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Shower plumbing advice

5 Star Plumbing > Blog > Shower plumbing advice

It is hard to find a more common thing than a shower, nowadays almost everyone uses it, so it is very important to know how to choose a shower, how to properly install a shower, how to maintain it, and how to fix it in case something went wrong. 

If you are not navigating well through all those issues, there is no need to worry because this article will help you with the best advice on shower plumbing. 

How to find a proper shower 

The first thing that you need to deal with before you fit a shower into your bathroom is choosing the right one. Nowadays, there are many different types of shower systems, and it is not the easiest task to determine which shower would at the same time satisfy your need but also would fit the plumbing system of your house. 

Firstly, before choosing a shower, you need to know which type of water system is installed in your bathroom. 

Here you need to know that there are so-called conventional systems that do not require special showers, and your options are virtually unlimited. However, at the same time, there are some complicated systems that require a special shower, but usually, you would already know about it.  

How to install a shower

Clarity about which shower you can buy you can think about the installment. Obviously, you can just call a professional. However, not all people like to do so. And if you are one of them, you can easily install a shower with your own hands. To do it, you would just need to be good at measuring and drilling. Remember that usually, this task may take a good few hours of your time. 

Necessary instruments 

Before starting to install a new shower, you have to make sure that you have all the instruments necessary for this task, so check whether you have the following:

  • Drill 
  • Pipe cutter 
  • Wrench 
  • Various adapters 
  • A tape suitable for plumbing 

Start from the pipes 

So, if you already have a new shower and all the instruments, you may start actually installing it. Obviously, this process is better to start from the pipes. Here, we have to mention that installing the new pipes would require demolishing the huge parts of your bathroom.    

Therefore, it probably would be better to change your pipes only if you are also planning the remodeling of your bathroom, because otherwise, it would not be very efficient. 

So, firstly you have to install a shower valve, it should be placed beyond the shower wall and attached to the walls by special holders. A valve would have two ports through which water from the pipes goes to the shower and one outward port through which outside goes mixed water. 

When you attach your shower valve to the wall, you need to block it against the wall so the valve would have the necessary support. The exact type of blocking material may be different and depends on many conditions, but if you want to be sure that everything is okay, do not hesitate to ask a professional.  

When the valve is assembled in the right place, you may start attaching pipes to it. For this task, you will need to separate pipes that you should attach on the one end to the bottom of your shower where you have your water supply pipes, and on the second end, you have to stick into the valve. When it is done, do not forget to wrap docking places with the tape.   

The next step after connecting the pipes to the valve is to attach the elbow of the showerhead to the valve, which can be easily done with a short pipe.

Here is a little advice that can help you to save a lot of time. When you finish installing the shower valve and the pipes, you can turn on the water to see if everything is working properly and whether there are some leaks. It is better to do it now than after you finish the whole installation process. Because in such a case, you would have to reassemble many more constructions.  

Assemble the faucet 

When the shower valve and the pipes are installed, you can add a faucet to the construction. Firstly, you have to determine the place where the faucet will be placed and how you would attach it to the wall and the pipes. When you find a proper place, just anchor the faucet with braces.  

It is important to mention that some specialists advise fitting the faucet first and only then start installing pipes. However, we would say that it does not matter as long as your pipes and faucet are conventional. But if your faucet is, for example, a three-handle one, you would probably need to switch the steps because, in this case, you would need to place pipes further than usual. 

Fit the tray 

When you are done with all the pipework, there is one thing to do which is to assemble the shower tray. Obviously, nowadays, some fancy showers can be installed without a tray. However, most people still use it, so here is the most efficient way you can accomplish this task. 

Firstly run a bit of silicone through the waste hole in order to prepare it. Afterward, you can put the outlet into the hole make sure that it is sealed properly with the silicone so you would not have any problems with leaks. 

Now you have to mix the mortar and put a very short layer of it on the area of the floor where you want your tray to be located. When it is done, put the tray in this exact place. Then you have to check whether the tray is installed correctly. To do it, you have to use a level, and if it shows that the tray is bending over to one or another side, you have to lift the tray and adjust the mortar. 

When everything is done correctly, you can connect the trap and a waste pipe.

Install the showerhead 

During the last step of the whole process, you would just need to connect the outward pipe of the valve to the showerhead, which can be easily done in a few minutes using the instruction. When it is done, open the water and see whether everything is working correctly. 

Do not forget about safety 

It is important to remember that installing a shower is a pretty complicated task that requires some knowledge, especially if your shower has some electric elements. Remember that in some states, you cannot perform such remodeling by yourself, so always check local legislation.  

Peter, plumber

I bring over 9 years of dedicated plumbing experience to the table. As a seasoned professional in the plumbing industry, I've tackled a wide range of projects, from residential repairs to large-scale commercial installations.

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