We have a combination shower/tub enclosure in our bathroom here in Norway. The floor drain in our bathroom was placed in a very unfortunate location, such that the water draining from the tub/shower must travel nearly horizontally about 1 meter before it gets to the drain. This incline is too shallow for proper drainage to occur. Due to tight spacing, moving the shower enclosure is not an option. Moving the floor drain would involve a tremendous expense and hassle (breaking up the floor, redoing the entire electric tile heating system etc). What I'm hoping to find is some kind of pump I can place inbetween the shower drain and the floor drain in the space underneath the tub. This pump would sense when water came in and turn on automatically to assist the drainage, then turn off when it had pulled all or most of the water through. Does such a thing exist?

  • What is the vertical difference between the lowest part of the tub and the current drain? – allindal Mar 12 '11 at 21:01
  • there is about 3-4 inches of vertical distance between the tub and drain, but it has a flexible drain pipe between the tub and floor so that you can connect it and then scoot it into the corner of the bathroom. This flexible tube basically means that the water goes down and then travels horizontally for about 3 feet until reaching the drain. – cayblood Mar 14 '11 at 7:25
  • is there enough room under the shower to make a little ramp to make the horizontal run not completely horizontal? – longneck Mar 15 '11 at 16:42
  • I don't think there is enough to make a difference. It would be an incline of at most two inches over 3 feet. – cayblood Mar 16 '11 at 8:31
  • A 2" rise over 3 feet is more than enough slope to make a difference. 2" or larger drain piping doesn't need that much slope. – kkeilman Mar 16 '11 at 20:51

I have never seen it done in your application, but I bet this would work. Maybe a marine masserator (sp?) pump installed in line with your floor drain would work. These are relatively small units, run on 12VDC, and can pump solids and liquids several feet. They normally are not self actuated unless attached to a holding tank with a sensor, but you could install a switch to run the pump while shower is in use. This may not be the best idea, but I don't know of any units specifically designed to do what you are asking, without a holding tank.

  • Thanks. Not ideal but it is a solution. – cayblood Mar 14 '11 at 7:28
  • also look at macerator pumps for RV's. probably closer to the diameter you need. – longneck Mar 15 '11 at 16:42

This almost sounds like a common problem with draining RV holding tanks.

You should try to support the drain hose from the tub so you have a gradual slope reaching from the tub/shower drain to the floor.

I have a contraption called a "Slunky" which basically allows my RV holding tank drain hose to be very gradually sloped all along its run to a septic or sewer cleanout.

Here's a picture of a "Slunky" like device

Here's an example of a slightly different approach but same concept

  • Thanks for sharing. At least this gives me the idea that even a gentle slope can help the drainage. – cayblood Mar 19 '11 at 9:49
  • Typically the minimum slope by code for sewer drainage is like 1/4" per foot (the requirement decreases as the size of your drain increases also) so yeah, it only requires a very slight slope. Good luck! – kkeilman Mar 19 '11 at 20:32

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