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How does a shower drain work?

Wondering what happens with the water once it drains down your shower? We answer where your shower water goes right here.

You may think of your shower drain as just a drain opening that water escapes through. But your shower system has many components and that all work together to ensure the effective travel of water to your sewer drain through your pipes.

How Shower Drains Work

The shower drains are carefully designed in such a way that it ensures sewer gases do not back up into the washroom, therefore emitting unpleasant odours.

It also ensures that water does not build up and flood when you are having a shower.

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Parts of a Shower Drain

Below are the different components of your shower area and drainage system. The Drain trap, vent, drainage seal and shower base. They all work together to make sure your water travels effectively to the tight sewer drain.

Shower Drain Photograph

Drain Trap

The drain trap is located on the shower floor and is a pipe that connects to the drain line and the waste stack.

Sink traps under your kitchen cabinet are usually P shaped but shower traps can be S-shaped. The bottom of the trap has an area that holds some water.

This is to eliminate sewer gasses from seeping up and creating an unpleasant odour in your bathroom. This is usually bent into an s or p shape and 'traps' some water to stop gasses from entering inside your property.

Vent

The drain waste vent is important for removing sewerage from your home. They assist by regulating the air pressure inside the shower drain pipes.

These vent pipes start from the waste point and extend to the outside of the building. When you use the water in your shower, the water travels down from the drain opening and creates a vacuum and the flow of water can be reduced.

Venting is important as it allows the air to flow freely into the drain at a constant pressure. You can locate the main vent above your roof.

Drainage Seal and Shower Base

The first component of a shower drain that you see is the cover. Typically it looks like a strainer and can be removed. Beneath this strainer is the drain that leads to the floor trap.

Normally the shower base should be designed on a slope to ensure the water flow enters the drain opening. The leftover water can damage the floor and become a dangerous hazard due to soap and shampoo.

It may cause you to slip. So, sealing the strainer is crucial to eliminate any leaking water from under the base.

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