If you live in an older home that uses an outdated metal filter and seal shower trap, or you want to replace a defective trap, you could call a plumber and have them do the work for you. However, plumbers are not cheap, and you could easily do the work yourself and save a couple of hundred bucks. Use this easy to follow step-by-step guide to learn how to properly remove the old shower trap before replacing it with a new one.
Step 1 - Drain Shower or Tub
Before you begin, make sure the shower or tub is completely drained of water and relatively dry.
Step 2 - Locate the Shower Trap
Before you can remove the old shower trap, you'll first need to find a place to access the plumbing for your shower. So, locate the area in your basement or crawl space that is directly underneath the shower's plumbing. You might find it easier to find the shower by having someone stand in the shower and tap the area where the train is located with a plastic object that won't damage the shower. Follow the sound to the area where the shower drain is located. This is particularly effective if you are replacing a shower trap on a second floor or first floor with a basement that may have wooden subflooring.
Step 3 - Drill Pilot Hole for Saw
Once you have located the area where the plumbing for the shower is located, take a drill and use a relatively large drill bit to make a hole that you will use for a pilot hole for your saw. Make sure that the hole is big enough so that the blade of your reciprocating saw can fit through it easily.
Step 4 - Cut Out Subflooring
Take the reciprocating saw and cut out a rectangular area of the subflooring large enough so that you can easily access the plumbing underneath the shower. In most cases, if you cut out an area that is 1 foot by 2 feet, you should be fine.
Step 5 - Cut Out Old Shower Trap
Again, use the reciprocating saw to cut out the old shower trap. To do this, saw the inlet and outlet pipes on either side of the shower trap. Make your cuts about 2 to 3 inches from the female threaded ends on the old shower trap. Remove the old shower trap and discard. (Note: Be careful as the old trap is probably filled with dirty water.)
Step 6 - Remove Old Threaded Adapter
Before you install your new PVC P-trap, you'll need to also remove the threaded adapter that was used for the outlet pipe on the old trap. To do this, you'll need to use two pipe wrenches: one large and one small. Take the small pipe wrench and place it on the threaded fitting for the outlet pipe, and then place the large wrench on the threaded adapter. While holding the pipe with the smaller pipe branch, use the large pipe wrench to break the grip on the adapter and the fitting connector. Once it is loosened, you can simply use your hand to remove the threaded adapter from the fitting connector. You're now ready to install your more modern PVC P-trap for your shower.