How to Change a Toilet Drain to a Shower Drain

Maybe you are remodeling a bathroom and the best location for a new shower is in place of the old toilet.

Nobody likes a leaky drain.Nobody likes a leaky drain.
Yes, you can drain the new shower into the old sewer pipes, but you'll need to tear out some of the old plumbing. Familiarize yourself with local building codes before you get started, and draw up a good set of plans. Measure everything carefully to make sure you can fit the new plumbing in the old space, because you will need a little extra room for the new PVC trap.

Unscrew the old toilet flange and pry it loose. Remove the sub-floor in order to expose about 2 feet of the 4-inch sewer pipe. Cut the pipe about 16 inches from the shower drain location.

Join the 4-inch to 2-inch PVC reducer bushing to the sewer pipe with a 4-inch rubber coupling, if the pipe is metal or non-PVC. (The coupling comes with a pipe clamp that you must screw tightly over the existing pipe.) Attach a 4-inch to 2-inch PVC reducer bushing to the sewer pipe with PVC primer and cement, if the pipe is PVC.

Temporarily mount a 2-inch PVC trap under the shower drain location with a pipe hanger. Cut a length of 2-inch PVC pipe long enough to connect the trap to the reducer bushing. Slope the 2-inch pipe toward the reducer bushing, allowing it to drop at least ¾ inches in elevation for every 1 foot of length. Mark the location of the 2-inch pipe on the floor joists with a pencil. Remove the trap and pipe.

Attach the 2-inch pipe to the adapter with PVC primer and cement. Mount the 2-inch pipe to joists or flooring with pipe hangers, using hammer and nails.

Attach the 2-inch PVC trap to the 2-inch pipe with PVC primer and cement. Measure the distance from the top of the trap to the planned surface of the shower, and subtract the height of the shower drain assembly. Use that length to measure and cut a piece of 2-inch PVC pipe. Attach the 2-inch pipe to the top of the trap with PVC primer and cement.

Unscrew the top half of the shower drain assembly and set it aside. Attach the bottom piece of the shower drain assembly to the 2-inch pipe with PVC primer and cement. Lay the sub-floor. Continue with shower construction.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Crowbar
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • 4-inch rubber coupling
  • 4-inch to 2-inch PVC pipe reducer bushing
  • PVC primer
  • PVC cement
  • 2-inch PVC pipe (Schedule 40)
  • 2-inch PVC trap
  • Level
  • 2-inch pipe hangers
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • PVC shower drain assembly (for 2 inch pipe)

About the Author

James Werning has authored books and articles on various websites. His scripts have aired for more than 15 years on radio stations across North America. He is a small business owner and a world traveler with a master's degree in communications from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.