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Old 06-15-2013, 05:15 AM   #1
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Wrecking Out Drain Line & Supply Lines


Hi, We are converting our seperate bath and shower guest bathroom to just having a combination bath/shower rather than two seperate fixtures with each having seperate drains and water supply lines. I need to know what is the best way to deactivate the un-needed drain and supply lines for the old bath tub. Where the bath was, now there is the metal drain that used to connect to the bottom of the bath tub which is also connected to the drain actuator knob about 1-2 feet up from the bottom of the tub, they are connected via a metal pipe which looks like it is 1.5" diameter. Also, the supply lines come up through the concrete, which is weird since there is a dirt hole about 18" in diameter right next to them, seems like would have been easier to just come up through the dirt. I am pretty sure that the bath/shower combo we will be buying will have some dead space underneath it that is hidden, so my plan is to cut the lines as high up that I can without them interfering with the bottom of the new bath tub and then just capping them off. On the drain, I am pretty sure that the drain I want to get rid of is connected under the slab to the drain for the old shower which is the drain we plan on using for the new bath/shower, so I have to be real careful that whatever I do to one drain does not harm the other. Also, when I am all done, would it be a good idea to fill in the dirt hole with concrete so as to either eliminate or reduce our exposure to termites? Please answer my questions about the drain, the supply lines and the dirt hole. Thanks. Greg

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Old 06-15-2013, 06:05 AM   #2
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Wrecking Out Drain Line & Supply Lines


If the supply lines aren't going to be in the way of anything then you could just cap them and leave them in the wall. Otherwise you'd have to find where their other ends are (hot and cold) and cut and cap them there.

For the drains you're pretty much going to have to bust concrete. Few times will anything new ever line up effectively with the old. It will very likely end up taking longer to try and 'save' the old lines, only to have to bust them out anyway.

But pictures of the area would help.

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Old 06-15-2013, 11:41 PM   #3
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I was going to send some pictures but I noticed I am limited to 100kb on each one of them. I compressed them to below that size, but they looked real small and of no use. Do you know the best way to send the pictures? Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:19 AM   #4
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Use an outside hosting service like photobucket or any number of others. Then just link to it here.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #5
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I was going to send some pictures but I noticed I am limited to 100kb on each one of them. I compressed them to below that size, but they looked real small and of no use. Do you know the best way to send the pictures? Thanks.
Hi Greg. First of all, when you shoot the pictures shoot them as small, like 640 x 480. You can then open them with MS Paint and resize them by pixels or percentage. I use percentage.

The digital camera Megapixel war was just another idiotic "Mine is bigger than yours" war that people bought into that we are now suffering with.

The quality of the sensors and therefore the level of electronic noise is much more important to picture quality than the number of MP
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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I was going to send some pictures but I noticed I am limited to 100kb on each one of them. I compressed them to below that size, but they looked real small and of no use. Do you know the best way to send the pictures? Thanks.
How to resize photos to post them here.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the feedback on how to post pictures on this forum. I tried photo bucket, but did not like it very much. I ended up using Shutterfly. Please use this link
http://guestbathroomremodel.shutterfly.com/pictures/8

It should not request a password. Basically, I am looking for advice on the best way to deactivate the old bath tub drain, how to move the shower drain to line up with our new bath tub/shower combo (i.e. is there any way I can use a flexible line so I can just route from new tub to existing shower drain)? Also, once I verify I have some dead space to play with under our new tub, I was planning on cutting the lines to the old tub about 2" above the concrete and then capping them off by soldering copper caps. If I do not have to chisel out more concrete so I can cap the water lines off down below the surface of the concrete, I would rather not have to do that. Also, anytime I solder caps on lines with water in them, it is a royal pain in the tail end. Would it be okay to solder on 90 degree valves and leave them open when I am soldering them and then close them when I am finished. I know this will cost me a couple extra dollars, but I have tried this before and it is a ton easier than soldering the caps with water in the lines. I am just wondering what people's thoughts are on if they will leak in about 20 years or if I should just suck it up and do the caps. Thanks.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:31 AM   #8
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I just wanted to add that the best way to navigate through the pictures is once you click on the link, select Slideshow, the Full Screen, then you can select the pictures from the bottom (when you waive your mouse down there, you will see the thumbnails appear where you can select different pictures), then you can pause and play at the top of the screen where when you waive your mouse up there, you will see those buttons appear.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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In regards to these pictures listed here, I have some questions I would like to ask: http://guestbathroomremodel.shutterfly.com/pictures/8

a) Regarding P1030713(1), does anybody know what this is? It seems like a flange screwed down on top of the membrane for the shower pan, and I just used a utility knife to cut around the flange so I could remove the shower pan because the nuts were all rusted and crumbling. Can I just chunk this when I create a new drain?

b) P1030712(1), this is a good shot of the old water lines to the old tub. What is the best way to de-commission these? Would it be acceptable to cap them off under the slab and fill back over with concrete when I am done. If I put a tub here, the bottom of the tub will pretty much rest on the concrete I imagine unless I go with an above the floor drain, which I don't want to do because it would require too much of a step-up when stepping over the apron. Rather than cap off under the slab, would it be better to solder couplings under the slab so I can route the old lines where they would come up near to the side of the tub in the dead space I would expect between the apron and the bottom of the tub and then cap them off about 2" above the slab? I would expect that couplings would be less likely to leak than caps, but I don't know that for sure.

c) P1030715(1), if the vent line ties in between the two old drains and I basically wreck out both old drains and create a new drain that is centered perfectly where I would need it for the new tub to go in the corner pretty much where the old shower was, I would then need to also re-route the vent line so it tied into the new drain. Right?

d) P1030717(1), how can you tell which lines are hot and cold? Is it true that the line on the right of these two that are in the wall, that has two lines coming out of it, is the hot line and it has these two lines coming out of it so water gets hot faster when you open the faucet?

e) Do all drains need P-traps? A friend from work was telling me you only need those for sinks, etc. to catch wedding rings, etc. that might get dropped in there. But I thought I had heard they also trap the sewer gases so they can't come back in your house.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
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a- That is a 2 piece shower drain. Remove the 3 bolts to pull the top half off. The bottom (body) is glued to a riser from the ptrap.

b- The cold looks like it goes back to the manifold- can't tell with the hot line. It would be best to cap them at their source(manifold) rather than under slab.

c- Probably not. That vent looks like it vents both fixtures. Cap the 1.5" tub line under slab(abandon in place) Then relocate the existing 2" shower drain for new tub

d- I'm thinking the 3 pipe manifold on the right are cold. One feeds that room then basically loops back down to another location- maybe the tub. The third pipe of that group is the cold feed to the old shower.

e. Don't trust your friend traps are for gas as you suspected. every fixture needs one and every trap needs a vent

Hope these answers help.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:22 PM   #11
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Thanks, this is great detal. I'm going to HD to rent a 30 lb. electric jack hammer, prayers may be needed.

On what you said in B) regarding the old supply lines to the old bath tub, there are only two lines coming out of the slab here that each go to a handle on the fixtures, then when you turn either of the two handles, one for hot and one for cold, it allows water to go past the handle via a flex line to the riser for the tub water spicket.

When you say to cap them at their source at the manifold, are you saying to dig down several feet until I find the main line going under the house? If that is the case, boy it sure would be easier to cap under the slab? Mind me asking why needs to go all the way to the manifold?

C) I like this. Another person on the forum recommended wrecking the old line completey out to where they split off from each other or from the main drain if I understood them correctly, but I like your idea better because it sounds much easier.

D) It sounds as if I may need to cut out the old shower mixer valve and solder on some valves so I can run each line into a bucket just to be sure. Although, if I go with a standard mixer valve for the new shower, I'm not real sure it would really matter. I guess the worst case is it would work backwards from the way it's supposed to. If we use the logic that one of those two extra lines goes back down into the concrete and comes back up as the old tub cold supply line, then I wonder why they would not have done the same thing on the old tub hot supply line. Just curious.

Another thing I might do is turn on the hot water everywhere in the house including running the hot water into a bucket from the old tub water fixtures, then if that line that has the two extra lines coming out of it gets hot from picture P1030717(1), then that would tell me it was the hot line. I didn't know if plumbers ever put designators on the pipes or if the mixer valve itself had a hot and cold inlet which might be other ways that I could tell which line was what.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:54 PM   #12
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Thanks, this is great detal. I'm going to HD to rent a 30 lb. electric jack hammer, prayers may be needed.

On what you said in B) regarding the old supply lines to the old bath tub, there are only two lines coming out of the slab here that each go to a handle on the fixtures, then when you turn either of the two handles, one for hot and one for cold, it allows water to go past the handle via a flex line to the riser for the tub water spicket.

When you say to cap them at their source at the manifold, are you saying to dig down several feet until I find the main line going under the house? If that is the case, boy it sure would be easier to cap under the slab? Mind me asking why needs to go all the way to the manifold?
What you need to do is back up a step and determine how the H&C water feed the room.
Put a bucket under the tub valve, turn the hot on. Then feel the pipes at the manifold location. If any of them are hot- it feeds the tub under the floor. This is where you want to cap it. Don't cap the wrong one- you may kill a supply another fixture- so beware. Same process for the cold side.
Cap pipes in the wall- not under slab
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C) I like this. Another person on the forum recommended wrecking the old line completey out to where they split off from each other or from the main drain if I understood them correctly, but I like your idea better because it sounds much easier.
Should be no need for all that- I'm assuming both are connected at the vent. A simple glue cap on the tub branch will do it. If you bust the floor to move the shower drain- you might see where the tub ties in.


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D) It sounds as if I may need to cut out the old shower mixer valve and solder on some valves so I can run each line into a bucket just to be sure. Although, if I go with a standard mixer valve for the new shower, I'm not real sure it would really matter. I guess the worst case is it would work backwards from the way it's supposed to. If we use the logic that one of those two extra lines goes back down into the concrete and comes back up as the old tub cold supply line, then I wonder why they would not have done the same thing on the old tub hot supply line. Just curious.
I'm curious about the hot feed to the tub as well. It may come from another location. You need to verify the underslab pipe routing as you go, but if you operate either valve and feel pipes for temp. changes it might give you the answers


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Another thing I might do is turn on the hot water everywhere in the house including running the hot water into a bucket from the old tub water fixtures, then if that line that has the two extra lines coming out of it gets hot from picture P1030717(1), then that would tell me it was the hot line. I didn't know if plumbers ever put designators on the pipes or if the mixer valve itself had a hot and cold inlet which might be other ways that I could tell which line was what.
Beware that when you cap a pipe in the wall you may be killing more then one fixture...so verify before covering.
Is the shower valve on an exterior wall? Looks like it had a freeze repair done at one time
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:22 AM   #13
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Today, I realized I missed my calling in life. I can't believe I went almost 50 years without using a 70 lb. jackhammer. All I needed today was my Tonka truck from when I was a kid and I could have crossed off something on my bucket list.

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What you need to do is back up a step and determine how the H&C water feed the room.
Put a bucket under the tub valve, turn the hot on. Then feel the pipes at the manifold location. If any of them are hot- it feeds the tub under the floor. This is where you want to cap it. Don't cap the wrong one- you may kill a supply another fixture- so beware. Same process for the cold side.
Cap pipes in the wall- not under slab
Okay, I ran hot water into a bucket from the old bath fixtures and the 3 lines that make up the manifold coming up through the bottom plate got noticeably warmer, say about 10 degrees warmer, not almost too hot to touch like the copper lines above the slab. I think the reason for the difference is the heat dissapation into the dirt.

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Should be no need for all that- I'm assuming both are connected at the vent. A simple glue cap on the tub branch will do it. If you bust the floor to move the shower drain- you might see where the tub ties in.
You were right, the old tub and old shower drains tied together at the same place as the drain vent which I will show in a bit with the pictures I took. I will try to cap it off as you suggested at the union.

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I'm curious about the hot feed to the tub as well. It may come from another location. You need to verify the underslab pipe routing as you go, but if you operate either valve and feel pipes for temp. changes it might give you the answers.
Yeah, basically, the hot water daisy chains all throughout the house and makes loops before going to each fixture which I guess allows it to get hotter quicker. The hot feed to the tub does come from that manifold in the wall where the 3 pipes are tied together, but before it comes up through the floor to feed the tub, it branches off in another direction, I think it probably goes to the bathroom sinks (2x). If I cap it in the wall, my sinks would not have hot water.

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Beware that when you cap a pipe in the wall you may be killing more then one fixture...so verify before covering.
Is the shower valve on an exterior wall? Looks like it had a freeze repair done at one time.
Yes, that is an exterior wall. I will have to remember to put insulation on them again.

In these pictures:
http://guestbathroomremodel.shutterfly.com/pictures/8

the last 12 pictures are of the piping, drains, water lines, etc. I put notes under each picture which I am not going to duplicate here.

Basically, as I described above, I cannot cap the tub hot water line in the wall because I will kill the supply to my sinks. And, the only other line that comes up in the wall is the cold water supply to the old shower. I looked at a Kohler cast iron tub at HD yesterday and there is actually about 2.25 inches between the concrete and the bottom of the lowest part of the tub as it sits on the apron and the 4 feet on the bottom of the tub. I guess I will cap the two tub lines about 1.5-2" above the slab, that way if they ever leak, I'll just have to remove the tub rather than blow a hole through my slab again.

I'm worried though about ever getting my concrete level again. The tub is about 300 lbs and I got carried away a little and it is evident that at least 2 of the 4 feet would be sitting in the hole right now, so when I get finished with all the plumbing under the slab, I will have to put all the dirt and concrete chunks back in the hole carefully. I can't really stomp it down in there because those 30 year old lines don't look like they could take that. Then when I pour new concrete over it, I'm scared it's going to sag because the weight of the concrete will push down on the dirt.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:58 AM   #14
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I'm worried though about ever getting my concrete level again. The tub is about 300 lbs and I got carried away a little and it is evident that at least 2 of the 4 feet would be sitting in the hole right now, so when I get finished with all the plumbing under the slab, I will have to put all the dirt and concrete chunks back in the hole carefully. I can't really stomp it down in there because those 30 year old lines don't look like they could take that. Then when I pour new concrete over it, I'm scared it's going to sag because the weight of the concrete will push down on the dirt.
I wouldn't put the concrete chunks back in. When you back fill the hole, do it in layers soaking it with water to help settle the soil. I'm sure one of the pros will chime in with ideas as well.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:17 AM   #15
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That sounds like good advice, but just to be clear, over half of the concrete is in pretty small pieces (i.e. 2" diameter or less, actually is more like big flakes).

If I had it to do again though, I would have gone to the store and measured how much space there was on the bath tub from the bottom of the tub to the concrete and then I would have found out I could cut the lines at 1-1.5" and cap them just above the concrete.

Then I would have used a sledge to break the old bath drain even with the slab and then shoved a rag in it, just kidding. Maybe just dug it out to the P-trap and capped it there. It would have been easy to dig out since the tub drain went down in a pre-dug dirt hole about 1.5' in diameter. I don't see why about 3' of dead-head on the drain line would hurt anything.

Anybody have any other ideas on the concrete? I did not see a bit of steel rebarb in that whole part that I dug out. Do I need to bother putting any back in there to try to hold it all together?

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