tub surround plumbing

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by mshea, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. mshea

    mshea New Member

    May 13, 2007
    I'm remodeling our master bath which is on the second floor of our house.

    I've reached the point where I have to deal with the plumbing for the tub surround and I need some advice from the more experienced. When it comes to DIY I'm a good mimic -- I can tear out and replace exactly what I see but I'm pretty clueless if I have to design something new.

    My first question is how to deal with the hot and cold feeds.

    The previous tub sat in a tile deck with the spout and the valve in the wall. For the new tub the spout and the hot and cold valves will be mounted on the right front corner of the tile deck.

    I've attached pictures of the existing plumbing. I want to keep the stud bay on the right clear for future access if needed from a closet. The cold supply is in the center stud bay and the hot supply I want to move to the center so both feeds would be accessible from the access hole.

    Should I terminate the feeds with drop ells and shutoff valves as you would for a sink or is it a bad idea to embed valves inside the platform? Should I switch to plastic or to braided flex tubing? How would a Pro do it?

    My second question is about the drain. The existing P-trap is ABS with a threaded female ABS connector already glued on. The threads look OK. The tub drain is about 15" in from the trap. I've attached a drawing of how I think it should be done. Am I correct? If I go with this design, is there anything special about the T that connects the overflow to the tub drain? Finally, if I use the treaded connection to the P-trap is there a special pipe sealant for ABS threaded connections?

    I've attached 3 photos of the tub niche and plumbing and 2 photos of drawings of the planned installation.


    Attached Files:

  2. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Nov 27, 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    access panel, under the deck mount faucets.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    1. If you install the drain that way, you will effectively make it difficult, or impossible, to snake when it becomes obstructed.
    2. How to run the water lines is not a precise science because there are innumerable ways to do it, and the "best" way might not be apparent until the tub is in place and the faucet mounted. The best way to connect it is with solid pipe to get maximum flow.
  5. mshea

    mshea New Member

    May 13, 2007

    Thanks hj for your reply. I'll be running the water lines with pretty much full access. I'm not doing the tile work -- the plan is that the platform and surround wall above the platform will be in place and tiled (with the hole cut out for the tub -- but the tub not in place.) The front will be off the platform so access is complete from inside the platform and from the front of the platform. My initial thought was to do exactly what you are suggesting. Mount the faucets and the spigot to the platform and simply run copper pipes from the feeds to the faucets.

    When I build stuff I try to think what it might be like for either me or the next guy to maintain it in the future. That's why I posted to the forum -- to see what others might suggest. I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to put in shutoffs and flex hoses so that a faucet could be replaced if need be. Maybe I'm overdesigning the thing.

    I understand your point about snaking the drain. The other way to do it was to relocate the trap so that it was either directly under the drain or directly under the vertical from the overflow (that's the way the previous tub was installed). That means taking up the floor ( or going through the ceiling from the first floor) and moving the trap to the other side of a joist. Is that what you're recommending?

    If I stayed with the original design what do you think of putting a cleanout in the 15" horizontal line going to the trap -- maybe at the juncture where the drain goes vertical into the trap? That cleanout would be accessible via the access panel from the closet.
  6. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Dec 21, 2005
    I recently went through the same process in a master bath although my valves and spout were quite far from each other. Valves were on the vertical surface of a tiled shelf above the tub deck. Ultimately, I used 1/2" copper to preserve flow. Biggest challenge I had was the thickness of the tub deck (plywood, mud, tile) which was much thicker than the roman rough-in was designed to handle. I did install high quality ball valves in the hot and cold lines so I could leave the water lines pressurized while I figured out what to do with the tub plumbing. Also installed shutoffs coming into the bathroom to minimize the down time for the rest of the house.

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