Have you ever experienced a clogged shower drain and wished it could connect to your toilet? No? Okay, so maybe that’s not an issue for you. But if it is a problem, don’t worry. We made a step-by-step guide to help you connect your shower drain to your toilet!
What is a Shower Drain?
A shower drain is a simple plumbing system that directs your shower water outside the building. Shower drains require two pipes to function properly – an inlet pipe and an outlet pipe.
The inlet pipe connects to your shower head. The outlet pipe is the one that you’ll connect to your toilet or bathtub drain.
How to Create a Shower Drain to Toilet Connection
You can connect a shower drain to an existing toilet drain with relative ease. All you need are these tools:
- Measuring tape
- Pipe cutter
- Small towels
Once you’ve assembled these, you’re ready to connect your shower drain to your toilet! Here’s how:
Step 1: Turn Off the Water to the Toilet
Before you make the shower drain to the toilet connection, turn off the water supply to your toilet. This step will stop any leaks from getting into your home (if you see water shooting out of your toilet after flushing, read here). The shutoff valves are usually located under the toilet or behind it. However, some toilets have them in other locations.
Make sure that you turn off any nearby faucets as well. You can use a wrench or pliers to shut off the main valve for your home’s water supply line.
Step 2: Remove the Toilet
Next, disconnect the toilet from its plumbing system. You can do this by unscrewing its three bolts and removing it from the floor. Take care not to damage your home’s existing pipes during this step. If necessary, cover them with rags so they don’t get damaged by tools or other objects in your work area.
To remove the toilet seat, lift it and set it aside. Then pull up on the clips that hold the lid to your toilet tank and set them aside. You may also want to put a bucket under your tank in case any water spills out during this step.
Step 3: Locate the Sewer Vent Pipes
The next step is to locate the sewer vent pipe. The best place to start looking is by the toilet. You should easily find the pipes located on either side of the toilet.
Look for a small pipe connected to your drain line or another pipe connected to it. If none of these pipes are visible, don’t worry – they may be located in other areas.
Sometimes they’re hidden underneath cabinets. You should also check behind walls in other rooms in your home and under sinks and toilets. If all else fails, look near where all water exits. Your shower drain may have an opening into another room that leads into your sewer system.
Step 4: Cut Through the Floor
Ensure your safety glasses are on before you cut through the floor. Once you’ve determined where to cut, mark the line with a pencil.
Use a hammer and chisel to open up the wood flooring around the drain opening. Create enough room for the saw blade to fit in between the subfloor and drain opening.
Using a reciprocating or circular saw, carefully cut through both floors. The subfloor board will be about 1/4-inch thick). A reciprocating saw can easily cut through concrete or cinder block if used correctly.
Step 5: Cut the PVC Pipe
Cutting the pipe is probably the most difficult part of this project. It’s not too complicated if you have the right tools, but it can be hard to do by hand. If you use a hacksaw instead of a PVC cutter, ensure your blade is sharp.
Ensure to use enough pressure to cut through all 4-inches of plastic simultaneously. Use caution! You don’t want your hands getting too close to the blade because they might get caught up in its path.
If you have access to PVC pipe cutters, then this process will go much more smoothly. PVC pipe cutters enhance cutting accuracy. They reduce the risk of injury and the unnecessary destruction of materials.
Step 6: Add a P Trap below the Shower Drain to Stop Sewer Gasses
The P-trap will prevent sewer gasses from entering your home through the drain line (if your P-trap doesn’t align with your drain, find the solution here). You should install it below the shower drain. Position it at least 6 inches below grade level (the lowest point where water could collect).
To install the P trap, bend down the drain line from your toilet. Add a 2″ PVC pipe at an angle to connect it to your shower drain. Use slip joints on both ends of this section of pipe. At the end where you connected the PVC pipe to your drain line, cut off any excess length so that there is about 1″ exposed out of each end.
Now add another piece of PVC slip jointed onto the other side of your drain line coming out of your toilet. Push them together tightly and seal them with a plumber’s putty or silicone sealant around all sides where they touch one another.
Step 7: Install a Drain Adapter
The drain adapter is the three-way metal piece connecting your shower to the toilet (if your shower drain doesn’t line up, read our guide here). To install it, ensure you have properly measured and marked where you will place it. Next, use a level to ensure that this part is straight.
You can then use a wrench to tighten one side of it down with just enough force so that it does not move once installed (you do not want any leaks). Finally, grab another wrench and tighten down all four corners until they are snug against each other.
Connect the shower drain and toilet drain pipes to the three-way connector. You’ll first need to determine what kind of pipe you need for each side of your drain connector. You need one for the shower drain and one for the toilet drain.
Step 8: Seal the Fitting
After you have added the fitting, you will want to seal it. You can do this with a PVC primer and cement, which may be available at your local hardware store in gray or white. But PVC primer and cement are not the same—the primer is used for sealing pipes, while the cement is used for gluing them together.
The fitment should include instructions on how long to let each dry before applying another layer. Typically it will be one hour after applying each sealant layer before adding another coat or letting it dry overnight if you want it ready by morning.
Step 9: Reinstall Toilet, Water Line, and Flange
Now it’s time to put everything back where it belongs. Ensure the plumber’s putty is intact around the pipe fitting and smooth out any imperfections with your finger or a putty knife.
If you’re using a threaded adapter, tighten it with a wrench. Next, place the flange gasket on top of your new toilet flange (which should already be installed). Securely reinstall the overtop of your existing toilet by hand-pressing it until all four bolts are tight.
Use pliers if necessary to ensure nothing wiggles lose later during use. Then reattach all other connections. Screw any connectors for new lines if needed (like with PEX tubing), then replace water supply hoses.
Check for leaks around fittings before finally reattaching everything else as faucets and shower handles, and setting up an operational toilet.
Reasons to Make Shower Drain to Toilet Connection
You can save water and money when you have a shower drain connected to your toilet drain. Here is how:
Lessens the Risk of Floods in the Bathroom
When you have a blocked shower drain, it can cause problems with wastewater flow. The blockage can lead to flooding in your bathroom or, even worse, in other areas of your home. When there’s an issue with wastewater flow, it can cause backups into other parts of your house.
A toilet drain can handle more water than a shower drain. Connecting them will lessen the likelihood of having these issues while also taking care of some of your plumbing work at once.
Leads to Fewer Drain Cleanouts
If you have a lot of hair or debris going down your shower drain and into your sewage system, it will clog up the pipes and cause slow draining or even backups in your bathroom or kitchen sink.
If you have this problem, connecting your shower to the toilet will help solve it. Everything will go down one rather than two separate pipes. A single connection can save you time and money when it’s time for a professional plumber to come out and clean out your pipes.
Reduces Water Usage
You can reduce water usage with a shower drain to toilet connection. The two pipes are connected so that when you shower, it will push out any wastewater from the toilet. The connection can reduce the amount of water that goes into the sewer system, decreasing your bill.
Work for the Weekend
Installing a shower drain to toilet connection isn’t as hard as it seems. It’s a DIY job that can be done in a few hours and cost-effectively, depending on your needs. If you’re looking for an easy way to update your bathroom without hassle, connecting a shower drain to toilet is the perfect solution.