How to install a shower drain trap

Shower Plumbing: A Homeowner’s Comprehensive Guide

A shower trap is intended for use like any other types of drain trap. It works by allowing water to go a point in the pipe that is lower than the rest. This is done to make heavy sediments that are in the water to fall down or settle out in it while the cleaned water goes on down the pipe. The trap installed in your shower has many purposes to serve. This includes catching dirt and other sediments which could otherwise cause a clog somewhere in the piping system. Thus you can make use of your shower for years to come, without fear of suddenly running out of water while you are in the middle of taking a bath. There are shower installations that were made without a trap in them but they can be made to function better by installing one. If such is the case in your bathroom, the installation steps are quite easy and you only need a few materials to do it. Begin the project by first locating where the access points in the drainage system of your shower are. If it is located on the first floor, you will have to reach it through your basement. If you do not have one, you can go to it by going through a crawlspace or by going outside the door. If the access point can be found on the second story, you may have to find an access panel which can usually be found on the back part of a shower. This may be the only way to get to your drainage access point. To make a shower trap, you need to take out part of the pipe that is directly below the drain of the shower. You can use the pipe wrench to do it. Make sure that a inch section of straight piping is made, coming from the drain. If the pipe installed in your shower is solid, you can use the hacksaw in cutting out a section. This will be for your P trap. Install the P trap extension by inserting it into the inch section of straight pipe you have made. If the straight piping is threaded, you will have to screw the P trap extension into it.

How to Figure the Drain Height for a Tile Shower

Shower plumbing can be a little difficult to understand since many of the key elements are hidden behind the walls and beneath the shower pan or bathtub. It becomes easier to grasp if you remember that shower plumbing is really not much different than the plumbing for your bathroom sink, although the parts look a little different. Like any other plumbing fixture, a shower consists of two piping systems: a pressurized water supply pipe system that delivers hot and cold water for bathing and a drain pipe system that operates under the force of gravity to remove wastewater. Increasingly, major bathroom remodeling projects involve installing a full shower either in addition to a bathtub or in some instances, in replacement of the tub. As tastes have evolved, bathrooms with a full-featured shower but no bathtub are commonly considered a "full bath" for real estate purposes, especially if the shower is spacious and well equipped. In years past, a shower-only bathroom was often described as a "three-quarters bath. Before trying to shoe-horn in a separate shower, though, it's important to make sure your bathroom has enough space. Like most plumbing fixtures in your house, a shower consists of a water supply system in which hot and cold water is delivered to the shower system under pressure. At the shower, a faucet, or mixing valve, combines the hot and cold water streams into a unified water flow that flows onto a shower head or bathtub spout where it emerges for use in bathing. The water flows out into a drain system that carries wastewater away, first through fixture drain components and then through the home's drain network and finally out through the main drain to the community sewer system or a private septic field. To best understand a shower system, it is helpful to trace the flow of water through the supply system, through the shower system itself and then through the drain system as it exits the house. The hot and cold water lines that feed your shower are part of the network of supply pipes, largely invisible, that run through the walls and floors of your home. The cold water pipe that supplies the shower can be traced all the way back to the main water supply pipe that enters your home at the water meter. Shortly after this point, the cold water pipe begins branching out to deliver water to the various rooms that need it — the kitchen, the bathroom, the laundry, etc. Along the way, this water pipe will network into branch lines as needed. At the bathroom, the cold water line usually has at least three or four branches: one to the vanity sink, one to the toilet and one to the shower and tub. The hot water pipe that feeds the shower can be traced back to the home's water heater, from which branching pipes send water to any location in the home that uses hot water — mostly the same locations that use cold water. At the bathroom, the hot water pipe sends branch pipes out to all the same fixtures as the cold water pipes except for the toilet, which does not use hot water. Water supply pipes can be made of many different materials depending on the age of your home. Older homes may still have galvanized steel water supply pipes, although this is becoming relatively rare since failing old pipes have been replaced by more modern materials. Old homes that have been renovated are often plumbed with copper water supply pipes, and many of these pipes are still in place. Newer homes, though, are now more often plumbed with some type of plastic pipe such as CPVC plastic or flexible PEX, which usually has a characteristic red or blue color. In most new installations or major remodeling projects, professionals now plumb the water supply pipes with PEX, and it is also becoming increasingly popular as a DIY favorite. The water supply pipes can usually be identified by the fact that they are smaller in diameter than the drain pipes. As the hot and cold branch pipes run through the wall and floor cavities toward the fixtures themselves, the pipes are generally positioned parallel to one another in pairs. At the point where the water supply pipes branch toward the shower, they are usually connected to fixture shut-off valves, and from this point on, the shower plumbing system begins. Like any plumbing fixture, a shower system should be fitted with fixture shut-off valves that allow the hot and cold water pipes to be shut off when repairs are needed or when emergencies arise. These valves mark the beginning of the shower's supply system. The network of pipes dedicated to the shower itself is sometimes known as the shower tree. The shower water supply begins with shut-off valves. So, instead of the chromed brass or plastic fixture stop valves used for most other fixtures, the water supply lines for showers use standard ball valves instead. These valves are usually installed into the vertical risers that carry the hot and cold water to the faucet mixing valve. The shut-off valves must remain accessible, usually through an access panel fitted into the wall behind the shower's plumbing wall. From the shut-off valves, riser pipes continue upward to the shower faucet, sometimes referred to as the mixing valve. Shower faucets can be configured in many ways. Most shower valves are now single-handle designs, where a central twist knob controls the mixture of hot and cold water from the inlets. There are still double-handle models sold in which the hot and cold water pipes connect to separate handles, each controlling a separate flow of water to the mixing chamber.

How to Install a Shower Trap

Select a size and style of shower drain based on the size of the shower and the design theme. Whether a tile shower will be installed on a concrete slab or wooden subfloor, the surface of the shower drain must be even with the surface of the floor tile. Shower drains are installed and connected to the drain line during the rough-in phase of the project, when access to the under-slab or under-floor area is available. Follow a basic procedure used by professionals to figure the height for a tile shower drain. Measure and note the thickness of the tile to be installed on the shower floor. Minor deviations in thickness are compensated for by using more or less thin-set mortar when installing the tiles. Determine the thickness of a mortar bed where it meets the shower drain. Mortar beds are sloped for drainage, meaning the outer areas are thicker. Based on a 2-inch thick mortar bed, the thickness of the mortar bed at a drain that's centered in a inch square shower will be one inch. Combine the thickness of the floor tiles and the mortar bed where it meets the drain. The result is the height of the drain from the surface of the concrete slab or wooden subfloor. William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College. Skip to main content. Things You Will Need Measuring tape. Tips In most cases, where the concrete slab or subfloor is installed with slope for drainage, the mortar bed will be consistent in thickness instead of thinner at the area of the drain. Shower drains are manufactured in a variety of configurations. Obtain the drain assembly based on the thickness of tile and thickness of a mortar bed at the area of the shower drain. Check with the local building department regarding the minimum slope of a shower floor for a particular type of tile. About the Author William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. Accessed 09 April Machin, William. Home Guides SF Gate. Note: Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. Customer Service Newsroom Contacts.

How to Install a Shower Drain

HGTV expert Amy Matthews takes you through the steps of replacing a shower P-trap in a major bathroom renovation where you're basically building the shower from scratch. Use a circular saw to cut away the subfloor to gain access to the P-trap. Make your cuts along the floor joists so that you'll have something to support the new subfloor. You may need to use a reciprocating saw to split the piece in two before prying it up. Cut the old drain pipe just behind the P-trap. Determine the location for your new drain based on your new shower layout, then position and attach your drain using the appropriate glue for your drain materials. Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email. Restroom Renovation Bathroom Remodeling Roadblocks Major Bathroom Overhaul Bath Seating Area Arabian Oasis Bathroom Ideas for Updating a Bathroom More Videos. Bath To The Future Rancher Bath Redo Bath with Practical Pizzazz Jazzy Musical Bathroom Unique Jigsaw Puzzle Bathroom Rock N' Roll Restroom Installing a Heated Towel Rack Must-Have Designer Master Bath Timeless Bathroom Shower Flat Bath Fixtures Deluxe Spa Tubs and Showers Stylish Shower Window Bathroom Shower Tiles Planning a Bathroom Remodel Master Bath Remodel Bathroom Homework How to Install Tile in a Bathroom Shower. How to Install a Shower Tile Wall. Install Glass Shower Doors.

How to Install a Shower Drain Trap

Your choice depends on your shower pan and your situation. So, if you are converting from a tub and shower combination to a shower, you'll likely have to change the drain pipe size. Compression-type shower drains attach to the home drain pipes with compression washers and nuts. They are easier to install, generally than glue-on shower drain connections. When installing a compression shower drain, the drain fitting is first installed into the shower base. Like the compression-type shower drains, this type can be used with steel, fiberglass, and plastic shower bases. With glue-on fittings, it can be harder to get the pipe measurement right, so make sure to measure carefully and double-check the dry-fit pieces before gluing. If you are installing a drain for a custom-made tile shower base, the drain fittings are positioned during early steps in constructing the ceramic tile pan. Installing a Shower Drain. Continue to 2 of 4 below. Compression Shower Drain. You may have to put the shower base into place to mark the right height, then remove the pan to cut the pipe. Put the cardboard friction ring and large rubber washer onto the tailpiece from under the shower base. Tighten the shower drain until it is nice and tight, then remove any excess putty or silicone. Put the shower base into place and push the rubber gasket into the drain pipe. Tighten the nut with this tool. If you use silicone, you will have to let the silicone dry before testing the drain for leaks. Continue to 3 of 4 below. Glue-On Shower Drain. Put the bottom part of the drain onto the drainpipe without gluing, then set the shower base into place to check the drainpipe height. Make adjustments accordingly. The paper friction washer and the rubber washer go onto the drain tailpiece from underneath the base. Continue to 4 of 4 below. Tile Shower Drain. Shower drains have three pieces: a bottom flange, a middle flange, and the strainer fitting. After the subfloor of the shower is prepared and clean, install the bottom flange of the shower drain into the drainpipe, usually by gluing. The liner is then installed over the floor and flange of the shower pan. Use silicone caulk to seal the liner to the drain flange. Trim away the liner around the drain opening. Insert the middle flange of the drain fitting over the liner and drain opening, using bolts to secure it to the bottom flange beneath the liner. Now you are ready for the rest of the ceramic tile installation. Normally this will involve a second layer of mortar, then the ceramic tile applied over the mortar. Read More.

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