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Thread: Joist meets Drain - now what?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member lhartl's Avatar
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    Question Joist meets Drain - now what?

    Hello,

    I am new to this forum.

    My husband and I are currently renovating our ensuite. We have removed the bathtub and are planning a large walk-in shower unit in it's place. We have purchased the 32 x 60 Schluter Shower System with an offset drain, hoping to utilize the current bathtub drain location (upgrading to a 2" pipe of course).

    Upon examining the existing plumbing, we can see that the bathtub drain was placed directly over a joist (notched to accommodate the drain fittings) - and upon examination of the Schluter drain system, we realize that we need to go almost 4 inches deeper with the new drain fittings.

    The 10" joist (on 16 inch centres) is currently notched about 3" and we will need to cut another 4 inches to build a 2" drain/trap to accept the Schluter drain. That would leave less than 3 inches of joist. The shower is on the outside wall, we estimate about 24 inches to the outside wall would be compromised.

    The offset drain in the Schluter foam tray is 10" from the edge, and to keep the slant from the edge to the outside of the drain, we have very little to play with.

    I am anxious to hear any and all ideas from the experts.

    Cheers,
    Linda

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I think you'll need to cut that joist out and put in some headers on either side of it so you've got a reinforced box around the drain..
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    street 45 in the drain to angle out of the joist and then another to offset it back


    or cut and header the joists
    Just because you aren't paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member lhartl's Avatar
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    Default Street 45 ?

    Thanks for the ideas, what exactly is a 'street 45' ? Can you explain a little more about these fittings suggested?

    thanks,
    Linda

  5. #5
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhartl
    Thanks for the ideas, what exactly is a 'street 45' ? Can you explain a little more about these fittings suggested?
    A street fitting is male at one end and female at the other, and the suggestion here is that you first angle away from your joist rather than cutting it more. So, something like a couple of street 45s would let you dog-leg over a bit before going farther on down below the existing notch in your floor joist.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member lhartl's Avatar
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    Default Picture for clarity

    Hi again, I am attaching a picture of the situation today. The circle that I drew on the board was from the shortest 90 degree elbow that I could find attached to the drain. This circle marks where the curve of that elbow would sit if the joist weren't there. As you can see, there is not much room from there to the main pipe and I need to get a trap in there and also a conversion from 2" to 1.5". I understand that I need to maintain a slope also.

    does this give you any other ideas? Should I just get a plumber in to look at this and make it right? I think I am over my head a little.

    thanks,
    Linda
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I would not use 2 45's that just makes the potential for a clog. The best thing to do is as Jim suggested. Cut the offending joist out and box around the area. This will return the support lost when cutting out the joint and provide the space needed.

  8. #8
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhartl
    As you can see, there is not much room from there to the main pipe and I need to get a trap in there and also a conversion from 2" to 1.5". I understand that I need to maintain a slope also.
    1st - you cannot place a 2" trap here and reduce it to 1-1/2" to fit into the existing tee....
    You have to replace the SanTee with a 2" tee and plumb it from there...
    Once this is done, you can figure out the best way to run your drain - in the long run the boxing out of the joists will be the best option...
    If you are not sure of what you are doing, take lots of pictures and make lots of drawings and, for the most part, we can talk you through the piping part - for the tiling, go to John Bridge's forum http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/index.php? .

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member lhartl's Avatar
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    Default Cutting Back further

    thanks. Just to confirm, the San Tee is the pipe furthest away in the picture? I hear you say that I need to cut that one out and replace it with a 2" T, but there is no room to accomodate an even bigger pipe and 2 to 1:5 connectors or is there? I haven't seen them at HD but I will go back and look again if you tell me that I should be able to squeeze this in.

    I have new respect for plumbers! How do you work in such small spaces and keep your sense of humor?

    thanks,
    Linda

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Hello, what is it you are not understanding? Remove a section of the joist that is in way and box around the work area. Also, you can not reduce the size of the drain from 2" to 1-1/2". That would be an open invitation for clogs. You really don't have a serious problem here if you will just remove the joist.

  11. #11
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    I will probably get shot for this, but it looks to me like that circle you have drawn is near the center of the joist, and if that project was my own, I would plate both sides or "make a sandwich out of" that joist to return it to its original strength (or at least very close), then drill the hole you need where you need it. And rather than trying to retrofit to 2", I would keep that bit of pipe (aws a nipple) already coming out of your tee and use it for connecting your new trap. But of course, neither was McGyver a plumber ...

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member lhartl's Avatar
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    Lee,

    Thanks for the suggestion. The Schluter shower drain is 2" and the old (existing) tub pipes are 1.5", so I must make the conversion somewhere in there. Mark has suggested that I swap out the current 1.5" SanTee and replace with a 2" SanTee - but this will require that I change the pipe connections coming in and going out of the SanTee. I can't possibly replace all the plumbing to 2", somewhere I have to end the 1.5" and I am up against another joist at that point.

    Do you think that I need to start at the SanTee with the 2" ?
    thanks,
    Linda

  13. #13

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    45'ing out of the joist ain't gonna cause a clog...lets be serious, it's not like we have solids going down here....I mean...I might not get out of the shower to go #1(don't tell my wife)....but I ain't going #2 in there.....
    Just because you aren't paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...

  14. #14

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    you may not have enough room for 2 45's anyway...2 streets maybe, thats the easiest way if you have room....headering the joist on the 2nd floor aint no picnic , I would avoid it if possible...........the shower drain should be 2" by code....how hard would it be to change it? .....would it work going into a 1 1/2" drain...yes....is it a really good idea?.....no



    you would do yourself a favor by getting a proffesional in there...
    Just because you aren't paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...

  15. #15
    DIY Member adrianmariano's Avatar
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    What exactly do people mean when they say to build a box around the drain? I can't figure out how this would work without compromising the strength of the joist. I think the idea of bolting a sister joist in next to the existing one and then drilling out the hole in the center for the new drain is good for the structural integrity. The result will be stronger than what was there before.

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