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Thread: abs or pvc shower drain? which is better?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member roygbiv's Avatar
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    Default abs or pvc shower drain? which is better?

    I need to convert my cast iron shower drain (meaning just the p-trap & drain, line remains cast iron) to either ABS or PVC for a new shower system I am putting in. This is for a shower stall that will be completely tiled - ceiling, 3 walls, floor - if that makes any difference. I realize this is probably a novice question. But, since I have the choice of either ABS or PVC, which is better? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Plumber, Contractor, Attorney LonnythePlumber's Avatar
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    Default Both OK

    Most of us would probably prefer PVC but both are completely satisfactory for this type of installation.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member e-plumber's Avatar
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    Question Shower Liner

    Aside from the drain line, what type of shower liner, (pan) will you be installing?
    e-plumber

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    PVC vs ABS seems to be a regional choice. For example, here in San Diego, ABS is virtually in universal use; therefore PVC fittings in drainage configuration are not readily available.

    ABS pipe is not schedule 40, and therefor has no pressure rating and less mechanical strength, but is this really an issue? ABS because it is foam-core, not solid, weighs less and is easier to lug around.

    Maybe some plumbers who have used both can weigh in with their preferences.

  5. #5
    Plumber, Contractor, Attorney LonnythePlumber's Avatar
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    Default KS is PVC

    Thank you again jimbo for educating me. In Kansas we are almost all PVC and ABS fittings cost almost three times as much. My Dad was ABS because it looks a hell of a lot better than white pipe and purple streaks.
    Jimbo has California always been ABS? We were until PVC became cheaper a decade ago. We feel PVC is a tougher pipe than ABS. Do you paint the vents on the roof?

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    San Diego county went straight from cast iron to ABS (60's?.. a little before my time). I have never seen a PVC drain system. Now, I cannot speak for north of here ( LA County area, or LaLa land as we say) They do tend to march to a different drummer. I think they were still doing cast iron water pipes into the sixties; San Diego went copper in 1950 or so in a big way. I can tell this from the older bulidings I have worked on. I am familiar with several large appartment complexes , all built around 1951: all cast iron and copper. Then there is Northern California; we don't even talk about those people!

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member roygbiv's Avatar
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    Default thanks all!

    I'm in No Cal and am 99% sure we are going with the Schluter Kerdi shower system (walls, tray, drain). Their drains can be ordered for either PVC or ABS. The drain in our other bathroom is ABS. So it sounds like either is fine and it's a personal choice.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Jimbo

    PVC DWV pipe is not schedule 40 either.

  9. #9
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Thanks,hj ... I did not know that.

  10. #10
    Plumber, Contractor, Attorney LonnythePlumber's Avatar
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    Default Yes - Sch 40 PVC DWV - Yes

    This is the second time I have read the statement that PVC DWV is not available in Sch 40. That's all I use. I checked with my supply house and at the Charlotte site and there is SCH 40 PVC DWV. Solid too not foam-core.
    I now replicate the markings of this 8 foot piece of pipe before me,
    "0704303B5BX 2" Cresline PVC DWV / nsf-dwv / ASTM D 2665 SCH 40 280 PSI Pr Water at 73 degrees F PVC 1120 / nsf-pw/ ASTM D 1785 PPFA".
    I'm now going to lite a cigar.

  11. #11
    Plumber, Contractor, Attorney LonnythePlumber's Avatar
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    Default $3.00 Cigar

    I've only let myself lite a $3.00 cigar because I remembered I started this thread out projecting, that most of us would prefer PVC when that is not true. I should not speak for others when I barely know myself.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member roygbiv's Avatar
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    Default thanks for the chuckle

    Lonny - Enjoy another cigar. Thanks for the help.

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