How to Rough in Shower Plumbing

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Remodeling a bathroom brings it up to date, increases style and adds value to your home. A benefit to doing all the work yourself is that you can design a shower layout to suit your needs and tastes. The hardest part is roughing in new hot and cold water lines by tapping into their existing locations. Planning ahead during the framing phase simplifies the plumbing rough-in process.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Marking pen
  • Copper tubing and connections
  • Copper tubing cutter
  • Tubing bristle brushes
  • Flux
  • Plumbing solder
  • Propane torch
  • Hacksaw
  • PVC tubing and connections
  • PVC primer
  • PVC cement
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Locate the water-shutoff valves for the hot and cold water supplying the bathroom and turn them off. Verify that the water has been shut off by turning on a faucet that is fed by the shutoff valves. If there are no shutoff valves, turn off the main water supply to the house.

  • Drill holes through the framing studs large enough to pass copper tubing through. Locate the holes far enough from the inside edge of the studs so drywall screws will not penetrate the water lines.

  • Cut the existing copper water lines after the shutoff valve and solder in new copper connections. Solder in connections and tubing until reaching the wall that will house the shower fixture. The hot water feed line will come in toward the fixture from the left. The cold water feed line will come from the right.

  • Determine what the finished height of the fixture will be. This information should be outlined in the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. Install two-by-six blocking between the studs at this height. The shower fixture will mount to this later.

  • Apply Teflon tape to the threaded adapters and screw them into the shower fixture. There should be four adapters: two for the water feed lines, one for the shower head and one for the tub faucet. Make the final connections to the shower fixture with copper tubing and connectors.

  • Solder the tubing from the fixture to the shower head, then solder the tubing down to the tub faucet. These dimensions are provided in the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Secure the shower fixture to the two-by-six blocking with copper straps.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place a cold water-soaked rag over the shower fixture when soldering the final connections. The intense heat from soldering may damage the internal valves of the fixture if it is not kept cool.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your work area while soldering.

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References

  • Photo Credit bricolage.. image by Claudio Calcagno from Fotolia.com
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