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amodoko 12-18-2011 04:43 AM

New Drain and Overflow assembly not fitting properly to new tub - Help plz
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Hi guys, as some of you may know I am putting in a new tub for the first time. Now I am trying to fit my new tub to a brand new drain and overflow assembly I bought from Lowe’s hardware. It is a schedule 40 PVC drain and overflow and it is the kind that has to have all its connections PVC cemented (there are no slip joint/ screw joints). I have heard these are better than the screw/slip joints, and that is why I bought it.

Anyways, my tub is 60 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 14 ¼ inches tall. The new drain and overflow did not fit the tub perfectly straight out of the box. Actually it was much longer in both directions than it needed to be. So I had to measure and shorten the PVC to make it fit the tub better. Now everything almost lines up, but the drain comes down at quite an angle on the tub shoe (as you can see in the photo below) and thus, the tub shoe does not fit perfectly to the new drain assembly. The drain assembly makes contact with one side of the tub shoe drain, but it is about ¼ inch above the other side of the tub shoe drain. This doesn’t really have to do with the length of the PVC, it has to do with the angle I believe. Is there a way to fix this so the drain assembly will sit flush with the rubber washer on the bottom of the tub? Or did I buy the wrong drain and overflow (I heard that they are all basically standard and can be adjusted to your tub, but maybe I am wrong)? Or is this gap considered normal?

The possible solutions I have thought of are: 1) Maybe a different angled washer on the overflow will work? 2) Maybe having an angled washer on the drain will help with the angled gap? 3) Try using another pvc tee 4) Or I buy a FLEXIBLE tee that has the metal clamps… although I do not know if these are safe and/or reliable to use for the tub drainage system 5) Maybe cut the overflow’s pvc pipe a tad shorter and hope that it helps. --- Those are the only solutions I can think of. I would love to use a flexible tee because it would solve the issue I think, although I don’t know if they really are safe/reliable and if they will end up rotting over time since they are probably made of some rubbery material.

To be honest, out of everything in the installation of the new tub, I am most concerned about getting the plumbing right since I don’t want any water leaks. That would be horrible to have a water leak and not be able to get to it without ripping out the tub... or digging a hole into the floor. If anyone can tell me how to get this drain assembly to sit flush with the tub shoe, I would appreciate it:) I am basically stuck right now and need help once again. I am super excited about everything else (tile surround, putting up cement board, etc), but this plumbing has been quite difficult for me.

Thanks in advance, I do appreciate it:) I know I'm a bit in over my head, but I really want to do this.

oh'mike 12-18-2011 05:19 AM

You are going about this the hard way.

#1.---install the drain set with plumbers putty.

#2. Install the overflow (usually with the wide part facing the bottom of the tub) I think your picture shows the rubber gasket upside down.

After those are tight to the tub---make up the piping---

Chemist1961 12-18-2011 07:06 AM

offset slip coupling
Good eye Mike and yes the overflow gasket seems suspect. Amodoko, If you align the drain and it still doesn't sit tight you can buy offset slip couplings,male to female. I believe they are about 15 degrees which will help with both the drain and the overflow alignment. I am doing the exact same project today!
KUDOS to you for the dry fit before installing!!!!!

amodoko 12-18-2011 03:09 PM

You guys are so smart, I should have put the drain in first and then assembled everything. I will have to buy some new PVC piping possibly if I have to make new measurements and cut. I will also examine the overflow washer again, but I did install it with the thicker part towards the top of the tub (the picture is upside down, and it does seem hard to see how I installed it). But the gasket could be flipped over though... so maybe that's why you guys mean.

But I will go to Lowe's and buy some basic schedule 40 PVC piping to attach the drain and overflow to since I think I already cut the PVC too short that came with the drain/overflow package.

I will let you guys know how it goes, you guys are so knowledgeable. Thanks so much for your time

oh'mike 12-18-2011 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by amodoko (Post 796830)

I will let you guys know how it goes, you guys are so knowledgeable. Thanks so much for your time

We learned by making mistakes just like every body else--

amodoko 12-19-2011 05:52 PM

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Hey guys, got a bit distracted lately due to work, but I tried working on the drain and overflow today and realized something. I have installed the drain in the tub, as you can see from the photos, but now I've run into another issue:

If I install the overflow washer on correctly (with the thick part of the washer going towards the top of the tub, and the skinny part going towards the bottom), it creates an angle of approach that causes the tee to not line up correctly with the drain. If I install the washer upside down, with the thick part pointing towards the bottom of the tub, it creates an angle at which the tee can line up perfectly with the drain.

Can I just install the washer upside down then (with the thick part pointing towards the bottom of the tub)? Are there any drawbacks to me doing that?

Does anyone know why I am having this "angle" issue? The drain/overflow kit says it fits all standard tubs (although my tub is only 14.25 inches tall, which may be the problem). Do they even make solvent weld drain/overflow kits for a tub that is 14.25 inches tall?

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!

TheEplumber 12-19-2011 06:27 PM

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I think your over analyzing this... Install the gasket the direction that assures the best seal. Not all tubs are cast from the same mold so nothing is truly universal. Compress the gasket in the proper position and take your pipe measurements. Dry fit them if you have any doubt, disassemble and primer/glue them together. I like to work from the drain shoe up to the overflow- making the overflow screws the final step. Others work from both ends and glue the tee last. Just remember the the glue sets pretty fast. :thumbsup:

Billy_Bob 12-19-2011 07:06 PM

That is just plastic pipe!

If a section is too long, cut it.

If a section is too short, get a section of that pipe and cut it to length.

I frequently need to "re-engineer" things lately (Made in China!).

Chemist1961 12-19-2011 08:17 PM

Get the offset! secure your drain first and use putty on the tub side. Use plumbers silicone grease on the drain gasket if required to help seat your drain.

TheEplumber 12-19-2011 08:58 PM

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Originally Posted by Chemist1961 (Post 798005)
Get the offset! secure your drain first and use putty on the tub side. Use plumbers silicone grease on the drain gasket if required to help seat your drain.

Show me a picture of this offset you speak of:huh:

plummen 12-19-2011 10:25 PM

id normally put the thicker part of trip lever/overflow gasket towards bottem of tub :)

plummen 12-19-2011 10:27 PM


Originally Posted by TheEplumber (Post 798048)
Show me a picture of this offset you speak of:huh:

no need for any offset im aware of :huh:

TheEplumber 12-19-2011 10:29 PM

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Originally Posted by plummen (Post 798129)
no need for any offset im aware of :huh:

agreed, just haven't seen or heard of such a thing

amodoko 12-20-2011 06:02 AM

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Hey guys, thanks for the advice, I know this is a very basic concept but I did have some concerns about doing this part of the plumbing. As you can tell by the photos below, I got it to fit basically perfect when the overflow washer had the fat part pointing down. I was off a bit on the overflow washer lining up with the overflow hole on the tub because the PVC cement kind of changes your measurements a bit (vs dry fitting). It should still function fine I believe, since the fat part of the washer is at the bottom (can’t really see that in the photo) and will still create a seal. But to be safe, I may use a bit of dupont clear silicone or plumber’s putty as an extra barrier since I am paranoid. I did make a few minor mistakes in PVC priming and cementing by getting a bit of purple primer on other parts of the PVC as you can see by the photos. But I believe my mistakes were minor and won’t hurt the integrity of the PVC (please let me know if you think otherwise). Thanks so much for the help, and if you see anything I did wrong based on the photos, please let me know.

I do have one question. I used Oatey Medium Clear PVC Cement and Oatey CPVC/ PVC Purple Primer. They are the basic PVC cement/primer. I have heard that pros tend to use stronger stuff. Regardless, I have read that Schedule 40 PVC pipe has a maximum operating temperature of 140 degrees F. People apparently shower with water that is 105 to 110 degrees F, and that if they are letting the shower warm up… the water may reach above 120 degrees F. I’m not so worried about the PVC itself… but the bond I made with the PVC cement.

At what temperature does the PVC cement bond break down? I read the cans and all they say is what the application temperature of the primer and cement are (40 degrees F to 110 degrees F), not the operating temperature. I believe the application temperature only regards the best temps to apply the cement and primer to the PVC, which is not what I am interested in at the moment.

Anyways, thanks everyone for your help, I got another step checked off my list for installing the tub and I greatly appreciate everyone’s advice.

Oh, and Chemist1961, thanks for the advice on setting the drain gasket with Plumber’s silicone grease. I already have clear Kitchen and Bath silicone (by Dupont) at home, and was thinking to use a very minor amount of that around the edge of the gasket to hold it in place when I install the tub (since I have to pre-install the drain/overflow because I have no access to it when the tub is in place). If there is an issue with my choice of silicone, please let me know.

Thanks again to everyoneJ One step down, a few more to go…

Chemist1961 12-20-2011 06:25 AM

there is silicone grease and there is silicone sealant. The grease would help your lower drain gasket slide into place and adjust to seat it better if it need to rotate, or the wedge shaped overflow gasket.

Silicone sealant is a gasket forming compound. They are not interchangeable. It sounds like you have the sealant. The grease is like clear butter, it never dries and is not a sealant. It is a water resistant lubricant.

I would use plumbers putty to set the drain. It is removable in future but will compress into place. Use a generous hand welt of it on the inner tub side (underside of drain) before threading it in place. I made about a pinky finger sized welt. As I set the drain the excess squeezed out onto the tub and I wiped it off.

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