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Mechanical contractor avoids long lead times on fiberglass shower pans by switching to linear shower drain systems

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Mechanical contractor avoids long lead times on fiberglass shower pans by switching to linear shower drain systems

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The new Market District Apartments in Ohio City will be located near the historic West Side Market, the oldest operating indoor/outdoor market space in Cleveland. Currently, the 13-story development is the largest sustainable, wood-constructed building in the country. Among other facilities, the new 385-unit structure encompasses a first-floor retail space, residential suites on floors two through seven, and luxury penthouse suites on the ninth floor, as well as amenity space, including a large rental hall.

S.A. Comunale, an industry leader for end-to-end mechanical, fire protection and HVAC services, acted as the contractor for the building’s mechanicals and plumbing fixtures. Project Manager and Estimator Rick Schueller spearheaded the job that started in 2021 and is set for completion in June 2022.

Included in the project scope was construction of bathroom facilities for the residential apartments and luxury penthouse suites. S.A. Comunale worked with other subcontractors and partners who handled the procurement of fixtures.

But Schueller reports that the construction team experienced a hiccup with the pre-formed shower pans originally used for all but 13 of the units. “The pre-formed fiberglass shower bases originally used arrived damaged, and those fiberglass pans have a very long lead time,” he explains.

Unable to get replacement shower bases in a timely manner, the construction team had to switch gears and find an alternative that would arrive much sooner and be an efficient solution to compensate for project delays and complete thirteen remaining showers.


Schueller says he had come across the QuickDrain shower system during a tour of Oatey University, Oatey Company’s new training center. “So I said: ‘Hey, let’s see what this QuickDrain system will cost.’ I had a feeling we would probably get the product fairly quickly.”

Working with manufacturers representative John Yurcik of Preferred Sales, the Market District Apartments project team used the QuickDrain ShowerLine linear drain system in the master bathroom of seven apartments as well as six penthouse-suite bathrooms.

The integrated PVC linear drain, combined with pre-sloped, on-site adjustable PET shower panels and waterproofing accessories, delivers a total shower solution for promoting effective and efficient drainage. The linear drain features a fully sloped trough where the water exits through either a vertical or a side waste outlet. On this project, the shower water was routed through two-inch side-waste outlets.

“We went with the side-waste outlets because they allowed us to place the drain wherever we wanted, and then route it back to where the pipe came up through the floor,” explains Schueller.

He adds that the drain location varied with each shower, depending on where the building’s mass timber beams were located. “Some of the drain placements were different, which kind of worked out really well,” says Schueller, “because the QuickDrain linear drain could be placed anywhere we needed to place it.”

The QuickDrain linear drain with a side-waste outlet can connect to the drain line without moving the plumbing. In addition, the versatility of the linear drain system will use drain extensions to accommodate an outlet not perfectly centered.

QuickDrain offered valuable on-site, model-room training to the project team. Joined by Yurcik and two QuickDrain Technical Application Specialists, Schueller and two other craftsmen used the training to ensure they fully understood the system and its installation process.


S.A. Comunale’s team handled the drain installation, on-site adjustable PET shower panels, and waterproofing. A tile contractor performed the tiling, using large-format (12-inch x 12-inch) tile.

“Installing these systems was fairly easy,” says Schueller, explaining his team needed only four hours per unit. But the time savings went beyond the installation because of the shipment situation for pre-formed shower bases.

“The lead-time on fiberglass shower pans is 10 to 16 weeks right now,” he says, “compared with about a week’s lead time on the QuickDrain systems.”

Scheuller adds that he would recommend the QuickDrain system to other contractors because of its ease of use. “It is something a trade guy could very easily install, once they’re shown what to do.”








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