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Thread: Need help with installing a new shower

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member kimputer's Avatar
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    Default Need help with installing a new shower

    My husband and I are replacing a 1950s bathtub with a shower. We plan on using an EL Mustee prefab shower pan (the kind made to replace a tub without having to move the drain). We fell in love with the Moen 90 Degree trim so we plan on purchasing that soon. We want to install both the standard shower head plus they make a handheld shower head that we want to install as well. We would like to be able to have either both shower heads on or be able to choose one or the other. The other thing is we need a valve with stops as we live in an 3 family building and need the ability to shut off the shower for repairs with out shutting the entire building down. Also, we would really like to avoid soldering. We have SEVERAL questions as this is our first bathroom remodel.

    1) Do we need to purchase both a valve and 3-way diverter to get the desired functionality?
    2) Which Moen valve would we need in order to have stops and not have to solder? My understanding is we have options of using CPVC or Pex or just compression fittings but I don't know if there is a preferred approach. Also, which diverter would we need?
    3) I've attached a picture of what's currently there. Based on the answer to #2, how would we connect either the CPVC or Pex to the current plumbing?
    4) I've also attached a picture of the drain. It appears to be less than 2". What will we need to do to connect it to the new Mustee shower pan? And also, how do we close off the overflow drain portion?

    Thanks for any help you can provide! These forums have been great so far!
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  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    You might not know it yet, but you have already discovered your first problem.

    By code, a shower drain trap and pipe is REQUIRED to be 2" or greater.

    You have not really accomplished anything in choosing that shower, because the entire drain will need to be replaced anyway.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member kimputer's Avatar
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    It specifically says in the description of the pan: "Right-hand drain can be set up for 2 in. ABS, PVC or iron pipe or for a 1-1/2 in. tub waste-style drain". I'm guessing that what I currently have is the 1-1/2 in tub waste-style drain, no?

  4. #4
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The shower can be made to fit plumbing that would be legal in Canada, but not in the U.S.

    All of the U.S. Plumbing codes require a shower's drain piping to be 2". What you are doing requires you to bring all of the plumbing for that fixture up to current standards. Bringing that drain up to code for a shower includes replacing the drain through the floor to wherever it connects to a pipe of 2" or larger.

    A store can sell you anything, it does not have to meet the plumbing codes for where you live.
    You do.
    Last edited by cacher_chick; 02-15-2012 at 07:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    What he is trying to say is the 1.5" drain would work perfect in canada but in the United States it would not work LOL. Check with your local inspector and ask if 1.5" would be acceptable in a remodel.. You may have a 2" p-trap under the floor and its was reduced for the bathtubs waste & overflow. Dig it up and find out.

    Goodluck!

  6. #6
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    OH I see in the last pic that it may be 2' cast iron right there. Hackney it off if its 2" and start right there with a new trap. lol

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The US changed the requirement for shower drains to be 2" quite awhile ago. Depending on your local inspector, he MIGHT grandfather your old 1.5" pipe, or he might not. The reason they went to a larger pipe (at least from what I've been told) is in case you might stand on the drain or drop say a washcloth and slow or stop it up momentarily...in a tub, there's an overflow and likely a lot more room for water; in a shower, it might end up going over the curb and making a real mess. A 2" drain is not just 1/3'rd bigger. The area of the opening is a function of the radius squared, so a 2" is 1, and a 1.5" is 0.5625 (0.75*0.75), or a factor of 1.777... bigger.

    Stores can sell lots of plumbing stuff that won't meet todays's codes...doesn't mean that you can use it or you should. Just like you can repair an old shower valve, but you can't replace it with the same - the replacement means it must be up to current code, and that requires anti-scald technology. That's why you don't see many old 2-3 handle setups anymore...technically, you can't install one legally.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member kimputer's Avatar
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    Can anyone answer the questions I originally posted about?

  9. #9
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    1) Yes, you need a separate diverter valve.
    2) Get the Delta R10000 rough in valve. You can specify that with or without stops, and the connections can be sweat, IPS, direct cpvc, or direct PEX. You just tell the plumbing supply house what you want. You will NOT find all that at the box store.
    3) Compression fittings are not allowed inside the wall. Shark bites are, but no one here would recommend it for that application.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member kimputer's Avatar
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    The Delta R10000 valve is compatible with the Moen trim?

  11. #11
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The Delta R10000 valve is compatible with the Moen trim?

    No. If you like the Moen trim, then you buy the proper Moen rough-in.
    Two of the most popular Moen valves are the Posi-Temp and the Moentrol.
    The trim is different for each of these valves.

    Delta has it's own rough and it's own trim.

    What you have now is an older Moen, and the factory trims for those are getting very hard to find now.

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    Last edited by Terry; 11-17-2012 at 01:24 PM.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member kimputer's Avatar
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    That's why I specified in my original post that we were going with the Moen 90 Degree trim so I would get an answer compatible with that

  13. #13
    In the Trades liquidplumber's Avatar
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    What you really need to do is get a plumber involved even if its just in a paid advisory capacity. I do that for people here sometimes, someone who is actually there can guide you thru the potential pitfalls of a job like this. Much in the same way that I have no idea how to accomplish the stuff you do at work, You are going to make a great many mistakes trying to accomplish what I do at work. (Im a rookie compared to some and Ive got 30,000 hours of plumbing experience behind my opinions, how many hours do you have?) When you hire a pro plumber you may or may not save some money, but you surely will save some heartache aggrevation and lots of your time (which i assume has some value).

    If you want a moen valve then you need to go all moen. the products are designed to work together. Yes you need a diverter valve to do the handspray/ showerhead/ either or both combination. Moen valves with internal stops, thats a question for your supply house (notice I didnt say lowes) because you need to be able to co-ordinate the trim you want with the valve you want with the diverter you want and its trim too. Lowes might be the home improvement place, but its not a supply house and the plumbers I know dont usually shop there.

    Thats actually another reason to get a plumber involved. The supply house will sell to you at a crazy high price because youre a one time customer. Your plumber/advisor can get the good stuff for a resonable price because hes a repeat regular buyer.

    Since you asked, I'll answer, the prefered approach for me would be to solder to whats there and convert to pex. I wouldnt make a fetch stick for my dog with CPVC and compression is for folks who cant solder. Again, maybe a good job for a plumber.

    Dont know the specifics of your shower pan but as others have metioned, youre in for some drain modifications. They may be minimal or severe, I have no way to know, But a local plumber/ advisor could tell you pretty quick exactly what its going to take for a proper install.
    Are you catching the main theme of this post?.. you really need a pro to help you thru this if you want to have a proper install. Most folks just arent prepared or equipped to handle this kind of project properly. Im not saying it cant be done, but mistakes get expensive, and rework costs money, and bringing a pro in at the beginning can head off dozens of potential problems.

    Another tip for you, you need to plan on soldering all the valve components. dont pex it all together. For example, if you run pex from the mixing valve to the tub spout (instead of using copper soldered in) your shower head will dribble when your running the tub spout. Thats an ugly lesson to learn AFTER youre all done and the shower head wont stop dribbling and you dont know why. Pro plumbers know these things, and a million others. Heres another one, Plumbers dont like threaded joints. they leak. Your plumber would likely sweat up all the connections, where youve already stated that you cant/dont want to sweat anything.
    Like I said before you really should consider hiring a professional to do some/most/all of the work that you cant/shouldnt/dont want to do. The only way to know what those things are is to bring in a pro
    Last edited by liquidplumber; 02-17-2012 at 09:35 PM.

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