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Question DetailsAsked on 8/3/2016

Cost to put a p-trap in shower? Contractor did not install one, now sewage gases coming in.

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Assuming this was recent - I would not pay for the job until done right. If already paid but by credit card you might be able to contest the charge within the complaint period under your card's rules. If a recent job (less than 1 year old say, and you have just discovered the sewer gas issue) then I would call him and have him come back and do it right - and if it requires opening up a ceiling underneath he should pay for the cleanup, repair and repainting of that too.


If he refuses (again assuming this was recently done) I would send an explanatory letter demanding repair under his Bond (including any flooring/ceiling/wall repairs needed due to having to open them up) to his Bonding company - he was bonded, right ?


Depending on your locale, the local building inspection officer might help put pressure on him too - especially if he did not pull a permit and get inspections as required.


If you for some reason get caught paying the bill - commonly about $150-250 if open joist basement/readily accessible crawlspace below it, assuming he used plastic drain pipe. If drywalled ceiling below then that plus typically several hundred $ for drywall repair and refinishing, and repainting (which normally means entire ceiling to get a match).


If no access from below - on concrete slab for instance, then generally means tearing the shower floor and pan out and completely redoing it, including cutting a hole in the concrete and a bit of digging to put the trap into the earth under the slab. Cost likely to be in the couple to few thousand range depending on construction of shower.


If this was an installation on concrete and he just turned a 90 under the pan and ran the pipe horizontally on top of the slab, then depending on details could get into an additional $500-1000 range if that pipe (with a trap) should have gone under the slab to connect to the main stack. I have seen plumbers take that kind of a shortcut to avoid the time/effort to cut through and repair the slab.


In some cases, with generally much more labor but avoiding major shower tearout or underlying ceiling tearout, it is possible to come in from the back side of the wall at the direction the drain pipe leads out from the shower (like if carpeted hall or closet or such), cut out the subfloor sheathing (plywood, OSB, whatever) under that side of the shower, put a trap in the plumbing, and put a new piece of sheathing back in - or concrete if concrete slab. VERY tight quarters and VERY hard on the back but doable, especially if the shower is built with a factory-made fiberglass or plastic pan rather than hand-made directly on the subfloor. Almost always going to be more cost than coming up from below but if underlying ceiling is very fancy or hard to repair or on concrete slab, can offer a solution. I remember doing one job where I had to use a handheld air impact chisel for almost a full day to remove concrete to repair this sort of problem (was piping not fully hooked up so leaking badly, but same access issues).


And of course, once all is said and done, probably time for an appropriate but truthful Review on AL on the contractor.


And if you really want to gouge him, a written complaint to the state licensing board on the contractor who actually installed the plumbing - should have been a plumber but if no trap put in this might have been a general contractor or handyman working outside his area of expertise ? Because that is a most fundamental error for a plumber to make.


One other question I would have if this shower was put in without a trap - certainly the person doing the job should have seen that presumably, so I would wonder if the shower itself was done right - with pan and liner correctly tied to the drain pipe with liner drain into it, and if the shower had a flood test done on it (drain is plugged and shower is filled with water to just below the top of the liner/pan or curb (whichever is lower) for many hours (I have seen 4-72 hours depending on locale and type of leakage barrier) to ensure the shower floor does not leak.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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