View Full Version : How to install a Slovent weld drain in a fiberglass shower

09-04-2004, 10:33 PM
I have finished moving all of my supply line and I am now working on the instaling the drain on my recent weekend project. One problem---how? The shower base is out and fully accessble. I have an Oatey solvent weld 2" fibergalss drain and all the right stuff. I know that the rubber and fiber gasket go under the shower but what do you use on the floor of the shower?

I tried using plumber putty but it would allow the darin to lower enough in to the floor (I think I had way to much on). The only other thing I can think of is using a clear silicon caulk to adhere the drain to the floor. Can plumbers putty even be used with fiberglass? Any advise will help. Thanks! :eek:

09-05-2004, 07:09 AM
clear or colored silicone will work, just be sure not to get any on the threads under the shower stall floor. But, I would question the advisability of using a solvent weld drain in that application. It may be difficult to get the pipe riser cut at exactly the right point to make a good joint and not put upward pressure on the shower floor. It may also be "interesting" to get the drain and pipe cemented, lined up, and then inserted into the drain fitting, while also trying to place the floor into position.

09-05-2004, 07:18 AM
Thank for the information. The choice to use a solvent weld drain was a diffulcult one for me, but then again, I have no exsiting drin line there. The closest is about 4 feet away, and that is the one I am tieing into. I will actually be building the drain line as I go so I feel confiedent that it will work out just fine. One more question, why not use plumbers putty? I'm fine with the silicone, but just curious. Thanks!

09-05-2004, 09:25 AM
Unless you have access below--a basement or crawl space--do not use a solvent weld drain on your shower.
If you are on concrete slab, or do not have access from below, the ONLY way to go IMHO is a high quality brass no caulk drain. I think that on installations like this, you should use the highest quality drain you can buy. The install now is not the problem, service down the road is. Once you are glued up, you are glued up. If you have a problem with the drain after everything is in, you will most likely have to destroy and replace the shower to repair the drain--they have been glued together and there is no way to separate the shower from the drain. Take the advise of us plumbers here--a solvent weld is a really bad idea and you still have time to put in a quality drain.
Also I see no mention of a vent or p-trap.....make sure that you get the p-trap and vent in correctly. A fixture that is not vented correctly can allow the trap to siphon and allow sewer gas in--a really nasty smell and a health hazard.
I would recommend that you install a pressure balance shower valve. Not only is it code virtually everywhere, it is the smart safe way to protect your family from being scalded.
If the putty was too cold or too much, it could have kept the drain from setting down completely. However, the nut can be hard to tighten completely. We plumbers have a tool to tighten shower drains--that is its only function, but I wouldn't be without one. Plumbers putty is not recommended with fiberglass and acrylic--I believe that the oils in the putty can discolor the fiberglass/acrylic. However, I have gone on service calls where putty had been used on fiberglass years before and I have never actually noticed any staining of the fixtures. I am not crazy about silicone for 2 reasons. First, I can get a little bit messy sometimes and have a hard time containing the silicone to the specific area that it needs to be (re: don't get it on the threads) and it is not water based and is hard to clean the excess. However, with fiberglass and acrylic, it is what I use. Many drain manufacturers (sinks, tubs, and showers) are including a black rubber washer that they intend for you to use between the drain and the fixture, but I don't like the way they look, so I use silicone. Secondly, silicone can also be really hard to remove later. I have had to remove sinks that had been set with silicone that I wasn't sure if the silicone was going to win or whether I was :) . I can't believe that I got so long winded, but I am just waiting for my tee time :D . I hope that I gave you some information that you can use.
The Pipewench

09-05-2004, 09:40 AM
I usually use a shower strainer that connects to the base with a nut and gasket on the bottom and use silicone under the shower flange, (on top). Tighten the nut down tight. The type of seal I find to work best when working with PVC or ABS is the compression type.

Once the shower strainer is installed to the base and the base is set into position, (don't forget to set the base on mortar mix or structolite if suggested by the manufacturer), There is a rubber "donut" gasket that fits over the stub up pipe, then a ring nut to tighten down and compress the donut. If you need to cut the stub up pipe after the base is in position, use a Dremel tool from the inside of the pipe.

09-06-2004, 02:22 PM
Listen to Deb the Pipewrench and use a brass strainer. The nuts on the plastic strainers have a tendency to loosen.

09-07-2004, 08:58 AM
Thanks yo all for the help! I finished installing the shower with little diffulculty over the weekend. Despite some of the suggestions, I did choose to use a solvent weld drain. I left out one vital piece of information, I have open access to the drain from below (the shower is above my garage) and can reach it easily (by ladder). Once again thanks for all your help!

09-08-2004, 06:00 AM
IN that case we left out one suggestion. If the garage is under the house, and the joists are open, present building codes REQUIRE that it be sheetrocked with 5/8" fire rated sheetrock for safety reasons.

09-08-2004, 07:55 AM
Firewalls are intended to protect the house from a potential fire starting in the garage; but they can work both ways. Recently, a house here in San Diego caught fire from a brush fire wich ran up a canyon wall to the back side of the house. By the time fire crews got a handle on it, the second floor had collapsed onto the first. Total loss...except the garage, on the front side of the house, was still standing, undamaged. Fire wall held!

09-08-2004, 02:37 PM

Thanks again, but I left one thing out as well. The garage will have the 5/8 drywall replaced at the end of the projects completion. I had to remove it to gain access. Thanks Again!