When renovating your bathroom, a lot of attention goes to the shower enclosure and fittings and the shower waste seems to take a backseat. However, shower wastes or shower traps are one of the crucial parts in the drainage system of shower – and therefore, they must be selected carefully.
What is a shower waste?
A shower waste or a shower trap connects to the trap piping, and it is where wastewater from the shower can drain out into external sewage systems.
How does a shower waste work?
The first thing you need for your shower waste to work is a shower base or tray that is designed with a slope downwards so that water can flow into it. This ensures that the water, soap, and any other debris from the shower move naturally towards the drainage, avoiding the build up of grime and soap – which can potentially lead to dangerous slips and falls.
The water that falls from the shower flows down the waste and creates a vacuum within the drain. At the same time, the system is designed in a manner that vents, so that the air can flow freely into the drain.
What are the 2 main types of shower wastes?
The 2 main types of shower drains are known as point drains and channel/linear drains. Point drains are the most commonly seen in showers, and they can be located in the centre or offset to the shower floor or shower tray.
Linear or Channel Drains are long, narrow and have a rectangular shape. They can be installed in the middle of the shower floor but are usually installed along the wall and function by allowing water to drain into the channel.
Channel Drains come in different finishing colours like chrome, brass or black, they might also be what we call an insert tile type, this allows you to match your shower drain to the rest of the tiles you have in your bathroom. This is often the most desired option as the shower drain looks nearly invisible. Channel Drains are mostly used in tiled showers, while point drains are found in both types of shower, in centre or offset positions.
When purchasing a shower drain, you’ll notice that some come with a shower waste kit while others can come as an insert only. Meaning you will have to purchase the shower waste kit separately. A quality shower drain will be connected to a pipe/waste kit that has a shape that prevents the back up of sewer gases into the bathroom.
Channel or Linear Drains
Strength of Your Shower System
The Water flow (in litres per second) of your shower system will dictate the waste flow rate needed to ensure water is drained effectively to avoid overflowing. A modern shower head use between 8 and 12 litres per minute so make sure your waste is up to the task.
How to maintain my shower drain?
A working shower waste is crucial, if water is not draining properly then you will end up with an unpleasant musty odour, this if left will cause a clogged drain, and potentially contribute to leaks that will eventually damage your bathroom if not addressed.
We recommend the regular cleaning every 2 weeks of your shower drain to reduce build up of hair, skin, dirt, water, minerals and soap film. This will prevent your shower drain from clogging and lastly overflowing your shower. If your shower drain is currently clogged, read out our article on ‘How to Unclog My Shower Drain’.