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Thread: 17 gauge brass tube and nuts, or PVC?

  1. #1

    Default 17 gauge brass tube and nuts, or PVC?

    I am installing a new bathtub.
    22-inch deep tub well.
    I will be tiling around tub, there will be no access to the plumbing, other then at the fixture.

    I originally purchased the lift/turn drain with the tub - but my wife decided that was too far down for her to reach when closing it to take a bath.
    I looked at the cable-drive, but didn't like the possibility of breakage since there will be no access to it later.
    I asked my plumber about a trip-lever drain, but he said he couldn't find one for that depth of a tub (22")

    So I went online and found a Moen product, 90480BN, that is a trip-lever system for 22" tubs. Its a nice kit. Plunger-style action, with the brush-nickel finish and brass tubing. I figured this would solve both problems.
    1) My wife won't have to bend very far to close the drain
    2) The parts (linkage/plunger) are serviceable thru the overflow

    So I ordered it Saturday, Paid $35 to overnight-ship it.
    I told my plumber this morning that I ordered a "kit" that comes with all tubing, it just has to connect to the tub and drain. I even left him a print-out of the assembly.

    So he was here today doing some work, while I was at work.
    When I came home, I found that he had mounted a chrome overflow cap to my tub. I thought, that's strange, why would he do that? I then went to the back of the tub, the drain side - and found that he had already glued together all the pieces to make a PVC drain!

    I immediately called him and said, "Hey, don't you recall me saying that I ordered an ASSEMBLY that comes with brass tubing? All you have to do is connect it to the tub and tie it into the drain?"

    He replied by saying, "I went ahead and plumbed with PVC." He said, "Since we have to backfill some cement in the floor near the drain, its better to use PVC in the cement, rather then brass." He said, "Concrete can, over time, break down metals or brass - but the PVC is a better product to submerge with conrete." He explained, "We will use the overflow-plate,the drain-plate, and the linkage/plunger from what you ordered, but we won't use the brass.

    I said okay and hung up the phone. I then went to inspect the drain area. Yes, there will be "some" concrete put back int he hole, but that is in the drain area "below" the p-trap. My brass tubing should all be above, and not submerged in the conrete.

    My question is - which is a better "long-term" product?
    The 17 gauge brass tubing and brass nuts?
    Or the PVC?

    Please help me. I am a consumer that is confused, and needs some expert advice.

    Thanks in advance for all your expert, and personal opnions!
    Last edited by tx_consumer8; 08-04-2008 at 08:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drain

    It may work depending on the drain mechanism. But it would be an unusal drain that did not depend on the manufacturer's tee for its proper operation.

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