DWV plumbing in an ensuite reno. Redo or patch into the old?

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John Fritz

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I am hoping to get a pro plumber to help me with redoing the plumbing on a 2nd floor 1968-vintage ensuite which includes a sink, toilet and shower. Presently, this group of 3 things feeds a single stack. As well a bath from a bathroom next door feeds the same stack. The reason for posting here is to get a 2nd opinion. In the pic p1.jpg below you will see the shower location on the left with existing 2" drain meeting with a toilet on the right. The sink dwv is above in the wall. The bathtub drain from next door cannot be seen in that pic. the 2nd pic p2.jpg is a top view of the stack showing its connection to the toilet/sink/shower. The third pic p3.jpg shows where the bathtub drains enters the stack from next door.

The problems I can see with this setup is that the 4 foot 2" shower drain lies flush with the plywood floor and has virtually no slope (perhaps 1/4" or 1/8" over 4 feet if you force/bend it manually with your hand). I believe previously, someone cut a channel in the plywood floor to let this drain sit above the joists. Some people I have talked to, said I can leave this virtually zero slope drain and it could still work.

In addition to the concern about slope, I am unsure if the drain for the shower is adequately vented. I would have expected the shower drain to have 1/4" per foot slope and feed a san-tee somewhere. But as you can see, it drops about 1/2 foot at the bitter end as it enters the wye joined to the toilet drain. I assume that's a no-no since it might put the p-trap weir too high relative to stack san-tee height (they look about the same height). Again maybe this is perfectly fine in the real world.

I am wondering if anyone had a suggestion on how they would replumb these four fixtures (shower, toilet, sink, and bath next door), assuming of course they need replumbing and ferncos alone are not enogh. The space is fairly tight as its a 2x8" joist bay. However, under the toilet below is a closet and I think the ceiling there could easily be lowered if necessary (eg, the toilet could enter the stack lower).

I am thinking that going back to the stack and redoing everything in ABS is a good long term solution, but I am unsure what the optimal configuration would look like. I guess clearance and space to do this, and having things enter the stack at the right height is the main concern?

I am sure someone will point out the damage to the joist, but this was done prior, so gotta live with the imperfection of old homes.

thanks!
 

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Tuttles Revenge

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A good plan view drawing of your bathroom or bathrooms would go a long way towards figuring out how to replumb your bathroom. Also knowing which plumbing code you use in your local area. (I've only breezed through the Canadian National Plumbing Code briefly).

Copper DWV fittings are amazingly compact, something you will not be able to reproduce in any other type of fitting which makes replacing like for like next to impossible. So a new layout is certainly necessary.

Horizontal wet venting is likely going to be the best way to replace the DWV system and it seems like you could do that here if a the layout of fixtures is appropriate for that application.
 

Jeff H Young

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Right on Tuttles that compactness of copper dwv cant be beat Ive run sm,all sections of copper vent to save structure on old homes.
General advice on whether to replace or just do some modifying is this. You want a new car or 60 year old with a few new wires spliced in? thats the simplest way to explain is the 283 engine in a 1960 chevy ok with new plugs and a carb rebuild, on a total restoration ready for work, every day?
 

John Fritz

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Thx for the input. I have worked elsewhere and resoldered copper to keep it compact. So understand this concept. I have attached the plan view which might help.

yes, the plumbing code is for alberta, canada.
 

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Jeff H Young

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Sometimes you have to sacrafice on a job like this quality vs cost and space constraints where furring out walls or soffits might be needed or an exposed pipe . definately looks tight
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Your layout is perfect for horizontal wet venting. The toilet trap arm can stay as is, but the branch that was used for the shower now needs to become horizontally graded rather than the fittings used to jump up and straighten out in the joist. On that horizontal run to the shower, another branch is taken off horizontally for the sink which becomes the vent for that bathroom group. Then that first branch travels over to the shower trap.
 
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