A working drain in your shower is vital for many reasons, including drainage to prevent flooding and the 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 understand these tips, installation or replacement should only take a few hours.
In this guide to installing a shower drain, we will tell you everything to remember when taking on plumbing projects in your shower. But even then, if you find installing a shower drain difficult, 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 not to take the pipe size 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.
With various shower drains available, from linear shower drains to grates of all shapes and sizes, a larger shower drain diameter will prevent your shower from overflowing. So, getting a larger adjustable shower drain is the best idea. You will get weld-type options for two- and three-inch pipe sizes. If you consider Installing a linear shower drain and grate, this will give you a whole world of possibilities that go beyond functionality. But it’s essential to get the right shower drain for your home.
2. Working With Tight Spots
You might have difficulty using thick pliers in tight spots that might not have enough space to fit well. 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 require a lot of plumbing work, making it time-consuming.
However, there is a way to prevent this from happening. You can permanently 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 quickly 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. If there is any leakage, you might have to dig through and replace the drain and the below drywall.
But replacing drywall should not be difficult as you must cut a small hole through the ceiling. This can be covered with an air grill that can be removed to access the plumbing.
You will not have to dig a hole in the ceiling if the shower base and the drain are replaced. Instead, remove the existing shower pan and then the installed drain. Next, attach the new shower pan with the latest drain before setting it.
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
When installing a new shower drain, the old drain pipe must be cut to remove the old drain. This usually shortens the drain pipe a little, which needs to be extended later 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 placed on another. In other words, the shower drain is cemented, making drain installation challenging.
Tiled floors pose another problem involving grouts, which can crack, causing water to leak. Holes must be 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 correctly, any water 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. Metallic or stainless steel pipes might corrode, making them all the more difficult to remove. Also, the older and the newer shower drains may be vastly different, leading to much work. You may need to replace a few broken or rusted parts, like the top flange, drain assembly and more.
However, the tips above should help remove older lines while creating minor damage. We hope you can now install a new shower drain without any worries. Also, look into the shower drain parts and only buy from brands you trust. Please get in touch with the team at Fixed Today anytime if you require assistance in Sydney.