Low Profile Shower P TRAP? or other solution in small space?

Old 06-05-07, 10:24 AM
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Unhappy Low Profile Shower P TRAP? or other solution in small space?

Hey all,
First of all, I am NOT a very good plumber, however by reading all your great questions/answers I'm learning & have fixed or replaced a couple of leaky faucets and sink p traps in our "new" house.

Anyhow, here is my dilemma. I can't find an answer anywhere.

Upstairs stand-alone shower was installed really poorly by previous homeowners/their contractors during a bathroom renovation. Did not use a shower flange/drain (not sure of proper wording) from top of pan to connect to p trap...instead, just ran 2" ABS pipe directly into shower pan opening from p trap and glued a cover over it & used 2 inches of plumbers putty around pipe to "hold" pipe in place. Of course it leaked/leaks into our kitchen below...

So, I cut out the ceiling drywall below the shower & bought a shower drain with a cover that screws down from the top of the shower pan into the receiver under the pan with a large nut that compresses them together.

After much work and reading/re-reading your posts here, I have everything all dry fit:
shower drain with cover,
2" ABS drain pipe,
2" P-trap directly under shower pan,
a wye at outlet side of P trap connecting to DWV 1.5" pipe and then runs about 2' to an elbow and then down into the basement...

Anyhow, now after having dry fit everything and getting ready to glue together (YEAH!) ...I noticed that the bottom of the P Trap sits too low below the ceiling joists about a 1/2", keeping me from being able to sheetrock over p trap in the middle of kitchen ceiling..aaarrggghhh! Now I understand why previous owners/contractor did what they did...

The outlet side of the P trap is flush against the bathroom floor decking along with the drain pipe it connects to, the wye, & the 1.5" DWV pipe, so no more room to gain there.

The floor joists are 7" top to bottom and 2" abs P trap needs about 7.5 - 8" clearance.

I've contemplated using 1.5" p-trap...
I've contemplated "making" my own p-trap out of 3 90-degree elbows...
I've contemplated using a drum or bell trap...., until I read here that all the above are not per code and all have their own inherent problems.

Any solutions? The drain pipe runs horizontal about 2' after the wye to an elbow and down the soffit and there isn't room to move the p-trap into the soffit and even if it somehow could work, it'd mean a TON of ceiling drywall and soffit drywall ripped out and replaced...

I did read on internet somewhere about a "low-profile" 2" abs shower p-trap, requiring less clearance top to bottom to fit in restricted spaces...I think on an English site...anyhow, can't find it to purchase anywhere stateside.

I think that is the best solution? If I can find one to buy? I can't be the only person who has come across this dilemma?

Anyone aware of this issue?
Know of a "low-profile" or "low-e" p-trap to purchase?
Another Idea to solve it?
HELP!?! So excited to be near end after days of plumbing...to hit this snag.

Only other solution I can think of if can't find low-profile p trap or other solution from you all, is to put a vent cover over p trap in middle of kitchen ceiling.....ugly, ugly, ugly.....I want to plumb it right/by code, but heck, is that possible?

I hope I explained this properly so you understand problem(s)...long-winded though it is.

Thanks to you all in advance from a "new homeowner" and "New DIY-er"!!!!!

PS- separate issues I have as well with same project, but not so concerned about YET:
1) the 1.5" DWV pipe is perfectly parrallel to the 2" Abs drain line and hence there has been water backed up into air line...as evident by calcium build up from standing water...dwv runs about 2' opposite direction from the wye and then up through attic via a 90-degree elbow and out the roof...I think it still provides adequate venting, just don't think it should have water in it?

2) using the shower drain with cover, the cover, when dryfit, sits up about 1/16-1/32" above shower pan..hope to suck this up tight and below pan with the large nut under shower pan...don't know if that will work or even correct proceedure, but don't want standing water around the shower drain...

OK, enough already...Hope someone got/gets a good laugh at this...but hey, I'll swallow my pride and beg for help! HA!
Old 06-05-07, 03:46 PM
CSG is offline
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lol..lots to read. Unfortunately if you want to follow code..your stuck. A low profile p-trap won't work. Code requires a minimum water seal for the p-traps and if you go any less your out of code *shrugs*. So the problem is..your stuck. No way around it either. P-trap needs so much room that you don't have so you have to create it or get rid of the shower.

No my contractor answer. If i was doing a re-model and showed an inspector that situation he would let me get away with a 1.5" trap. So if i were you that is what i would do. Code is code but there are certain things due to certain situations where you can slide. I do a lot of condo work on highrises in Florida and lots of times i turn an old tub into a shower during remodels. Only way to do it is by keeping the 1.5" drain cause they wont let you tear up the concrete. Inspectors let it slide all the time.

If your home fits a certain 'historic' definition you can throw the code book out the window as long as the inspector signs off.

As for the drain..yeah..try to snug it down best you can. As for the vent....that is technically an illegal design by todays standards anyways. Is the water good to sit in there? No..is the water gonn hurt anything? Probably not since it is just a shower line. I would just leave it be to be honest.

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