I am in the middle of a bathroom remodel and discovered an assortment of drain and vent pipes behind the old shower. As I get ready to reframe the wall and make the plumbing ready for a tub, I find myself wondering if I should replace / optimize this mess of plumbing.

It may even be possible to reclaim a good bit of this wall space which would allow me to install a longer tub (right now my plan is a 4 ft tub for kid baths).

I'm by no means an expert on plumbing so I'm wondering what the collective mind has to say. drain/vent lower drain/vent upper


  • I think it took your plumber longer to cut all that framing than building the wall took. My first instinct is that doing anything with those vents would be a multi-story project, but I'm not an expert. You may want to include a location, code varies on venting. – Matthew Gauthier Feb 4 '17 at 22:22
  • I live in Illinois. I just bought the house a few months back and I'm still in the phase of finding these little treasures. I wish they had taken the time to do it right the first time... – Ryan McCool Feb 6 '17 at 18:00

The larger pipe looks to be your main vent. The other smaller pipes connecting to it are vents serving other fixtures. Codes limit the location on where vents can be connected, typically 6" above the flood level rim of the highest fixture being served and a minimum of 42 above the floor. That is why they are connecting as shown in the photo. The plastic vent which would have been part of a renovation/modification after the other work was completed looks to be connected a bit too low.

Just because it may look odd or look inefficient does not mean that it was done incorrectly. With the exception of the plastic pipe, this looks to have been done to meet the code requirements.

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