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Old 08-07-2015, 12:16 PM   #1
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What's Under the Shower Pan?

I'm in the initial stages of designing a remodel for my shower, and I've got everything down except the shower pan. Making a new one is no problem, but I have to know what's underneath there in order to design it properly, and I don't wanna rip it out yet because we're still using it until I actually start the demo.

My shower steps up 3-4" - maybe a tad or so more or less - and there's a 3" vent in the front wall of the existing pan. If I had to guess, I'd say the space is there for the p-trap, but I don't wanna just guess.

Is there anything under there besides plumbing and dead air space?

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:01 PM   #2
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Can you remove the vent and look under your shower? My Winnebago has a good sized vent in the hall opposite the shower wall. I can remove the vent a see all the pipes. My shower drain does not have a P trap. Instead it has a waterless trap. Try Google to see what they look like.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:15 PM   #3
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If you have a p-trap, there may be a large hole in the subfloor beneath it so that it can be replaced when needed. Mine is built that way. I'm not excited about working through the little vent hole to do it, but it looks possible.



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Old 08-07-2015, 01:33 PM   #4
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Some of the newer coaches are using a type of trap that's like a duck bill inside the pipe. Without water pressure to open it, it stayes closed to keep odors from entering the coach. I don't know if/when Newmar might have gone to this type. Are there any warning stickers warning you not to use a mechanical drain cleaner anywhere? I have them in my wet bay and that tells me I have the new type of running trap.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasA View Post
Can you remove the vent and look under your shower? My Winnebago has a good sized vent in the hall opposite the shower wall. I can remove the vent a see all the pipes. My shower drain does not have a P trap. Instead it has a waterless trap. Try Google to see what they look like.
I might be able to remove it - that's a great place to start. Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmachine View Post
If you have a p-trap, there may be a large hole in the subfloor beneath it so that it can be replaced when needed. Mine is built that way. I'm not excited about working through the little vent hole to do it, but it looks possible.

Freghtliner XC, CAT 3126B
Can you see the hole or the plumbing from inside a basement compartment? I took a quick look but didn't see anything, but I did crawl through every little space either. But thanks!
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
Some of the newer coaches are using a type of trap that's like a duck bill inside the pipe. Without water pressure to open it, it stayes closed to keep odors from entering the coach. I don't know if/when Newmar might have gone to this type. Are there any warning stickers warning you not to use a mechanical drain cleaner anywhere? I have them in my wet bay and that tells me I have the new type of running trap.
No warning stickers, but that doesn't mean the previous owner didn't remove them. I'll try to take a look through the vent hole, but at least now I know what I might be looking for. Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wryly Blithe View Post
Can you see the hole or the plumbing from inside a basement compartment? I took a quick look but didn't see anything, but I did crawl through every little space either. But thanks!

The hole is not visible from below. I mention this because relocating the shower drain may require another such hole that requires somewhat painstaking work if you are doing it only from the top side of the floor. It's not impossible, just tedious. I really like the idea of waterless traps, but it's almost certainly simpler to run a horizontal drain pipe to the existing trap location.

I'm in a similar situation, weighing the pros and cons of a complex floorplan remodel that will encompass relocating the toilet, shower, and vanity/sink. Please do post photos of your solution.



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Old 08-07-2015, 03:01 PM   #9
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The vent in the bottom front of the shower pan , is a cold air return for the forced air furnace duct that heats the tanks and the water bay , so it's important to keep an open pathway, about that size, for that return air in any modification you plan.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmachine View Post
The hole is not visible from below. I mention this because relocating the shower drain may require another such hole that requires somewhat painstaking work if you are doing it only from the top side of the floor. It's not impossible, just tedious. I really like the idea of waterless traps, but it's almost certainly simpler to run a horizontal drain pipe to the existing trap location.

I'm in a similar situation, weighing the pros and cons of a complex floorplan remodel that will encompass relocating the toilet, shower, and vanity/sink. Please do post photos of your solution.



Mike
2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40PBD
Freghtliner XC, CAT 3126B
Luckily, we love our floorplan, we just hate the shower. I'm debating whether or not to remove the slim pantry unit that's right next to it and use that extra space for a little bigger shower, but I hate to lose the cabinet space. There's nothing in there now, so it would be no huge loss, but I gotta keep the future in mind. I will definitely post pictures when I get started.

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
The vent in the bottom front of the shower pan , is a cold air return for the forced air furnace duct that heats the tanks and the water bay , so it's important to keep an open pathway, about that size, for that return air in any modification you plan.
Hmmm... is that what that's for? Ok, well... that sounds right, but I have an embarrassing confession to make: I didn't even know I had a basement furnace. It makes perfect sense that this rig would have one, and in my mind I can see a switch on the central control panel that says "Furnace," but I naively assumed it was part of a heating system for the coach that got removed when the previous owners took out the propane and converted it to all-electric.

Now I have to get out there and investigate this. Just when I thought I'd figured out pretty much all the major systems on the rig... HA!

The flip side of that coin is that it doesn't sound likely (or easy) to move that vent so that I can lower the shower floor. It sounds like I'll need to leave it unless I can find another route for that venting.

Thanks, Skip426 - you've come through for me again
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:09 PM   #12
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Wryly, on my Dutch Star, it's not truly a basement furnace; only a duct off the main furnace supply, and there is an in line booster fan controlled by a rocker switch on the water bay control panel ( Lower left corner) to be turned on in case of extreme cold conditions.
Of course in the years between our coaches some things are bound to have changed.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:40 AM   #13
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I've been researching this, and my initial instincts were correct: the main furnace has been removed by the previous owners and replaced with radiant floor heating. What I don't know is whether or not that furnace switch - which on mine is near bottom-center of the control panel - is still connected to the auxiliary fan you mentioned.

Clearly, I have some playing with switches to do
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:15 PM   #14
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UPDATE

Well, I took the vent cover off the front of the shower pan today and got a good look:

  • It's not a furnace vent, it's just a static air vent for under the shower. No duct work to move... yay!
  • Under the shower pan there is only a standard p-trap and the drain line from a nearby vanity sink. I could maybe move the plumbing in order to lower the height of the shower pan, but it'd probably be more work than it's worth, so I doubt I'll bother.
So, I'll be building a new shower pan from scratch (I really hate the existing one) which will greatly extend the length of the project. Not that it's all that hard to do, it's actually pretty easy (with the right skills and tools) but it'll take me a while to engineer it to fit perfectly, especially since I can't really demo anything right now.


I really want to thank everyone who chimed in on this thread - you all helped immensely by pointing me in the right directions. Thank you all so much!
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