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Thread: 2 drains in a shower

  1. #1

    Default 2 drains in a shower

    We are in the process of adding a 2nd floor to our house, and the plumber has roughed in the shower drain. On the plans, only one drain was marked by the designer -and two lights were marked above. The drainage slope to the drain was also indicated on the plans. The plumber however has roughed in two drains - right where the lights are supposed to be above the shower. It is a large shower, to be sure - about 4 x 7 feet - but there are no extra body sprays or anything, just a rainhead and hand-held shower.

    The plumber is now contending that this was not a misreading of the plans (despite the coincidence that he's located the drains exactly where the lights were supposed to be above) and that he put two drains in the shower in spite of the plans or any discussion because he had to to meet code. I think that code in this case is code for,"we don't want to admit we made a mistake and we don't want to redo it".

    So my question (and I do have one) is, has anyone ever heard of larger showers needing two drains, despite the fact that the volume of water is no greater than it would be in a smaller shower, to meet code? I realize the code here in Alberta would be different than other places to an extent but this just seems to defy logic to me. BTW we used the same shower fixture combination in a smaller shower on the main floor a couple of years ago and that shower only has one drain.

  2. #2
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Troubling to think that electrical fixtures were mistook for drain locations. Do I dare ask if more plumbing was done by said individual┐


  3. #3
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Well one way to verify if the plumber is telling the truth about meeting the code is talk to your building inspector.

  4. #4
    I teach guitar:You call that a job? Howard Emerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooz View Post
    We are in the process of adding a 2nd floor to our house, and the plumber has roughed in the shower drain. On the plans, only one drain was marked by the designer -and two lights were marked above. The drainage slope to the drain was also indicated on the plans. The plumber however has roughed in two drains - right where the lights are supposed to be above the shower. It is a large shower, to be sure - about 4 x 7 feet - but there are no extra body sprays or anything, just a rainhead and hand-held shower.

    The plumber is now contending that this was not a misreading of the plans (despite the coincidence that he's located the drains exactly where the lights were supposed to be above) and that he put two drains in the shower in spite of the plans or any discussion because he had to to meet code. I think that code in this case is code for,"we don't want to admit we made a mistake and we don't want to redo it".

    So my question (and I do have one) is, has anyone ever heard of larger showers needing two drains, despite the fact that the volume of water is no greater than it would be in a smaller shower, to meet code? I realize the code here in Alberta would be different than other places to an extent but this just seems to defy logic to me. BTW we used the same shower fixture combination in a smaller shower on the main floor a couple of years ago and that shower only has one drain.
    Sooz,

    Your plumber is full of it, and I don't mean Molson's.

    Is the shower base sloped toward 2 drains or 1?

    1 is the answer, of course.

    Take him to task and get in touch with the inspector.........He'll quickly find the time to fix it correctly.

    HE

  5. #5
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    I actually think he may have been full of Molsons and therein lies the problem. lol

  6. #6
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooz View Post


    So my question (and I do have one) is, has anyone ever heard of larger showers needing two drains, despite the fact that the volume of water is no greater than it would be in a smaller shower, to meet code? .
    No such code in Canada. The only time I have ever heard of multiple shower drains is when you would have multiple shower heads with independent shower controls. It really not against code as long as each drain trap is vented, but rather a waste of your money.

    However , on one of my jobs, I had an incident with a 12" rain head where it was positioned directly above the shower drain. The amount of flow was distributed over a large area ontop of the drain. As the water came out, it would displace or push the water away from the drain. After a little while of running the shower, water would start to accumulate where the feet would be submerged under water until the water was shut off. It was a typical 2" drain with about 3ft before it drained into the 3" horizontal branch.

  7. #7
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Don't want to drop the soap when there is more than one drain in a shower...

  8. #8
    Plumbing Contractor C NUMB's Avatar
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    There should only be one drain in that size shower. We will increase the size to 3" if we know the homeowners are planning to have us install a Grohe system with multiple heads and body sprays.
    I'd Rather Be FISHIN'

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drains

    The shower may have only needed one drain, but if you have two, and they are installed correctly, what is your problem. You just have added security in case one becomes restricted. Now, if you did not have any drain, THEN it would have been a mistake.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Building a shower pan meant to drain towards two drains will be much more complex than doing it into one...but, it could be done, and would work...just not needed.

    The total elevation changes would be smaller, since the distance the water needs to flow would be shorter, so it could be more flat - some would consider that a benefit. But, it also means you are more likely to be standing on one of the drains, since they'll cover more area than just one, and this would defeat the purpose.

    For tiling issues, consider checking out www.johnbridge.com. I think they'd get a kick out of this issue, and may have some suggestions and other insights since they deal in tiling showers and floors as their primeary purpose...gets lots more traffic as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drains

    IF you stand on a drain, and you only have one, that could be a problem. If you have two, you would have to work to stand on both of them at the same time, so it is still a benefit.

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