I'm getting ready to do a partial bathroom renovation and have some
plumbing questions. I pretty much just want to make sure that my
assumptions are correct and I'm not going to get any surprises when I
open up the wall to get at the plumbing.
I have a fiberglass shower stall and a whirlpool bathtub on the same
side of the bathroom. I am pulling out the very small shower stall and
moving the shower so that it is in the tub. Looking at that side of
the bathroom, the shower stall is on the left with the plumbing on the
left wall, then there is about 18" of wall space followed by a
whirlppool tub in a tiled enclosure. The tub plumbing is also on the
left side. [With an 18" wide wall in between the two units, is
there any valid reason they would not have just out the plumbing back
- I am assuming that the stall drain is connected to the tub drain
and that I can easily (hopefully) cap it off.
- I am assuming that the water lines to the stall connnect with the
lines for the tub and that I can rip those out and, best case, cap any
stubs, worst case put in a new length of pipe to remove the stall
- I also expect that adding a shower to the existing plumbing for the
tub is not a big deal. Pretty much just replacing the current tap
setup with one that allows for a shower extension.
- I am also assuming that there is no functional reason that there is
18" of wall space between the shower stall and tub. That this wall
just needs to be wide enough to hold the plumbing.
Does everything sound right? Are there lurking gotchas that I haven't
thought of? Ok, there are always lurking gotchas. What might they be?
I forgot to add another bit of information that is important. This is
a second floor bathroom. That's pretty much the basis of my
assumptions. I'm assuming (another one!) that there would be one set
of lines run to the second floor bath and then split rather than two
sets of lines run from the basement. I know I'm making a lot of
assumptions. What I'm trying to get at is, according to standard
plumbing practice (Northeast), should my assumptions be correct. I
know there is always the possibility that I get in there and find a
"why the hell did they do it THAT way" situation.
I'm really not worried about the water lines too much. My biggest
concern is possible issues with the drain. For example, any reason why
I can't just cap it and leave it there? The space above it will become
I will probably get a plumber to come over and give an opinion before I
start. Just thought I'd check here first.
On 8 Feb 2005 10:29:25 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
Sure. Well, not sure, but maybe. Then again, maybe not. And even
if the assumptions fit standard practice wherever you are, there is
no reason to assume they fit your house.
Whatever can go wrong, will.
I assume you will be up front. Tell him you have no intention of
hiring him, that you only want him to tell you how to do it yourself.
There is only one way to know and that is to do.
You can open up the drywall to see what if anything is in that 18
inches. Your assumption that the drains are connected is the same
one I'd make, but who knows? Pull the existing tub and shower,
then you'll know.
How old is this house? I ask because pipes deteriorate and this may be
an opportunity to upgrade everything with little additional work. Also,
if it is an older house, some of what you have may have been added
later, possibly with shortcuts.
On my older home, I could go into the basement and see where the stack
and supply lines started; stacks are almost always straight, so that
should give you some idea of where in the walls things are. I had a tub
that was across the room, but I could trace the drain (which didn't go
where I had guessed) by running hot water and feeling where the floor
When we redid the bath, we tore out all the plumbing and had a plumber
come in and redo it to current code. The only thing I insisted on was
that he run a second hot water line from the bottom of the water heater,
forming a loop; I put insulation on the line from the top of the heater
and the difference in temperature circulates the water, so when I get up
in the morning, I have instant hot water. We also got the
shower-head-on-a-hose with a holder, instead of the traditional shower
head, and that is far more convenient that the old fixed head. Since
the floor had to be removed for the plumbing, and there wasn't
sufficient space for a really solid subfloor (unless we wanted to step
up into the bathroom), we used cork for the flooring, instead of tile,
and it has worked quite well.
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