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JAC 02-14-2011 08:54 PM

Stumped on shower drain.
I'm a new guy here so bear with me.

I am updating our guest bathroom in our 1973 house. I live in south Florida in a one story house built on a concrete slab. I have removed the tile in the shower to discover a drain that doesn't resemble any drain I've seen in the local hardware stores or online.

This drain pipe appears to be a 2 in cast iron pipe. However, I can not determine if this shower has a pan or not. The flange in the picture does not appear to be the upper part of a typical 3 piece drain as it does not screw into anything but the strainer was screwed into it. It appears it has been attached using lead solder.

My dilema is to what extent should I demo this shower?

I am leaning towards a complete demolition. In other words, ripping out he walls, that appear to be plaster with no cement board, and chipping out the floor to the slab and put in a new pan. I haven't noticed any leaks in this shower but a local plumbing supply store looked at the picture and said I probably don't have a pan. How can this be? Almost 40 years an no leaks?

My big question among many is can I remove the flange in the picture and somehow cut the pipe down to install a 3 piece drain so I can put a new pan in? Do I need to graft in some PVC or can I use a CI 3 piece drain on the old pipe? Is there a coupling that will accomplish this with no leaks if I go PVC?

Better yet, do I have to do any of this and get away with tiling over where the old tile previously laid and pray for no leaks in the future.

One of my concerns is that if I do have a pan, it is lead and after 40 years if it's not leaking yet it will be soon.

Thanks for your help.

joecaption 02-15-2011 06:53 PM

A shower uses a 2" drain not a three inch drain. I'd never in a million years suggest a first time DIY try and build there own shower pan. Buy one premade that can be tiled or hire a real tile guy to do it for you and you can do the rest of the job. If this leaks it's all got to come out again and be done over. It's a one shot deal.

Redwood 02-17-2011 12:50 PM

You've already demo'd enough that you are putting in a whole new shower...

I'd recommend you look around here at the kerdi shower system.

I'm not going to say you can't do it but it is a big job. John Bridge wrote a book on it which will guide you if you decide to DIY it. I'd highly recommend the Kerdi System for your new shower.

licensedplumber 02-26-2011 01:30 PM

I am not sure of the plumbing code in Florida, in MA any plumbing alterations must be done by a licensed plumber! Any drain found under ground by code is two inch in diameter. The picture looks like an old lead and oakum joint. What they did was ran there two inch drain up instaled an old flange leaded it after packing oakum and then poured a concrete pan. We see it a lot in MA but they usually use them as mop sinks/laundry sinks. You really should hire a professional for this one.

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