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Thread: Bathtub drain problem

  1. #1
    DIY Member Southpaw134's Avatar
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    Default Bathtub drain problem

    I am in the midst of installing a new bathtub (fiberglass) and the flange for the drain pipe is about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch too low. My question is do they make a flange extender or an extended piece that screws into flange (i have one that is brass - threaded inside and out - that came with my drain stop, but it's too short given how low the drain pipe sits).

    I have a concrete slab and I really don't want to replumb the entire drain pipe if I can help it. I guess I could cut the ABS pipe where it comes out of the T and use two 45 elbows (in a S shape) to bring the pipe up to where I need it. Does anyone see a problem with this? The tub (alcove) is already installed and I don't want to pull it back out if I can avoid it (because it's a pain is the a$$.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tub

    WE would have modified the drain BEFORE we installed the tub. At this point, and without seeing it, we cannot tell you how to do it, because there may not be enough room to do what you are askingand/or the fittings you want to use might move it more than you want them to.

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    DIY Member Southpaw134's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    WE would have modified the drain BEFORE we installed the tub. At this point, and without seeing it, we cannot tell you how to do it, because there may not be enough room to do what you are askingand/or the fittings you want to use might move it more than you want them to.

    First allow me to clarify, the tub is merely sitting in place, it is not yet secured and no finished wall is installed, just 2 x 4 framing and insulation.

    My question is does anyone know if someone makes a flange extender (or an extender for my threaded drain stop) or will I have to redo the drain pipe completely?

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    Plumbing Contractor C NUMB's Avatar
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    I believe you will need to raise it, don't know of any extension kits.
    I'd Rather Be FISHIN'

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    DIY Member Southpaw134's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C NUMB View Post
    I believe you will need to raise it, don't know of any extension kits.
    Thanks C Numb. Hope life is treating you well in NPR.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drain

    A plumber would not try to make the old drain fit. Unless you were real lucky the dimensions are usually completely different. How is the drain secured to the piping?

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default

    Plumbers will cut off the old drain assembly and use a new one.

    If it's in the slab, there are versions with slip joints that would allow some movement for adjustment.

    Right now, you are looking for a part that does not exist.

  8. #8
    DIY Member Southpaw134's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    A plumber would not try to make the old drain fit. Unless you were real lucky the dimensions are usually completely different. How is the drain secured to the piping?
    Well, I was hoping I was real lucky but I haven't been so far. The tub shoe, waste arm and tee are ABS. The overflow pipe is comprised of PVC (with the exception of the piece that meets the bath tub - it's ABS). All of this is held together by glue/cement.

  9. #9
    DIY Member Southpaw134's Avatar
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    Problem solved. I ended up digging down until I found the horizontal drain and breaking the overflow and waste arm drains loose from the it (it either wasn't glued together or the glue wasn't very strong because I barely had to apply force).

    I then started from scratch and constructed new overflow and waste arm drains to fit my new bathtub's specifications. I didn't want to have to do that, but in the end it was less work than I anticipated.

    Unfortunately, I unearthed another problem. The supply lines for the bathtub continue back down under the slab and run about 4 feet to supply the vanity. Where the supply line re-enters the slab at the bathtub (on it's way to the vanity) some joker bent the pipe from vertical to horizontal instead of using a 90 degree elbow. The supply pipe was almost completely collapsed at the bend and was leaking. Nothing I can't fix, but is there a reason this would be done (other than someone being lazy or cheap)?

    Scares me to think what else I might find down the road. Thanks again for everyone's input.

  10. #10
    Plumbing Contractor C NUMB's Avatar
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    I would say the original "plumber" did not know how to bend soft copper correctly. Glad to hear the tub drain worked out.
    I'd Rather Be FISHIN'

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    DIY Member Southpaw134's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C NUMB View Post
    I would say the original "plumber" did not know how to bend soft copper correctly. Glad to hear the tub drain worked out.

    Is this (bending soft copper) still done today in new construction? Just wondering, my home is circa 1978 - I can see where other bends were made, but they are not as drastic in their angle and not collapsed.

  12. #12
    Plumbing Contractor C NUMB's Avatar
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    Yes, anytime copper is installed under slab it is type L soft. All of our copper jobs, as few as they are, are piped overhead, we stopped years ago putting any below slab.
    I'd Rather Be FISHIN'

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default copper

    The tubing has to be bent because you, nor the plumber, is allowed to make joints under the floor. This is the reason he did not use elbows. The problems occur when the plumber is hurrying and does not bend it carefully, but then does not discard the kinked piece when he damages it. That spot will eventually crack and cause the underslab leaks you hear about so frequently.

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    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Here the attic is avoided like the plague because of freezing.

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    DIY Member Southpaw134's Avatar
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    Thanks again, I appreciate the all the information you are able to provide.

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