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I have a clawfoot tub with a 1-1/2" brass drain to install to a 2" ABS floor drain. There's already a 2" to 1-1/2" ABS reducer cemented to the drain by my previous plumber. My original plan was connect a 1-1/2" trap adapter to the brass drain and then come up with something to cover it later. When testing the parts together, I found out that the reducer+trap adapter combo places the horizontal brass drain nearly an inch up from where I need it to connect (for the bottom of the tub).

I was considering cutting the ABS from the bottom of the reducer and placing a flexible coupling, but I'd still need a trap adapter or something similar. I haven't had luck finding shortened couplings or reducers. Is there some other solution to this sort of problem I could use?

Wider view of the tub and brass drain placed onto the trap adapter/reducer (not cemented)

close angle of the brass drain to abs

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  • Is your tub locked in position?
    – Huesmann
    Mar 30, 2023 at 14:50
  • It isn’t locked in Mar 30, 2023 at 23:35

2 Answers 2

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Here are some options, none of them beautiful. Too bad you don't have a tiny bit of 2 inch pipe jutting out of the floor.

A: Move the reducer inside the floor

You need to break the floor or the ceiling below.

If you choose to break and replace the tile, the best option is a drop-in bath drain kit. You install this inside the floor. It uses an O-ring as a seal and you just drop the brass drain pipe into it. It works nicely, and years down the line when the popup becomes crusty and unusable it's easy to maintain or change from above the floor.

If you go through the ceiling, move the reducer into the floor. You can have a 1.5" pipe sticking up through the floor, then after tiling you cut it and install the trap adapter. But that will not look nice. Or you put the trap adapter inside the floor, then you can use the decorative escutcheon that hopefully came with your drain kit. But then you are permanently installing the tail piece inside the floor, which means breaking the ceiling for maintenance.

B: Raise the tub

Modify the feet of the tub to raise the tub higher, or put it "up on blocks" if you can find a suitably decorative and safe way to do that? But that will make it harder to enter and exit the tub. By one inch. You could use pretty blocks of wood or cast iron or little platforms built from the floor tile. Maybe if the tub's feet are removeable you could find replacement ones that are taller?

C: Hack up the drain kit with a PVC fitting

IDK maybe this will work and you don't have to break the floor or raise the tub. Maybe you can make it look ok.

  1. Measure distance (b) below. It's hard to see from the picture. If (b) is at least 3.5 inches go shopping for a 1.5" sanitary tee where measurement (a) is an inch less than that. They are typically a bit under 2.5 inches. Ta da, there's your inch back. Now the ugly part.
  2. Saw off the trap adapter, and use a PVC reamer to remove what's left of it inside the reducer. Then glue in the 1.5" sanitary tee with exactly enough pipe to line up with the drain arm. That might be zero pipe showing between the reducer and the tee.
  3. Then you build a frankendrain. Separately connect the drain arm and the overflow pipe to your new tee using bits of PVC pipe and suitable fittings. Then, I guess, paint the whole thing black?

enter image description here

D: Fernco inside floor

I don't like this one but you might. Replace reducer/adapter with a Fernco. The problem is the bottom half of the Fernco will be inside the floor.

  1. Cut off the trap adapter, then cut off the reducer from inside the pipe.
  2. Use a tile saw to cut a 3.5 inch diameter hole around the pipe. Saw all the way through the subfloor.
  3. Install a 2"x1.5" reducing rubber coupling onto the pipe. Use a right angle screwdriver to attach this to the 2" pipe below the floor.
  4. Make an escutcheon to hide the Fernco and your hole. Maybe an upside down flower pot painted black or chrome, or something like that.
  5. Install your clawfoot drain directly on the Fernco.
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  • 1
    envisions tub on cinder blocks in elegant bathroom. Laughs heartily!
    – FreeMan
    Mar 30, 2023 at 15:38
  • 1
    @FreeMan Don't remind me. Testing fiberglass repair.
    – jay613
    Mar 30, 2023 at 15:45
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The drain-through-floor for clawfoot tubs is usually placed directly under the tub overflow drain tubing. It looks like your plumber missed by almost a foot. Make him/her deal with the problem. What you have now can only lead to an assortment of hideous hacks.

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  • Unfortunately it turns out that plumber feigns injury from other work sites and disappears before the getting the final third often. I only found that out after we got this far and from speaking to people in the area. This is what I’m left with and I can’t get another plumber to our area (we live far out). Mar 30, 2023 at 13:17
  • I really hate to say these words, @AustinSeward, but sometimes they're necessary: Lawyer up. If this really is his track record, somebody's got to stop him.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 30, 2023 at 13:19

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