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Old 02-12-2008, 11:54 PM   #1
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convert bathtub to shower


I recently started a project to remove my existing bathtub shower to convert it to a standing shower only. I plan to install a tile shower with a tile floor and add multiple shower heads. The bathroom is on the first floor on a concrete slab. After I removed the bathtub, it revealed my floor drain was only 1 1/4", and the drain pipe is iron encased in concrete. My current thought is to install a pvc tile shower drain directly onto the existing drain.

Will the drain be to small to handle 10 gpm of flow?

Is there a better way to connect the new drain?

What do I do with the tub overflow drain? My current thought is to cut it off as low as possible and cap it off. Any suggestions?

I appreciate any advice.

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Old 02-13-2008, 06:56 AM   #2
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A shower drain requires a 2" drain per plumbing code, get the jackhammer out. Is that where you want the drain for the shower? Now is the time to move it.

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Old 02-13-2008, 06:43 PM   #3
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Not that it makes a difference but are you sure it's 1 1/4? I've never seen cast iron in that size, it usually starts at 1 1/2. Could it be galvanized?

You defiantly need to get a 2in drain in there though especially for that kind of water usage.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:21 AM   #4
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2" drain for showers is code. You have 1 1/2". In my opinion 1 1/2" will work. Think about it, those fiberglass tub/shower units use 1 1/2" drains, people take showers in them, and they never have a problem. I would make darn sure that that old galvanized drain was in good shape.

You will still have to upsize with a 2'x1 1/2" no hub band to accept a new 2" shower drain.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:42 PM   #5
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convert bathtub to shower


First off, thanks for the responses.

I purchased some theaded pvc adaptors for my pvc shower drain and confirmed it as an 1 1/4" drain. Unfortunate in deed.

Next I decicided to test the flow by using my other shower/tub in the second bath (I assume the drain is the same size). I took the shower head off and let the water flow out of the half inch line with no resistance. I figure that is about the max flow I would be able to receive in the bathroom I'm remodeling. It ended up with about an inch of standing water. So I guess that confirms the drain would be undersized.

So now my question is what is the right way to put in a larger size drain? I'm worried about causing damage to the main drain pipe using a jackhammer. Also, how do you tie into the main drain if it's cast iron? What if I jackhammer it out and the main line is only 1 1/4" or 1 1/2"? Any suggestions or past experiences are appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:05 AM   #6
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convert bathtub to shower


It is the water lines you need to be careful of but don't run the chisel more than a couple inches below the surface and you will be OK, you are going to jack around the drain only (maybe a 1 x 1 hole) until you have enough room to remove the concrete with gloved hands or pry out with a crowbar so to get a small shovel in there and figure out where everything is going before proceeding. You may find a larger sized pipe right away or you may need to take it all the way back to a larger pipe and cut out a tee and resize the tee to get a 2" shower drain. You may feel you are in over your head at this point especially if dealing with cast iron pipe. If you can post some pic's of what you have right now, that would help ppl on here advise you before proceeding. Just giving you an educated guess of what you will be going through.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:44 PM   #7
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convert bathtub to shower


If you do take a picture of it, please lay a ruler or an open tape measure by/near/on it so we can get a size reference.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:11 PM   #8
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I rented the chisel hammer today from HD and things went surprisingly well. Slab was about 4" thick with #3 rebar every 16". I also chiseled out from where the old drain was, to the direct center of the new shower space, so that solves that problem as well. It only took about two hours.

What I thought was cast iron, was a copper fitting that was hooked to my tub drain. It went to a copper tee that went strait down into a 1" 1/2 PVC line that hooked up to a 2" PVC trap.I'll be doing the drain later this week.

Now I just need to figure out how to move those 1/2" supply lines. They came up through the floor behind the tub and then went into the wall, so I need to move them about 3" so that they up directly in the wall. The copper pipe is simply bent in a 90 degree radius ( a very wide bend). I need to know some tricks for bending this a little. I'll actually be making the radius wider, so I not really worried about kinking it. Do you pre-heat the pipe? Is it easier than I think? I appeciate any suggestions.
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:26 PM   #9
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Sounds like soft copper, don't get too aggressive but it should move around easily without heating. Try not to flatten it any more that it is or kink it. The pvc can just be cut and extended to where you want it with a new trap.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:59 AM   #10
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It may be soft copper but you can bend regular L copper with the right tool. Try it and if it doesn't bend easially chances are it's not soft copper and you're going to kink it. In that case I'd recommend against bending it and use use fittings to get it where you want.

Do not heat the copper pipe in order to bend it.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:53 AM   #11
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convert bathtub to shower


You can also just cut the copper water lines at a convenient point and use soldered couplings to add additional pipe and fittings to get you where you need to be. This might be easier than trying to bend it, depending on conditions.

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