Guide 4 – Tips on Drains and Waste Installation for Wetrooms

For a DIYer the Wetroom drain can be the most daunting aspect of the project.  However it is straight forward with a Wetroom Innovations kit you can be sure the critical components are all compatible and easy to put together.

Each kit comes complete with detailed instructions, specific to the supplied components. This guide illustrates the general considerations and practices involved.

See the full range of wetroom kits

See all the available types of drains

Building Regulation Relating to Drainage

As with most things building related, drainage is covered by regulations.  These are stipulated in “Building Regulations part H” in particular Part “H1”;  “foul water should be properly disposed of to maintain a decent standard of sanitation”, “Such a system should minimise the risk of blockage and prevent foul air from permeating the building”. Installations should be approved by your Local Authority Building Control.

For the full regulations, download a copy from the government planning portal

Be assured that the drain supplied with the DIY Wetroom kits conform to all necessary standards so the “risk of blockage and prevent foul air from permeating the building” bit is covered.

The clause about “foul water should be properly disposed of to maintain a decent standard of sanitation”, is down to design of the pipework and connections.

Working out the wetroom drainage waste pipe runs

Note:  This is rough guidance only, check the regs for full details and alternatives.

1. If on the first floor or above, the waste pipe from the wet room should discharge in to a soil stack.  On the ground floor it can go into a gully.  (If you are replacing an old bath you should be able use a similar old style discharge in to a hopper) So work out where the pipework needs to go.  When connecting to a soil stack check where you are allowed to make the connection and have a look at a “strap boss” to make the connection easy.

2.  The wetroom waste pipe should be 40mm minimum diameter solvent weld, with a maximum horizontal run of 3m or 50mm diameter can be 4m. If you need a longer run then an air admittance valve should be added to the pipework making runs up to 10m possible.

maximum pipe lengths for wetroom drainage

The regulations are set for baths and not specific to showers. The sizing requirement is mainly in place to prevent a syphoning action that would drain the water from the trap therefore allowing noxious air to enter the room.  The flow rate is much less from a shower compared to a bath so the chance of a syphon action occurring is much less.  Some of the DIY Wet kits also come with a NOOD (no-odour trap) which prevents sewer air entering the room even if they run dry.

3.  The gradient on the pipe should be between 18mm and 44mm per metre.  This can be increased for short lengths but if you need to drop any real height use a short section of vertical pipe.

pipe length and vertical drop per meter

4. Long runs of pipe should be supported so it doesn’t sag and so the gradient is maintained.

5. You should have a mean of clearing any blockages in the pipe.  For this reason it is best to keep the inaccessible pipe work under the floor as straight as possible (use “swept” bends if necessary) and provide an accessible rodding point (or a joint outside that you can dismantle). You can also use a “Flexible Rod Drain Un-blocker” through the body of the wetroom drain so it should be fairly easy to comply with this requirement.

pipe rum from wet room drain to allow for rodding

Wetroom Waste Pipes that need to pass through Joists

On some installations the drain pipe has to pass through the joists in floor. (Note: NEVER notch the top of a beam).  It is possible to drill the required 45mm hole through centre of joists at least 180mm deep but needs careful planning to ensure the floor isn’t weakened when you move away from the joist centre to give the required fall.

There are no exact specifications are available to cover all possibilities to be able to say what will be safe.  The loading on the floor (e.g. bath position), the strength of the timber distance from the centre of the room and supporting walls all need to be taken in to consideration. (Check : Building Regulations, guidance note 7 or Part B)

waste pipe through joists

What we can say is there will be a solution even if this involves, doubling up joists,  Flitching the beam (attaching steel plates to either side) or reinforcing the joist with builders straps.

We suggest contacting your Building Control Office before proceeding. In many cases it should be possible to over-engineer the solution rather than having to get structural calculations done.

An alternative could be to drop the pipework to the room below and box it in. This is easily done with bottom outlet drain. Alternatively the pipework can run parallel between the joists and then drop down next to a wall in the room below.

pipework to room below

Guide 1 – Wetroom Design Planner

Inspiration and Ideas for creative wetroom planning including the downloadable planner sheets.

Typical spray pattern area from a wetroom shower

Guide 2 – Wetroom Floors and Drainage

What you need to know to plan your floor and drainage.

full supports of floor under wetroom deck

Guide 3 – Wetroom Kit Installation

Overview of how to install a wetroom kit on various types of floors.

maximum pipe lengths for wetroom drainage

Guide 4 – Tips on Drains and Waste Installation for Wetrooms

A few tips to help you plan how the waste pipe can be routed and connected.

Tanking wetroom with liquid tanking compound

Guide 5 – Wetroom Tanking, Under Floor Heating & Tiling options

How to tank / waterproof a wetroom using the Wetroom Innovations liquid tanking compound.