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Thread: Connecting Shower Drain to 4" Iron Pipe

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    DIY Junior Member jake0708's Avatar
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    Default Connecting Shower Drain to 4" Iron Pipe

    Hello everyone,
    I am in the process of remodeling my bathroom. The existing shower had 2" concrete walls and a concrete floor with tile. The drain is just a 4" pipe. There is a trap below.

    What do I need to do to connect a standard shower drain to this. I would like to prevent breaking up the floor if at all possible. My initial idea is to insert a rubber donut into the pipe, and insert a clamping drain into the other end of the rubber piece. Then, put a liner down and mortar over that. Finally, insert the top piece of the drain and tile. The floor now is sloped.

    I obviously don't know anything about plumbing. Will this work? Is there a better method? Do I need to tear up the floor?

    Thanks

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    At a minimum the pipe will need to be reduced to 2" using proper fittings.

    By the sound of it, it will probably not meet the requirements of the plumbing code and/or inspection, but without knowing more about the existing installation it would be hard to advise you further.

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    DIY Junior Member jake0708's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. Forgive my ignorance, but what are the proper fittings? Would it be acceptable to attach 4" pvc with a metal band to the cast iron, then attach a pvc reducer between the 4" pvc and the shower drain? Would the method with the rubber donut fail?

    It's not passing any inspections or meeting code as it stands now, I just want to get it put back together and functional.

    Thanks

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    A rubber donut can only be used going into a pipe that has a hub. You have not said what you have. If you are trying to connect 2 pipes without a hub, you can use a reducer with a banded coupling.

    Making sure that the trap and it's vent is properly installed is what keeps the sewer gas from coming back into your house. I would suspect that this would be a minimum requirement. This is why we try to follow the codes, as they too are the minimum requirement.

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    DIY Junior Member jake0708's Avatar
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    Thanks. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what's going on because the floor is cemented and there is no access below.

    So, it sounds like at a minimum I have take up a portion of the floor to get the coupling on the pipe (or have a plumber investigate further). Can I chisel an area of the floor around the pipe, or do I need to rent a jackhammer?

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    It will probably take more than a chisel but a jackhammer might be a bit much. For a drain repair, I cut squares into the slab using a skil-saw with a diamond blade about 2-1/2-3" deep and then knock them out with a sledgehammer. Like you, I don't want to remove any more concrete than necessary, but enough to get access down there to do the job.

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    DIY Junior Member jake0708's Avatar
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    Awesome. I will go pick up a blade tonight and give it a shot. I can probably use that same blade to aid in removing the 2" block walls, correct?

    I appreciate the help.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I'm sure it would. You will want to keep the blade wet or it won't last long. A cardboard shield helps to deal with the spray.

  9. #9
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jake0708 View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I am in the process of remodeling my bathroom. The existing shower had 2" concrete walls and a concrete floor with tile. The drain is just a 4" pipe. There is a trap below.

    What do I need to do to connect a standard shower drain to this. I would like to prevent breaking up the floor if at all possible. My initial idea is to insert a rubber donut into the pipe, and insert a clamping drain into the other end of the rubber piece. Then, put a liner down and mortar over that. Finally, insert the top piece of the drain and tile. The floor now is sloped.

    I obviously don't know anything about plumbing. Will this work? Is there a better method? Do I need to tear up the floor?

    Thanks
    I'd be looking for a 4"x3" or a 4"x3" bushing and then installing your new drain to that 4" line with a No-Hub Coupling.

    From the ground level how low is the water level? You need to be careful you don't mess up the PTrap when you chip out enough material to get the No-Hub fitting on.

    JW


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    DIY Junior Member jake0708's Avatar
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    That's the same thing the guy at the hardware store told me last night. I'll check the water level tonight when I get home. I was really hoping to avoid chipping up the floor, but it looks like I don't have a choice.

    I guess if I'm going to have to do that, maybe I'll move the drain a couple of inches to center it and just install a fiberglass pan instead of doing the mortar / tile floor.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There's no comparison between a preformed fiberglass shower pan and a custom made tiled one! The tiled one will last until you decide to remodel...the fiberglass one will start going downhill the day it is installed. Course, this assumes you build it right. On a fiberglass one, you can make it last longer without microfractures if you ensure it is fully supported underneath which often requires setting it in a mortar bed to keep it from deflecting under normal use (which eventually will create those microfractures).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jake0708 View Post
    That's the same thing the guy at the hardware store told me last night. I'll check the water level tonight when I get home. I was really hoping to avoid chipping up the floor, but it looks like I don't have a choice.

    I guess if I'm going to have to do that, maybe I'll move the drain a couple of inches to center it and just install a fiberglass pan instead of doing the mortar / tile floor.
    You can most likely just chip away the cement around the vertical pipe above the PTrap without removing the entire assembly.

    JW


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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