How to install a shower drain trap

Updated April 17, 2017

Shower drain traps are designed to work just like any other drain trap: water flows to a low point in the pipe at which point the heavy sediments fall/settle out and the rest of the water travels on down the pipe. The trap serves many purposes including catching sediment before it can clog elsewhere in the pipe. Some showers were not originally installed with a trap, but would function more efficiently with one installed. If you need to install a trap in your shower drain, follow these easy steps to get started today.

Locate the access point for your shower's drainage system. If on the first floor, you may be able to access it from the basement, a crawlspace, or outside door. If located on the second floor you may need to locate the access panel on the back side of the shower to get to the drain.

Use the pipe wrench to remove a section of pipe directly below the shower drain. Try to make sure there is at least a 12-inch run of straight pipe coming off of the drain. If the pipe is solid, use the hacksaw to cut out a section for your P-trap.

Insert the P-trap extension onto the 12-inch section of pipe coming from the drain. If threaded pipe ends are available, simply screw the P-trap in place and make sure the vent tube is free of obstruction. However, if you had to cut the pipe, use the adaptors provided in the P-trap kit to connect the pipe and then screw down tight with the wrench.


Having your trap within the first 20-inch run of piping will allow your shower to drain faster and smoother than if it is located further down the line.

Things You'll Need

  • P-trap extension
  • Pipe wrench
  • Hacksaw
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