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Unread 07-12-2014, 06:01 AM   #1
jondon
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Linear or Line Drains Clogging issues

Quote:
posted by Tom Hulse:
The grate is not just arbitrary eye candy. It's necessary to restrict the size of objects that could go through and clog the P-trap. Then too it is a very common clog point, so all dam height calculations must start at or above it per the code.
This post was made by Tom, it was the last one of a thread started by John Cox and the subject was something along the lines of plumbing codes when installing linear drains which at the time were fairly new.

Fast forward to now......

I would like to get feedback from other pros who have installed tile-in linear drains what you think of them. The ones I have installed looked pretty yes, people ask where the drain is yes... the WOW factor.....

My concern is piggybacking on what Tom stated above. Restricting the gap between the tile for water to drain for his reasons and aesthetics.

I pulled out a line drain for my customer to check and clean since I was working on another project in her home. That was before I went to Coverings. I had to stop in back in early July to do something and I told her I would show her how to remove the tiled grate so she could clean it. I don't think as installers we put these drains in with the presumption it would be more work for us or the homeowner. We could now use any size of tile in the shower pan.

Before I went out there she told me the shower drain was backing up. I thought okay a clog in the 2" drain pipe. So I took out the drain and no clog in the drain pipe. What I saw was the drain grate itself and channel full of what looked like shampoo and soaps. It seems to be a magnet for this stuff, so I don't feel as good anymore about tile-in line or linear drains. As for the ones with the pretty grates I have not used them I felt they look to commercial.

Looking for feedback on anyone else who has done the tile-in line drains and pulled them out after a couple months of use. I feel this is an issue but have not heard anyone else bring it up to this point, many have never used them I understand.

Anyone know if there was any testing done on these linear tile-in drains prior to release to the public? I mean sure they have slope in the body and need slope on the floor to them. But was there any study ever done to test how they would actually operate with such surface on the channel and not collect soap and shampoo
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Last edited by jondon; 07-12-2014 at 06:04 AM. Reason: mispelled word in title
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Unread 07-12-2014, 06:49 AM   #2
Lump
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Customers need to treat the inside of the drain just like the tile on the rest of the shower floor.

The line drain is just an extension of the pan. So if the shower is wiped down daily or if the shower is cleaned weekly then so should the line drain.

Not sure of any studies but it would be like asking manufacturers to make self cleaning drains....

Just my two cents.

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Unread 07-12-2014, 08:14 AM   #3
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I always thought the new linear drain fad was a look pretty and function poorly design. I'm just glad I never sold a customer a $400 drain that needed weekly cleaning

We see this all the time in the commercial world. The following pictures are from a D1 college girls swim team locker room. These drains are not as fancy as the residential ones but I'm sure they provide the same problem. Oh I watched the GC clean these drains as they were on our puchlist but I told him to eat it. These drains were 4 months old and a 5 gal bucket of hair later...gross!
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Unread 07-12-2014, 08:24 AM   #4
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That's much better -- serves as a hair collector -- than removing it from a 4'' pipe . A regular 4'' commercial drain with the screws stuck is a PITA to clean properly .

I prefer the linear drains . At least you don't send all that mess down the drain .It looks like if we don't see it -- don't need to clean it -- , it makes it ok -- working better -- .
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Unread 07-12-2014, 03:21 PM   #5
Lazarus
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I see the linear drains as a very cool and a very cool feature for upscale showers. I DO like the design aspect. The one detail that is paramount is cleaning...yes, less hair & scum goes DOWN the riser, but...at the same time, care must be used to periodically clean out the trench that collects that stuff.

If you can afford a linear drain/shower, you can afford to have the "help" clean it out on a regular basis....
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Unread 07-13-2014, 06:01 AM   #6
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Maybe, as installers/contractors, we should make folks aware of the problem with we offer the option of a line drain?
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Unread 07-13-2014, 06:08 AM   #7
jondon
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Quote:
posted by Brad Lenz:
Not sure of any studies but it would be like asking manufacturers to make self cleaning drains....
I guess what I am really questioning is improvement in a drain Brad, maintenance is important yes in this day and age customers want low maintenance showers the reason we rip out the ceramic tile and put the porcelain in. The reason we use epoxies. I know a lot of us advertise as watertight low maintenance showers.

I don't see the line drains as low maintenance as I am hearing opinions like this one, now the homeowners have to do this as a routine thing. I am not referring to hair that will always be something the homeowner needs to deal with if they have that problem. I am talking about soap, in a 4" drain the soap is going right into the riser, big difference. With linear or line drains it has a long way to go and stick to the channel along the way.

The fact of the matter is too you don't need a linear drain to have a barrier free shower I know at Total Solutions Plus last year Artie Mintz of Laticrete spoke of linear drains and placement and barrier free. So as you get older and this was part of the conversation you might want a barrier free shower, say you need a wheelchair.

One thing I see is people wanting less physical work and things being easier as we get older not having to regularly remove a line drain and clean it. I just don't see how these drains have helped our industry or made anything easier. Some of you I see are sold on them, when you go to offer them as an upgrade and tell them you'll have to pull them out to clean vs the 4" which requires very little cleaning or little effort let me what they say.

I am not asking you what you want to install I want to know if the customer wants that maintenance program vs the 4" requiring very little effort. Again I am not talking about hair that is going to effect any drain, I am referring to soaps collecting in the grate and channel. Are you going to offer and service program to come out and clean them for the customer at an additional charge

They look great yes, allow you to use any size tile yes, require much more maintenance and can clog up due to soaps sticking to everything.... yes great improvement for this industry? I am expecting self cleaning Brad, no. Maybe self cleaning showers though in the future.

Less maintenance vs giving them more maintenance is what I am questioning as I hear the word upgrade. Upgrade to the drain that will give you more problems and maintenance. We can form an association of "line drain maids" who will come out and regularly clean them. Might be a lot of money in it.

My question is: are linear drains an improvement to this industry or giving the customer more maintenance and worry? You say they look pretty, I hear a lot of designers say that about their design and you installers say "that isn't practical!"
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Unread 07-13-2014, 06:14 AM   #8
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Yes that was kinda what I was driving at John, when telling the customer of the maintenance program involved in removing and cleaning I would like to know how many still want them. IMO they aren't an upgrade as we were selling them when they first came out, they require more maintenance.

Kinda like we tell them we use epoxies in the shower for longevity and less maintenance. If I ask it they want a regular cement grout which will not be as durable and require sealing every year will that want that.

Only difference here is I feel the cheaper drain is the better one. So upgrading to a drain with much more maintenance cost you much more for the product and installation
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Unread 07-13-2014, 06:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon
I want to know if the customer wants that maintenance program
A maintenance program is not a bad idea to offer on all jobs. Would be a great way to generate more revenue.

Maybe a coating of some sort of enzymatic cleaner could be applied to the drain every time it is cleaned to help with build up.

I still feel the best option would be to clean the drain the same time the rest of the shower is cleaned.

Problem is that people have busy lives and I would guess many showers are not cleaned even once a month.
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Unread 07-13-2014, 11:30 AM   #10
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Jon are you saying this is only a problem on the tile in linear drains?
Have you noticed the same problem on the linear drains with a metal grate?
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Unread 07-13-2014, 12:36 PM   #11
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My Kerdi-Line linear drain has a very effective strainer. It only takes about two weeks before it becomes clogged and needs to be cleaned. Yes, I could “fix” the problem by just removing the strainer. But that might result in a far less common, but far more significant problem. Right now I will accept frequent cleaning as an acceptable tradeoff to avoid a major line clog.

When I clean the strainer, there is very little crud in the trough. Since I have a hand shower, it is easy to just rinse the trough clean at the same time. I used a tile-on grate and have never seen any hint of crud collecting in the drain slots. I did use a medium grit diamond pad to lightly burnish the tile cut edges to eliminate any sharp edges or burrs. That might not have been needed.
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Unread 07-13-2014, 03:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
posted by Larry:
My Kerdi-Line linear drain has a very effective strainer.
Larry, everyone I know gets rid of that strainer so that hair doesn't clog it. I guess it would depend on the kind of use it is getting as far as how much shampoo is being used.

Yes exactly Brad, a maintenance program of any type can generate some more revenue and keep you in contact with your customers which never hurts.

Isaac, I have never used a metal grate yet because I liked the idea of the drain being hidden instead of a metal grate. I might consider replacing all the tile-in linear drains I have done with a grate if that will solve the problem and if it is possible. I may even go as far as asking the manufacturers to replace them. I feel we are all trying to offer low maintenance showers but these tile-in drains are not flowing in that same direction of low maintenance.

I will be bringing this up at TSP and asking for manufacturers to offer a solution I mean that is what the manufacturers want, feedback.
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Unread 07-13-2014, 03:40 PM   #13
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This thread got me curious. I installed a Kerdi Line drain (with the metal grate) in my own house. It's been in use for about 3 - 4 months. My wife has very long, very curly hair and uses Costco sized quantities of hair products to wash and detangle it so it's probably the worst case scenario for a shower drain.

I pulled the grate off for the first time today. There was a nice festering hair ball in the internal plastic strainer and a little residue in the trough but overall not bad.

In our old shower with a conventional drain, I used to have to fish a hair ball out of the trap a few times a year. Either the drain would start to clog or I would start to notice "the smell" in the shower.
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Unread 07-13-2014, 03:51 PM   #14
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Picture of the drain.

The dog likes to hang out in the shower so I'm sure a fair amount of dog hair goes down the drain too.
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Unread 07-13-2014, 04:03 PM   #15
jondon
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Rich, my feeling at this point is the tile-in drains are causing the most maintenance and the ones with metal grates would be the ticket. With the tile-in grates you have very little area for the water and shampoo to go in and obviously slows down the flow.

I will definitely be switching over to those if I use another. I would definitely like to bring this to the manufacturer's attention.
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