View Full Version : Bathtub Drain

06-19-2011, 07:49 AM
I want to add a bathtub to my 1/2 bath in the basement.

I have this access hole in the closet next the the bathroom. Inside the access hole are two capped connections. The left connection closest to the street seems to be an elbow shape. The right connection seems to be a WYE in the stack.

There is another stack in the bathroom that has everything in the upstairs bathroom draining into, as well as the sink and toilet for the basement.

I am trying to figure out what these connections are here for but more importantly, I want to know: Can I use the WYE connection for my tub drain?

06-19-2011, 10:09 AM
Hi Frank...

You can't do what you are proposing, OK? Here, that double capped recessed area in the floor is most likely a HOUSE TRAP with cleanouts...you cannot connect a drain into either side of the house trap. You also have issues in that almost anything you suggest forgets to add in the required VENT for this new tub...;)

In my opinion, you need to plan on breaking up the floor and connecting into the toilet drain line. This is always the best job!

You may also want to consider installing the tub up on a platform...with some arrangement of the plumbing above the floor it may be possible to hook a tub up to that stack in the closet....again, must add a vent here, too!

Also, and I can't be sure, but that sink piping doesn't look to have a vent...needs a vent, for sure!!

Good luck!

06-19-2011, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the response!

On the end on the sink drain pipe I have a 6'' high tube, with a black vent that I picked up from home depot. I thought the vent would be sufficent, its 1 1/2'' and simply screwed in at the top of 6'' tube. I was planning on using the same setup for the tub if the drain issue works out. Let me know if either of these are a problem.

I looked into the recessed area being a house trap. The house trap pipe I seen used was practically a U shape. It seems that there is a WYE in the stack. And an elbow on the other pipe. Should I dig some of the pipe out to be sure or does it not matter either way?


06-19-2011, 03:48 PM
Those "black vents" called AAVs are air admittance valves and are allowed in some states, but I'm almost 100% sure they are not code legal in New York. They are better than nothing, of course, but in New York and surrounding states you are supposed to run fixture vents, connect them together in correct way and then connect all together to a vent stack going out the roof.

In terms of the tub drain/vent, have you decided to build a platform for the tub or do you want the tub on the floor? If you want the tub built up on a platform, I would need you to post another picture of this WYE fitting, without all the paper on it, at the stack, OK? If you want the tub on the floor then you will need to open up the floor and connect into the toilet pipe...really best choice here. The house trap is definitely U SHAPED and is all underground, and you cannot connect into that.

I am unclear about "an elbow on the other pipe"...??

Back to you...

06-19-2011, 04:17 PM
There are issues with AAVs. FIrst, they can't be the only vent in the system. Second, since they are mechanical, they eventuall break and need replacement (so they must have an access panel). Third, they only let air INTO the system (unless they're broken), and sometimes, depending on how things are layed out, you need to allow for a pressure wave of air trying to get OUT of the system (normally, it would 'breath' through the vent through the roof). LAst, they're not legal everywhere, and even when they are, should not be your first choice. The inspector has the last say on this, and may not allow it, regardless, depending on the circumstances.

06-19-2011, 09:47 PM
The elbow I am referring to is in the access hole. You said it was most likely the house cleanout. I dont believe the pipes in the access hole are a 1 piece U shape, instead there seems to be an elbow end on the left pipe and a WYE connected in line within the stack for the right pipe. The two pipe ends (elbow and WYE) have screw covers, which is what you see in the pictures. I was asking if I should dig to see if it is the house trap?

Also the stack that is covered in paper does not have any WYE above the concrete, just the WYE under the concrete i was trying to describe.

06-20-2011, 04:42 AM
Hi Frank,

Please dig down to expose the piping....shouldn't take long at all. Thanks...

06-20-2011, 05:51 AM
Those two openings are "cleanouts" of some kind, whether for a house trap or a "two way cleanout", but in either case they should not be used for a fixture connection, and the lavatory drain is ALSO into a cleanout which is also improper and could create a problem someday when it has to be cut apart to use the cleanout.. "Someone" has a propensity for doing things the "EASY" way, instead of the right way, possibly getting his plumbing advice from Lowes or Home Depot.

06-20-2011, 10:31 AM
It is definitly the house trap. I dug and seen the U. Never touched it before and the cap popped right off while I was digging. Looks like plumbers putty'd on instead of screwed???

The person who owned the house before us was a "handyman" lol. There was always a sink there so I assumed it would be ok.

If the only problem with a sink there is having to cut it out if we need the cleanout, I am willing to deal with that.

The shower on the other hand needs a better idea.

06-20-2011, 11:30 AM
Looks like you are digging up some of the floor and connecting into the toilet drain line (and venting tub/shower), or you're building a platform and installing a SANISHOWER unit (check it out at http://www.saniflo.com/homeowners/sfa-product-line/sanishower- ).

If you chip out the floor and dig out from around the toilet pipe and you are super handy then this all shouldn't actually be too difficult for you...quicker than you might think. If you aren't so handy but you chip out the floor and dig around the pipes and then hire a local licensed plumber to do the work, they'll make pretty quick work out of it and may even bring you all up to code....not so bad, either!!

If you install the sanishower unit, you'll need to build up the floor around 4-6 inches and you'll still need to vent the tub and have other plumbing work to do, too! You'll also have a pump that is super reliable and can be a bit noisy when pumping/cycling. It can also break down, so be aware of that, too!! You may also want to consider a shower stall...less work for the pump!
Decisions, decisions...;)

06-20-2011, 11:38 AM
In the long run, it's always best to let gravity work rather than having to pump things...gravity doesn't 'break' or go out when the power goes off, either.

06-20-2011, 11:51 AM
Couldn't agree more, Jim! Funny enough is that it actually takes more time to build a platform, mess with the pump and then try to finish the platform than it actually takes to chip out the floor and cut into the pipe, patch, etc.

Scary, however, if a person has never done the work!!

Your thoughts, Frank?

06-21-2011, 10:14 AM
I am looking at my upstairs toilet from the basement. The toilet tube is very long. I do believe tapping into the toilet plumbing in the basement will be a lot more work than we are willing to get into. We may opt for a sanishower. I need to discuss everything with my parents and see what their take is.

You guys here are awesome. I would have screwed myself if I just went with my idea. Thanks for slowing me down lol.

I should know soon, and will be back for help either way lol

06-22-2011, 10:20 AM
IF there is an upstairs bathroom draining into that pipe, then "If the only problem with a sink there is having to cut it out if we need the cleanout" is NOT the only problem since that sink can be subjected to positive pressures when the upstairs plumbing is used, and an AAV CANNOT handle positive pressures.