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Plumbing

Proper seal for shower drain...?
by: Clint posted: Wednesday - November 17, 2010
Our fiberglass shower enclosure started leaking at the 
drain flange. Unscrewed the large plastic nut under the 
drain, pushed up the plastic drain pipe and there 
doesn't seem to be much of anything sealing the water 
between the shower floor and the drain flange..What is 
the best sealant.. pumper putty ?  Or is there 
something that works better and longer these days..  
(The rubber seal under the large plastic nut seem to be 
in good shape..) 

Shower drain
by: FIXITRIGHT posted: Thursday - November 18, 2010
Clint-There is usually 1 of 2 types of shower drains 
for fiberglass units 
1) Plastic drain assembly where you push 2" plastic  
pipe up through drain and then through a heavy duty 
black rubber gasket ("donut") which is usually so 
tight its hard to even get the pipe through it-
usually dish soap is used as a lubricant

2) Shower drain assembly you tighten to the shower 
with a thin rubber gasket on bottom with a nut and 
after you tighten it you glue the plastic drain pipe 
(usually 2") to the bottom of this drain assembly in 
its socket. Sometimes the drain can leak as people 
stand on the shower base and move around and over 
time the fiberglass can flex slightly around the 
drain.  This is not unusual and can be repaired by 
replacing the drain assembly if need be and repipe a 
pipe section. If this is your type make sure the 
drain is very tight and use a little bit of plumbers 
putty at the bottom of the flange that sits on top of 
the shower base. Use a tiny amount of putty and let 
it squeeze out you dont want the putty to be too 
thick only as a sealant.

Drain #1 used to be very popular when fiberglass 
units were being installed en masse back in the 80's 
and 90's during the building boom-I prefer #2 because 
its "easier" to install and works well if installed 
correctly.

Not sure which type you have.  If you have #1 with no 
gasket thats your problem but I find it hard to 
believe you would not have a major leak if the donut 
was missing. If you have #2 you need to either reseal 
the flange that sits on the top of the shower base 
with plumbers putty and carefully retighten it or 
"redo"/replace the drain assembly.  Plumbers putty is 
used typically at the top of the drain assembly at 
the bottom of the top flange to make a water tight 
seal but the drain assembly should be fairly 
watertight even without it.  You should not hvae to 
use gobs of putty to make a good seal, rather the 
opposite just a thin coating should do.

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