Replacing a shower drain, or installing one for the first time, often requires a plumber, but if you’re confident in your DIY skills then you may be able to do it yourself. Your new shower drain should come with specific installation instructions, so take time to familiarise yourself with those before you get started. There are several types of shower drain, and the one you choose or are supplied with will depend on your shower tray, your pipes and the manufacturer’s recommendations. All Mira shower trays are compatible with compression-style shower drains, which attach to your home’s drainpipes with compression washers and nuts. Here’s an overview of how to install this type of drain.
Step-by-step guide to replacing and installing a shower drain
How to install a compression-style drain
Please bear in mind that these are general instructions, and you should refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to install your shower drain.
1. Trim the drainpipe
The drainpipe should come up to 2cm below the lip of the shower drain. You might need to lift the shower base on to mark the right height, and then remove it again before trimming the drainpipe with a hacksaw. Ensure the cut is flat and level.
2. Attach the drain assembly to the shower base
Apply silicone caulk to the lower rim of the drain assembly and insert it into the shower base from the top side of the base. This should be done before the base is put in place on the floor. Press the drain assembly firmly into place so that the caulk forms an even seal.
Slide the rubber washer and slip washer on to the drain assembly from underneath the shower base, then thread the drain nut on and tighten it with pliers.
Wipe away any excess caulk that has oozed out.
3. Put the shower base in position
Carefully position the shower base so that the drain assembly lines up with the drainpipe and fits inside it. It’s a good idea to get someone else to help out, and it’s usually easier to set the back of the base down first, and then lower the front of the base down.
4. Insert the compression gasket and nut
Slide the rubber compression gasket down into the drain opening so that it fits around the drainpipe. The top of the gasket should line up with the top of the pipe, or be slightly lower.
Drop the compression nut into the drain opening and use the fitting tool that will likely have been provided and a screwdriver to tighten the nut. As you tighten it, the gasket will be compressed against the drainpipe, creating a watertight seal.
5. Fit the metal strainer
Press the metal strainer into the drain opening, making sure the top surface is lower than the shower floor around it.
And there you have it, a brand-new shower drain! Allow the silicone to set for a full 24 hours before using the shower.
Cleaning and maintenance of your shower drain
Shower drains can quickly become clogged with hair and a build-up of product, which can lead to bad smells and can prevent your shower water from draining efficiently.
To maintain your shower drain, clear out any strands of hair that gather on the metal strainer after each shower. We recommend cleaning your shower drain thoroughly once a month using boiling water to loosen up soap scum and get things moving.
Need something a little stronger to battle the buildup? Use these tips on how to unblock a drain to help give you a helping hand.