Having a working drain in your shower is vital for many reasons, including drainage to prevent flooding and health hazards of mould and stagnant water. And, if you are purchasing a new property, chances are there is already a shower drain that may need to be replaced.
While the process won’t be that complicated, it is best to know about a few things before beginning the job. If you clearly understand these tips, then the installation or replacement should only take a few hours.
And in this guide, we will tell you about all the things to keep in mind. But even then, if you find the process difficult, then please do not hesitate to call for professional help.
So, let us get going!
Things To Know Before Installing A Shower Drain
1. Eliminate Any Pipe Size Issues
One of the main points to remember is that pipe sizes can differ. Now, drainpipes are about two inches in diameter. However, it is best to not take it for granted as some pipes have a diameter of three inches. And, of course, you would not want the shower drain to have a shorter diameter.
A larger shower drain diameter will minimise your shower from overflowing. So, getting a larger adjustable shower drain is the best idea. You will get weld-type options that will work for two- and three-inch pipe sizes.
2. Working With Tight Spots
You might have difficulty using thick pliers in tight spots that might not fit well. Often, when working with a shower drain, the person might have to cut through the ceiling below the shower. And there could be a lot of pipes and wires, making it difficult to use the water pliers on the nut that attaches to the pipes and drain.
So, if you cannot remove the nut or reach the drainpipe, you might have to pull up the entire shower base to get to the drain. That would need a lot of plumbing work, making it a time-consuming assignment.
However, there is a way to prevent this from happening. You can always attach a lock nut-style drain which can be put in place by jacking screws from the bottom with the help of a screwdriver; you will not need water pliers. The screwdriver will easily enter tight spots and tighten the screws from underneath.
3. Cut Through The Ceiling
It may be essential to cut through the ceiling present below the shower. And in case there is any form of leakage, you might have to dig through and replace the drain along with the drywall below it.
But the replacement of drywall should not be a difficult task as you will have to cut a small hole through the ceiling. This can be covered with an air grill that can be removed to access the plumbing.
And you will not have to dig a hole in the ceiling if the shower base and the drain are being replaced. Instead, remove the existing shower pan and then the installed drain. Next, attach the new shower pan with the new drain before setting it in place.
We feel that “friction” or “compression” drains work the best for this job. They have a gasket inside the body of the drain, which should be removed and coated with a plumber’s soap. And after the shower base is put in place, you can slide the gasket back. The compression nut will need to be tightened to seal it, and you can do that with the help of a screwdriver.
4. Replacing The Trap
Mostly, when one is installing a new shower drain, the old drainpipe will need to be cut to remove the old drain. This usually shortens the drainpipe a little, later needing to be extended to install the new drain.
Sometimes, this process of extending may become difficult as well as time-consuming. Hence, many just cut the drain trap and replace it to simplify the process. Keep this in mind before you start working with the new shower drain.
5. Keep Weep Holes Open
If you have a tiled bathroom floor, replacing the shower drain could mean changing the entire flooring. After all, tiles are placed on a mortar bed on top of a waterproof membrane that’s placed on another mortar bed. In other words, the shower drain is cemented, making it challenging to replace alone.
Tiled floors pose another problem that involves grouts, which can crack, causing water to leak through. As such, there must be weep holes in the middle to allow the water to pass through.
Just ensure that they do not get clogged in any way by mortar. You can add some pea gravel near the exposed base of the drain. And it would be best if you did this before adding another layer of mortar. If this step is done right, any water that goes into the membrane will always go into the weep hole and leave rather than leak elsewhere.
Replacing Your Shower Drain
As the age of shower drains increases, you may find it more of a hassle to install new ones and take old ones out. Pipes might corrode, making them all the more difficult to take out. Also, the older and the newer shower drains may be vastly different, leading to a lot of work.
However, the tips given above should help remove older lines while creating the least amount of damage. We hope that you will now be able to install a new shower drain without any worries. Also, take a look into the shower drain parts and only buy from brands that you trust. If you require any assistance in Sydney, please contact the team at Fixed Today anytime.