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How Does A Shower Drain Work & Why It’s Important

Shower Room Drain - The Local Plumber Melbourne

Most of us don’t think much about the purpose of shower drains until issues occur (similar to all types of blocked drains in a typical household). This simple hole on your shower’s floor can bring both relief and inconvenience.

The shower drain gives way for water to flow down the pipes and sewer system. It also comes with a significant feature that prevents sewer gases from backing up inside your bathroom.

Looking at your shower drain, you may think about how this simple hole does its job. Well, there’s more to it than you may know.

What are the Key Components of a Shower Drain?

A shower drainage system consists of various parts. Each of them is essential for the smooth flow of liquid through the pipes. Below are the key components of your shower drain:

Drain Trap

A drain trap is one important part of your shower drainage. It works similar to the one you see under your kitchen sink.

While kitchen sink traps come in P-shape, shower drain traps are usually S-shape, allowing vertical draining of water rather than horizontal. Besides, the lowermost part of the drain trap holds water to seal the drain and confine sewer gases.

The drain trap’s main purpose is to help you prevent unpleasant odours from entering your bathroom through the sewer.

However, you have to pay much attention to this area as it can trap soap, hair, and other debris, which may cause drain clogging.

Drain Seal and Shower Base

A soapy layer can form over time when there’s stagnant water on your shower base, creating hazards such as slipping and such. Ensuring that the base is in a downward slope directly through the drain is important to prevent this issue.

Prefabricated shower bases already have this built-in slope. However, if you are building your own shower stall, you need to make the slope yourself and ensure that everything will work smoothly.

In order to avoid facing serious damages from seeping water, seal the filter to the shower base carefully. Most people use vinyl underlayment when sealing the base of a tiled stall.


The drainage is there to let the water flow down from your shower area. It creates a vacuum from within, which causes water to flow slowly down the drain.

Hence, shower drains need to have proper venting to create a smooth water flow. The vent allows air to enter the drainage, making everything run freely without any issues.

You can either link your shower drainage to your branch or the main vent. Without a vent, the vacuum created within the drainage may cause water to siphon from the trap.

It can make everything in your drainage system useless and mess up the water flow down the drain. This situation brings a total inconvenience in your daily life. Hence, always make sure your shower drain gets the proper venting it needs for a free flow of water.

Shower Drain Issues

Your shower drainage’s main purpose is to make way for the water to flow down the pipes. Since you frequently use your shower area, it’s not surprising to experience various concerns over time.

One major concern when it comes to shower drains is clogging. Blocked drains result from a buildup of debris which includes hair, soap, and such.

All debris gathered within the trap and drain filter can lead to significant clogging problems if left unattended. That’s why timely cleaning your shower drain is necessary to keep the water flowing down smoothly at all times.

Best Shower Drain Cleaning Solutions for You

Plunging the drain to clear the clogging might help. However, if this method doesn’t work, try removing the drain strainer before cleaning any hair or debris.

When the job gets a bit tough, you can use chemical-based cleaning products to clear the way. But remember that these chemicals can damage pipes over time.

You may use other alternative products, like enzyme-based cleaners, as they impose a lower risk of damaging pipes.

If you get caught up with a serious clogging and drain cleaning problem, you can always refer your concern to the experts at The Local Plumber.

We are highly capable of handling various plumbing and drainage concerns in Melbourne. Simply call us to get professional assistance. We will be right there before you know it!

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