Using your shower requires a great volume of water which continually flows out of the showerhead as you shower. For this, your shower drain should be capable of handling and transporting wastewater out of the shower and into the sewage system. Shower drains are also exposed to other types of wastes, which could build up down the line and eventually cause some problems. Depending on the kind of shower you have built or installed in your bathroom, how you use it, and also on your personal preferences, there are a few kinds of shower drains that could be part of your shower. Here, we explain how shower drains work, the parts of a shower drain and the different types of shower drains you can choose from.
Shower drain systems closely resemble those that are also found in sinks and floors. Unlike bathtubs, showers don’t have overflow drains, since they are least likely to accumulate water as much as bathtubs do. However, they are also more likely to have bigger solid waste go down the drain pipes, as not all shower drains have plugs, which can prevent these solids from entering the system.
The shower drain is usually built with a drain assembly on top, with a washer at the bottom which is connected to the main drain. The drain is then connected to the trap, a U-shaped piece of pipe that is filled with water to prevent sewage gases and odors from coming up into the shower. The water forms a seal to prevent this from happening. The pressure from the water and the vents that are part of the drainage system pushes the water out of the trap and into the sewage line through the drain pipe.
The shower drain pipe then connects to the toilet’s and sink’s drain pipes, which meet under the toilet, before all the waste is carried out into the sewers.
Nowadays, consumers have a lot of different options of shower drains to choose from. Most people no longer settle for just basic floor drains and usually find a style that suits their shower’s built or their bathroom’s theme. Pick primary drains that meet your requirements, and be sure to consult your plumber or contractor regarding their capacity, their compatibility with the kind of shower you have, and some concerns that may arise regarding its use.
One type of shower drain that you can have installed is a linear drain. A narrow trench is dug on one end of your shower, usually, the lowest point of the slope, where water can easily be directed to. Linear drains can be covered up with screens, or can be covered up with the same tiles used in your shower floor. Linear drains can be right up against a wall or a few inches off it.
A point drain is the standard drain used in most showers. Often circular or square-ish in shape, a small hole that catches all the wastewater used in your shower, covered with small stainless steel grates. Some homeowners have two of these drains installed on either end of their showers, to make sure wastewater will have enough passageways to go to as it is directed to the sewage system. Some have only one but are considerably larger than average floor drains for the same purpose.
In public baths, you might see drains that look like they are a combination of both linear and point drains. Since these common showers are often used by more than one person at a time, it will be more ideal to install a greater capacity drain that will serve all of these showers. Grate drains are then built, usually shared by two or three stalls, with larger holes than other types of drains.