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  • Writer's pictureChandra

Bathroom Drains: Which one should I get?

Most modern day faucet companies provide over-flow pop-up drains with all of their bathroom faucets, except those used for vessel basins. As the name suggests, over-flows help prevent your sink from overflowing. An over-flow is a small opening in the sink that lets air flow into the drain while the sink is full of water so the sink drains water more quickly. Bathroom sinks drains are available with and without over-flows, so check whether your sink has an over-flow or not so you can choose the right type of drain.

What the overflow drain does:

  1. The primary purpose of the over-flow drain is to help your sink drain faster. Imagine dumping out a liter soda bottle. As the water exits, it will create a suction that causes the bottle to contract unless air is allowed in. If you poked a hole in the bottle, air would be able to replace the liquid mass and the soda would drain smoothly and at a constant rate. In the same way, the over-flow drain helps your sink drain faster.

  2. Secondary drains work in coordination with the primary drains to prevent flooding. Over-flow drains are an emergency feature that is intended to prevent flood damage from being caused to the surrounding area in the bathroom. In case you forget and leave the water running, the over-flow drain will allow water to drain.

Vessel sinks:

Vessel sinks are unique in that they usually don’t have an overflow drain. For this reason, they tend to drain slower and result in bubbles coming from the drain when water is draining down the sink. Conventional undermounted sinks typically come with an over-flow drain.

If you have a vessel sink positioned above the countertop, as opposed to a recessed sink that is partially inside the cabinet, choose a drain with a mounting ring. The mounting ring supports the sink, which is important, since the sink isn’t being supported all the way around by a cabinet.

Types of drains:

1. Pop-up (or press and seal): These drains are very easy to operate and install. The pop-up mechanism is activated by simply pressing down on the drain cover.

2. Twist and turn: These drains feature a small nob that is used to manually lift the drain cover. Like pop-up drains, these drains are very easy to install and do not feature any beneath the counter mechanisms. They are closed by pressing the drain cover down and turning, or “twisting”, to hold in place.

3.Pop-up with lift rod: Drains with pop-up rods feature stoppers and lift rods that are activated by pulling up on the lift rod located at the back of the faucet. The lift rod is attached to the drain underneath the sink and will lift and close the drain cover.

4. Grid or strainer: Drains with strainers are often used in bar sinks, restaurants bathrooms, and lavatories with lots of foot traffic. They have no closing function, which allows the grid on the drain cover to let water flow through the drain at all times while blocking larger items.

5. Chain and plug: These drains are operated manually by plugging and removing the stopper. They usually come with a small basket, or crumb cup, to keep unwanted items from falling into the drain when the stopper is removed.


We'd love to hear from you! What type of drain do you prefer and why?

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