Stumped - How to Replace Tub Waste/Overflow w/ Very Tight Clearance to I-Joist

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by m42stanle, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. m42stanle

    m42stanle New Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    First off, thanks in advance for reading this. I have been lurking here reading all of the great advice and info for months before joining and posting this question.

    As part of a current minor bathroom reno (mainly retiling floor/walls and changing out some fixtures) I am replacing a broken cable-actuated waste/overflow in a Jacuzzi tub while I have the walls open and can easily access the pipes through the subfloor. We're keeping the same tub, so all plumbing will pretty much remain where it is.

    The only catch here is that the drain is a "direct drain" (not sure of correct terminology) and there is a very tight clearance for the overflow due to an I-Joist a few inches away. I would like to use a "clicker" drain here, ideally an OS&B clicker or something similar if possible as I have installed these in the past for our other lavs/tub drains and have been very pleased with them.

    I have test fitted an OS&B ABS direct drain tee and it fits perfectly, but my problem is I cannot fit the ABS elbow and short pipe for the overflow to the tee due to this very tight clearance to the flange of an I-Joist directly in front of the waste pipe. I basically have 3" of clearance from the centre of the drain to the edge of the I-Joist flange. I have read that even slightly notching an I-Joist is a big no-no so that is out of the question here. Here is a pic (sorry for the quality) showing a measurement from the centre of the tub drain to the edge of the I-Joist flange (OS&B ABS direct drain tee is loosely screwed in here and measurement is from the centre of the drain):



    One option I am considering is using an OS&B rough brass direct drain kit (314DQ-20CP) rather than ABS to see if this provides clearance for installation, however I'm waiting to hear back from their customer support on whether this will fit as they don't have a spec sheet for this kit posted online.

    Are there any other options here that I am missing? The old waste/overflow extends further than 3" but uses a much smaller (looks like 1") flexible corrugated pipe for the overflow and so manages to barely clear the top of the joist flange. Here's a pic of the old one FWIW:


    Thanks in advance for any assistance!
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Jul 20, 2009
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    North Vancouver, BC
    Can the new assembly be modified so it sits lower and then goes under the top side of the IJoist?

    Can you post a picture of the new waste and overflow kit?

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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Since the new drain goes in with fittings, there is no reason that the tee below the tub drain can't be turned, and then several fittings used to wiggle past the I-Beam.
  5. m42stanle

    m42stanle New Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Toronto, ON

    Thanks for the quick responses guys. The other challenge (not sure if it's clear from the pic) is that there is HVAC on the other side of the I-joist so I can't really go through the web either. It may be possible to turn the tee but from a small check I just did I would need to notch the subfloor on one side a bit more to get 1 1/2" ABS pipe through there which probably means opening up a hole in the ceiling below or trying to lift the tub right out. (would rather avoid this as I don't want to screw around with the wiring for the Jacuzzi motor which is bolted to the tub)

    I think I may have a solution: if I raise the tub a little less than 1" it provides clearance for the OS&B direct drain kit to connect to the overflow over top of the I-Joist with around 1/8" or 1/16" clearance below. This slightly raises the step over height for the tub (not a big deal for us) and creates some extra work, but from my point of view it's ok as it means I can re-level and re-shim the tub which is something the original builders did not properly do for some reason.

    The only other PITA is that I will have to remove the taps and replace &/or re-sweat the joints for the rough in (1" brings them past the current rough in threads) but this is not the end of the world either as we were planning to replace the fixture anyway.

    Is there anything I am missing here with this approach? The room is already down to the studs and subfloor anyway so I wanted to get this all sorted out before I re-build the surround & start putting up backerboard.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
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