I am working on a basement bathroom and need some help verifying that the existing shower and toilet drains are ABS or PVC. I know that should be easy but there are a few nuances and I want to be very sure before I continue.

  1. Toilet drain - pretty positive this is ABS; looks like there was PVC around it, but that shouldn't matter. Since I'll be gluing a flange on the inside, I should use ABS and ABS glue.

Toilet drain

  1. Shower drain - the picture shows the p-trap. The edge of the trap looks black, but there are some polished grey/white areas shown towards the bottom of the p-trap. I'm guessing it's ABS and I'm overthinking the grey/white areas.

enter image description here

  • 3
    A shave with a knife tells the story beyond most doubt. Why not just use a cement compatible with both along with purple primer?
    – isherwood
    Jun 19, 2023 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


The top toilet drain definitely looks like ABS pipe with remnants of a PVC fitting having been glued to the outside.

The shower drain looks like ABS. The white is probably soap scum or other deposits, or possibly glue remnants that have turned white.

It would make sense that if one drain pipe in the room was ABS the other would also be ABS.

As others said, it would be wise to use a glue compatible with both ABS and PVC. This would be essential if you are gluing a PVC flange to the ABS pipe.

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