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I'm in the middle of a tub to shower conversion but am a complete amateur when it comes to plumbing issues. The tub is out, the walls are open, we have the stand up shower kit bought. But upon looking at the existing plumbing I have a few questions.

1) Per this link: http://www.dndb.info/the-challenges-in-converting-bathtubs-to-showers/ it looks like we can't re-use the same drain line for the shower as we have in the tub (We're in Indiana not California but I'm not sure if that makes a difference). Would it be better just to cut the drain line back to main drain line and run new shower drain?

2) Since we're converting from tub to shower, we don't need the overflow drain cover anymore (the thing that you can push or pull and it stops up your drain so you can take a bath) can we just cap that section? I'm worried about venting, per this link: https://www.reddit.com/r/DIY/comments/3t63ah/bathtub_to_shower_cut_drain_overflow_pipe/

3) Is there an easy (no soldering) way to convert two faucet handles (hot & cold) into one shower faucet handle?

Thanks for all help in advance.

EDIT: PICTURE TIME Shower Picture

Important things: Green circle- the two knobs we'd like to convert to one for a stand up shower. I heard mention of shark bite fittings and I like that idea as we've already done a lot of work pulling out all of the water damage.

Blue circle- Overflow drain cover (if that's the right term). Can we cut this back and cap it?

Non-important thing: Red circle- this is an older house but I still had hope I could remove the existing drain from the drain pipe but this is not the case, I've tried everything (drain plug wrench, crow bar, dremel) and that drain will not come up, so we'll have to cut that pipe unfortunately.

EDIT 2: After getting quotes from two plumbers, I feel like the job is big enough to require a professional, especially since the drain line is a 1 1/2 inch line and it needs to be a 2 inch line for the shower. Thanks to everyone for their input.

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    Have you already removed the tub? The overflow is part of the tub plumbing and will be removed when the tub is removed. Are you going to tile the bottom or use a plastic shower bottom? I assume that you are going to have the shower drain at the end under the faucets where the tub drain was, right? Changing to a single handle control valve from a two handle (two valve) mixing valve will require redoing the wall and the plumbing inside it. – Jim Stewart Mar 23 at 22:58
  • Does your existing tub have a shower too? – Jim Stewart Mar 23 at 23:09
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This is way too much to answer in a single question, especially without pictures... but here goes:

...it looks like we can't re-use the same drain line for the shower as we have in the tub. Would it be better just to cut the drain line back to main drain line and run new shower drain?

You certainly can use the same drain line but it will need to be altered to exactly align with the drain assembly in your new "stand up shower kit", which may necessitate cutting it back to reconfigure it.

...we don't need the overflow drain cover anymore... can we just cap that section?

The "overflow drain cover" is just a part of an entire bathtub drain unit called a waste and overflow assembly; which should be long gone since you state that "the tub is out". All that should remain after bathtub removal is a trap and drain line (which will likely need to be removed/reconfigured for the shower, see above).

Is there an easy (no soldering) way to convert two faucet handles (hot & cold) into one shower faucet handle?

NO there is nothing "easy" about plumbing when you are a "complete amatuer"; however, it may be a fun learning experience from which you will emerge more confident and competent.

I presume you mean to replace the old two-valve/two-handled tub filler valves with a modern single-handle/knob shower control valve. This might be accomplished with some new-fangled fittings that don't require soldering (I will assume copper since you mention solder) but I would recommend that you solder the connections (which means you get to buy a torch and a bunch of extra fittings and some pipe to practice with until you have a new skill that you are fluent with).

You must fit the new valve and drain to the shower kit to ensure that the pipes in the wall and floor are positioned perfectly, which means that you will probably need to install and uninstall ("dry fit") the assembly multiple times. Follow instructions and have patience.

  • Shark bite fittings don't require soldering I know several contractors that use them but I am old school and still prefer soldered copper. But other than that + – Ed Beal Mar 24 at 15:55
  • @Ed Beal, I mentioned such in the answer but not by name as I have encountered other non-solder alternatives as well: "This might be accomplished with some new-fangled fittings that don't require soldering". I, like you, believe solder is the best method and a worthy skill for a novice to learn. – Jimmy Fix-it Mar 24 at 17:49
  • Maybe I missed it the first time and again reading don't see any thing than non solder reference, I did up vote but felt this type of fitting name would be important for a novice that would not know what to ask for. – Ed Beal Mar 25 at 0:34

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