B&Q 90mm “Hi-Flow” shower drain doesn’t flow

We’ve had one of these hi-flow shower drains in our en-suite shower for a few years now, and it’s been an absolute nightmare. It seems to block up literally every week and can’t flow sufficient water to stop it building up in the shower tray 🙁

The drain was fitted by the plumber so I didn’t see the instructions or find out how it was assembled. I thought the fake chrome cover must come off somehow, but it wasn’t clear how and pulling on it gently just caused the plastic to flex. I didn’t want to break it and then have to mess about with fitting a new drain altogether.

Today however I decided I’d had enough and if it broke, it broke. Four fingers under each side of the cover and pulling more firmly upwards eventually released the entire centre section of the drain. To form a proper trap and prevent smells finding their way back into the bathroom, the drain has an outer body to which the pipework is connected. Inside that is a lift-out “cup” with holes in the sides at the top, and inside that the centre section, which includes the cover, a seal to fit inside the drain body and a vertical pipe down which the waste water flows from the shower tray. So, the water goes down the pipe, fills up the “cup” until it reaches the holes and then runs into the outer body and out of the pipework. The cup remains full once the water is turned off, effectively sealing the connection to the pipework and preventing smells getting through.

The drain is advertised as being able to flow 32l/minute, but having looked at ours there was no way that was going to happen under gravity. The inner pipe was sufficiently long that it only left about 1mm gap between the end and the base of the cup. When clean it could flow enough water to empty our shower, but as soon as a bit of hair built up inside and blocked that small gap the water began to back up.

I have therefore taken a hacksaw to the end of the central pipe and shortened it by 10mm before cleaning and reassembling the drain. That should hopefully mean that water will always be able to flow easily through the drain, but it still works as a trap and prevents any smells coming through. We shall see over the next few weeks. Even if it works it will probably still need taking apart and cleaning once in a while, but I can live with once in a while.

That said, if I’d known what we were getting at the time I’d have said no, buy something better quality. It’s a nasty, cheap bit of tat that was supplied with the rest of the shower when we bought it. If it’s not too late, do yourself a favour and buy something decent instead.

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