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Thread: ABS to copper tub drain

  1. #1

    Default ABS to copper tub drain

    Hi there,

    I am in the midst of replacing a standard bathtub/ shower, and had a question about the ABS drain and overflow connector kit I purchased to the copper (I believe) drain pipe. I explained the situation to a local big box store, and they gave me a compression fitting to connect the 1 1/2 inch ABS to the existing pipe. The next day while checking to see how everying thing would go together, it seems the drain pipe is smaller than 1 1/2.
    Measuring the pipe it seems to be just shy of 1 1/2, but even if the opening was 1 1/2 the compression fitting seems to accomodate for the thickness of the ABS pipe and I do not think it would tighten enough to be a reliable way to connect to the copper.
    Should I look to get a copper fitting that will increase the diameter of the copper pipe to accomodate the compression fitting? Or is there another option I should pursue.
    I can post a picture if you think it would expain things a little better.

  2. #2

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    I googled my problem and seemed to find the below solution. Do you think this would work?

    "Question: I am remodeling a bathroom. The existing drain pipe is 1 1/2" copper tubing. What is the best way to connect a 1 1/2" PVC to 1 1/2" copper tubing?

    Answer: I would take a 1 1/2" female copper adapter and solder it on the copper pipe. Then I would glue on a 1 1/2" PVC male adapter on the PVC. Connect the two with a compression fitting and you'll have a solid connection."

    Do you think that is the way to go?

  3. #3
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    I suspect that the big box store gave you a BOW adaptor (some guys may called it something else) It is designed to fit copper pipe. The only reason that It won't fit your set up, you could be trying to attach the bow adaptor to a 11/2 tubular tailpeice (diametre slightly smaller than 11/2 copper)

    If you have access from below, I would use a transition from copper to ABS/PVC fernco or a no hub coupling or an MJ clamp (each state calls them different names, but they do the same thing) . A stailess steel band with a neopreme rubber on the inside of the band

  4. #4

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    The adapter seems to be rubber with two metal bands on each end that can be tightened at each side to complete the connection. I do have access from my crawlspace below. I guess the main reason I do not believe the fitting would work is that the total diameter between an 1 1/2 copper to 1 1/2 ABS is quite different due to the thickness of the pipe.

  5. #5
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corkercoon View Post
    The adapter seems to be rubber with two metal bands on each end that can be tightened at each side to complete the connection. I do have access from my crawlspace below. I guess the main reason I do not believe the fitting would work is that the total diameter between an 1 1/2 copper to 1 1/2 ABS is quite different due to the thickness of the pipe.
    If you use a 1-1/2 x 1-1/4 fernco, it will do the job. The 1-1/4 side will fit the 1-1/2 copper side

    Last edited by Terry; 09-24-2009 at 05:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Speak with the salesman to give you the correct sizes that you need.
    This is what it looks like. You will notice that one side has a thicker neopreme (copper side) than the other
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Technically, this is not a Fernco coupler. A Fernco as all neoprene with clamps on each end. They are not allowed above ground. What is pictured is a banded coupler which is good for above ground and inside work. Reason is stability.

  8. #8
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Technically, this is not a Fernco coupler. A Fernco as all neoprene with clamps on each end. .
    Technically, what you consider a "no hub coupling" we consider it as "MJ coupling" (mechanical joint coupling)

  9. #9

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    So the one I had was 1 1/2 by 1 1/2, and looked like the image below. Is this the one I should go with but in 1 1/2 by 1 1/4 or something that has the all metal casing in the picture posted above. Just got a bit confused with some of the dialog going back and forth.

    Below is an illegal coupling.
    They tend to sag over time, cutting off the flow.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Terry; 02-20-2008 at 03:38 PM.

  10. #10
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corkercoon View Post
    So the one I had was 1 1/2 by 1 1/2, and looked like the image below. Is the one I should go with but in 1 1/2 by 1 1/4 or something that has the all metal casing in the picture posted above. Just got a bit confused with some of the dialogue going back and forth.
    The same manufacturer that makes the image that you are showing me, makes a reducing coupling 11/2 x11/4. The 11/4 side will fit the 11/2 copper pipe nicely

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Unless the coupling is underground, and can be supported by the backfill to keep it in place, you MUST use the one with the metal band around it to keep the pipes aligned if you want it to pass code. They're also thinner, and would fit easier in a wall if it was going there.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Unless the coupling is underground, and can be supported by the backfill to keep it in place, .
    How much weight can you expect to be pressing on that fernco coupling above ground?

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default coupling

    How much weight can you expect to be pressing on that fernco coupling above ground?

    That is only part of the equation. Part of the rest of it is lateral stability. And do not confuse requlations/requirements with practicality.

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It's not unusual to end up with a little torque on a pipe that eventually causes the pipes to no longer line up. If you strap each end near the coupling (which doesn't happen all that often), it shouldn't be a big deal, but...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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