Did plumber install this upside down?

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Old 10-23-20, 08:41 PM
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Question Did plumber install this upside down?

We had a major renovation done and the plumber installed a new first floor bathroom with stand up shower. The shower has a center floor drain. Shortly after moving in we started getting a sewer gas smell in the bathroom. I took off the drain cover and looked down the drain and it seems like there is a vent hole in the pipe before it reaches the standing water in the P trap. I am not sure if its a vent, but there is definitely a hole and I don't know where it leads. I thought maybe it could be a clean out, but a clean out would have some sort of plug. Can anyone figure this out? I want to get my information straight before I make a case with the plumber.. Thanks












 
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Old 10-24-20, 02:02 AM
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Do you have access from the basement?
 
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Old 10-24-20, 06:01 AM
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I have never seen anything like that before in a shower. It's almost like they used a tub drain somehow. In that case the side pipe would have come from the tub's overflow. I'm really curious where that side pipe might lead???
 
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Old 10-24-20, 06:54 AM
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Yeah, I've never seen anything quite like that before either. I was thinking a floor drain, which as you mentioned, sometimes has a bypass around the trap to snake it, but I've never seen one as just part of a P-trap.

There's no reason to have a hole in your shower trap. I would definitely have him back to fix the sewer smell. Unfortunately, I think it will require some ceiling work below.

If you're looking for a temporary fix or to help prove that's where the smell is coming from, you can get an inflatable test ball to fill that pipe. Something like this (but check the pipe size)
https://www.supplyhouse.com/Oatey-27...Test-Ball-Plug
It gets inflated in the pipe and should seal it off. But it's obviously not a long-term solution.
 
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Old 10-24-20, 03:56 PM
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Marq1 - We finished the basement during the reno and I am really reluctant to start cutting up the ceiling to get under the drain.

Pilot Dane - What is the difference between a tub drain and a shower floor drain?I am thinking that side pipe leads to the air vent system in the house which is why sewer gas may be coming up through it.

Zorfdt - I have seen floor drain in basements have the bypass/cleanout but this is a first floor and there is a basement below it. As a makeshift test I was able to shove a damp rag into the hole last week and the sewer smell has subsided. Is there anyway to seal off the vent hole completely and still be able to use the shower? What are the risks in doing that?

 

Last edited by gt5oh; 10-24-20 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 10-24-20, 06:24 PM
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I am thinking that side pipe leads to the air vent system in the house...
The drain does need to be vented, but it should be on the sewer-side of the trap. If there's no vent on the drain system, that could cause draining issues... but nothing quite like what you have now.

Is there anyway to seal off the vent hole completely and still be able to use the shower?
I can't think of any good way to permanently seal it without being too 'hack-y'. My only thought would be to get a piece of 2" PVC pipe and cut a section out of it and cement it over the hole. Certainly not a great solution, but if you get a secure seal, it could help.
 
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Old 10-25-20, 02:15 AM
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I would overcome your reluctance to open the ceiling below. Opening and patching drywall isn't difficult nor expensive, just a drag. It may be the only way to figure out what's going on.
 
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Old 10-25-20, 05:37 AM
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In these diagrams you can see the difference between a tub and shower drain. The big difference is a tub drain has a overflow upstream of the trap. Both types have a plumbing vent after the trap.



 
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Old 10-25-20, 04:23 PM
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Thanks

Steve - agree, but we just finished everything down there, paint, moved in all the furniture, its all done and finished. just sucks that we might have to start cutting holes and poking around.

Pilot Dane - thanks for the diagrams, if they indeed did install a tub drain I don't think sewer smell would be coming from it because the overflow pipe would not connect to anything.. unless they somehow connected that to vent system??

With the shower pattern in the second diagram I have some sort of connection in the riser/tailpiece that I can't figure out where it goes.
 
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Old 10-25-20, 05:40 PM
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I have some sort of connection in the riser/tailpiece that I can't figure out where it goes.
Yes.... we understand that. None of us have seen anything like that before either.
The second diagram is what you are supposed to have.

Ultimately your plumber is going to have to correct this problem and if it means opening the ceiling below.... he'll have to cover that too.
 
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