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Old 10-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #1
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Mysterious Problem with Copper Drain Pipe "Growing" into the Shower


Hi all.

I've got 1/2 of my house on a slab, and 1/2 basement. In the slab portion the plumbing is in the floor, not the walls. The house was built in '68, by my Father, who usually built much smaller homes for the National Home Corporation - he was one of their plant managers.

So the ductwork for the AC and the copper plumbing is all embedded in the slab. Fortunately so far, no serious problems.

Over the past ten of years, I've watched with amused fascination as the chrome slotted plate over the shower drain slowly was pushed up out of its little brass holder (copper? brass?) and it now floats about 1/16" above the drain lip. It drains beautifully, does not leak and after rattling around in the shower with the little grill plate I finally epoxied it back in place, gluing it directly to the big copper drain pipe that so mysteriously has lifted up.



What the heck is happening? I would figure that even though the house has settled a bit, the pipe is embedded in concrete.... Or am I wrong and does it actually go THROUGH the slab into dirt below before zooming back into the basement to the house drains?

The upper portion of the shower is tile, so I'm sure the pan isn't sinking into the floor - the gaps are all correct. The copper pipe for the drain is just, protruding.

Should I be worried?


Last edited by imautoparts; 10-15-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:22 AM   #2
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Mysterious Problem with Copper Drain Pipe "Growing" into the Shower


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Originally Posted by imautoparts View Post
Hi all.

I've got 1/2 of my house on a slab, and 1/2 basement. In the slab portion the plumbing is in the floor, not the walls. The house was built in '68, by my Father, who usually built much smaller homes for the National Home Corporation - he was one of their plant managers.

So the ductwork for the AC and the copper plumbing is all embedded in the slab. Fortunately so far, no serious problems.

Over the past ten of years, I've watched with amused fascination as the chrome slotted plate over the shower drain slowly was pushed up out of its little brass holder (copper? brass?) and it now floats about 1/16" above the drain lip. It drains beautifully, does not leak and after rattling around in the shower with the little grill plate I finally epoxied it back in place, gluing it directly to the big copper drain pipe that so mysteriously has lifted up.



What the heck is happening? I would figure that even though the house has settled a bit, the pipe is embedded in concrete.... Or am I wrong and does it actually go THROUGH the slab into dirt below before zooming back into the basement to the house drains?

The upper portion of the shower is tile, so I'm sure the pan isn't sinking into the floor - the gaps are all correct. The copper pipe for the drain is just, protruding.

Should I be worried?

Pipe goes through the slab and into the dirt. The slab is likely 4" thick, not enough to embed the pipe, p-trap, drain, vent fitting and all and still have grade from shower to where it enters the rest of the drainage system.

Besides, we frown on embedding pipes fully in concrete anyway.


If you say the house is settling, it seems the pipe would settle too. Perhaps the shower drain fitting is leaking, and has washed out some of the gravel around the p-trap allowing it to lift up. pull the grid off and try to push the pipe back down (you probably won't be able to) The only other thing you can do is to cut it off inside of the drain fitting, and then tighten the shower pan drain fitting back up. Hopefully it won't move too much more.

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Mysterious Problem with Copper Drain Pipe "Growing" into the Shower


Is that a fiberglass shower pan? If so maybe it is deteriorating and the pan is settling a little.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
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Mysterious Problem with Copper Drain Pipe "Growing" into the Shower


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Is that a fiberglass shower pan? If so maybe it is deteriorating and the pan is settling a little.
It's a fiberglass pan, but unless the settling is exclusively in the middle and not the edges that can't be it, as the pan is still level and has not shrunk away from the tiles that form the walls.

I think the first reply explains it nicely. I'll be getting my dremel out and cutting the pipe down till the grate fits back on it.
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