNshowerdude2

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what an absoute debacle. over the span of weeks. this OP needs to walk away and hire a pro. If your supposed plumber cant get it right twice.

as you all bicker i may add.....The problem with the orange junk, is its mass marketed to folk that will fail miserably at it, and thats by design people.. Bad for the whole industry specifically tile and plumbing. as such choose to not support it. My teepee is more water resistant. and then you have retired genious's or internet trolls praising it with almost zero experience in the field on what 3 websites daily??

Did you know any knucklehead can go to a mismanaged joke of a class and in 2.5 hrs become experts? no previous experience required and you may get a t-shirt and a meal.. another selling point.
 
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Master Plumber Mark

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Hey tee pee guy... I am not bickering... I got a pretty good education on this stuff..
I never even knew the crappy stuff even existed till I watched the video... Then I place
a call to our tile outlet in town , the place we have bought tons of materials from years ago
when we were deep into tile and bath remodeling
and they give me more of an education and claim that the stuff is ok ...

Of course if you cant get a floor drain flush with the floor yourself, then you might be
out of your element expecting this shower unit not to leak after you are done with it
just speculating here....

You know that They also give Satruday classes at home depot on how to install gas track pipe in
your own home to avoid paying that pesky plumber.
and you can become certified in 30 minutes.....
 
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