Bath Waste Kits Explained - Concealed Waste Kits
The term bath waste kit is used to refer to various combinations of the plumbing required when fitting a bath, usually confined to those parts above the bathroom floor and not inside a wall. All waste kits are either concealed or exposed. A concealed waste kit is one where the plumbing under the bath will not be visible. An exposed waste kit is one which is used when the plumbing under the bath will be visible, these are usually only needed with freestanding baths and are not considered here.
In most cases of choosing a waste kit for a bath you will need a concealed waste kit. This is because most baths that are fitted are panel baths of some sort, that is, they have a side and/or end panel which hides all the plumbing that is under the bath. If you are fitting a panel bath in your bathroom then under normal circumstances you can leave everything hidden inside it or under it to your plumber.
The concealed bath waste kit consists of all the fittings you can see when looking at a fitted bath, i.e. the grills or coverings over the overflow hole and the plug hole and all the visible plug fittings. It also includes fittings you can't see which connect the overflow with the plug hole under the bath so that waste water that goes down either hole goes the same way. It may or may not include a trap, but if you are buying a concealed waste kit yourself then generally your plumber will fit an appropriate bath trap. The trap is essentially a U-bend that traps some water and provides a lock so that air from your drain won't come up through your plug. When choosing a bath waste kit, then, you generally only need to choose between one of three broad types of kit. Here they are:
Bath Plug and Chain Waste (with overflow, concealed )
A plug and chain is the traditional style where a chain attached at one end to the overflow is attached at the other end to a plug which you put in and out with your hand. The chain can be a ball chain where lots of little metal balls connect together to make the chain or a link chain with oval metal links making the chain. A retainer or stowaway waste is one where the plug, when not in use, fits neatly into the overflow which has a recessed grill for this purpose.
Bath Pop Up Waste (with overflow, concealed)
This is what was the continental style of plug, but that is now commonplace in the UK. A pop up plug has a dial, usually chrome, sometimes with a lever, over the overflow, usually this is round and may have 3 or more flattened edges to grip. The dial stands a little proud of the bath, so it does not affect the way the overflow itself works. If you turn the dial the plug lifts up, turn it back and the plug goes down, the movement is conducted by a cable from the dial to a lever which pushes the plug up or lets it down when the dial is turned. When you are fitting a waste kit to a panel bath this cable will not be visible.
Bath Click Clack, Sprung Plug or Push Button Waste (with overflow, concealed)
This one goes by a number or names and is the most modern and minimalist kind of waste that is generally available. With this one in order to close the plug you must reach into the bath and push the plug with your finger, it is sprung and clicks shut. To open it again you reach in again and push it until it clicks open. The overflow is usually either a contemporary round, convex, chrome grill or a convex chrome plate that is raised off the surface of the bath so as not to interfere with the overflow. With the click clack bath waste no cable is needed as part of the mechanism to the plug. The only drawback with the click clack is that if you fill your bath with red hot water by accident, then you'll need a stick to poke the plug with to let some out to get some cold in.
You may also wish to consider these less common options.
Captive Bath Waste Kits
Captives wastes are more often found for sinks than for baths. A captive waste is one which is fixed in the plug hole by a spindle on which is pivots. So to open it you push on one side so that it pivots sideways and opens the plug hole to close it you push back until it closes the hole.
Bath Wastes Without Overflow
Some baths don't have overflows, if you have one of these it will usually be a stone bath of some sort or a very contemporary stone cast resin bath. If this is the case then you must not use a waste intended for a bath with an overflow.as it has an open connection (for the overflow pipe to join) under the bath. Bath waste kits for baths without overflows will usually be available when you buy the bath
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