Let’s Talk Drains!

21st January 2014 2 By admin

This is the one topic that churches, architects and builders ignore at their peril. It is very often an ‘Oh, by the way…’BaptistryUK Elim Baptistry with part-width steps

The phrase ‘can of worms’ often gets used. Anyway, there are two options (assuming not emptying the pool ever is discounted):

  • a small sump into which a submerisble pump is dropped to pump the water out to a drain or toilet;
  • or a plughole.

And with the plughole waste there is the option of a plug and chain, an upstand waste (a metal tube stuck into the plug hole to act as both plug and overflow), and a valve (which would be on the outside bottom of the baptistry. Pop up wastes don’t work simply because of the weight of water. Upstand wastes can get in the way a bit as they need to be over a metre tall. Valves mean that permanent, easy access is needed to the lower part of the outside of the baptistry, which needs to be planned in. Another thing that needs to be understood is that a plumber needs to be able to get to the underside of the baptistry to physically connect the screwthread of the waste from the baptistry to the pipe work that will take the waste water away. To this end, a concrete pit can be cast overlong so that there is an access pit beside the baptistry for the installing plumber. This can be closed up if it is not needed thereafter. Or, we also make a baptistry with part-width steps. This means that there is an ’empty corner’, which again allows the plumber to get down to get a hand under the baptistry to screw the pipe to the waste thread. If a wooden stage is being built around then baptistry, then access issues are much easier to solve.

There are ways of dropping the baptistry on to existing pipework without having to get a hand under the baptistry (it involves a shower waste) but this requires some pretty accurate measuring to get the pipework and waste to line up exactly!

It doesn’t bother us which way you go just so long as it has been considered. Just over half of our customers opt for a sump and pump. This is sometimes because gravity drainage just isn’t possible in their case (not because gravity is absent you understand), sometimes because it seems to be too much faff, and othertimes because people do have an aversion to putting holes in water-bearing containers. In older baptistries that are leaking, it is generally the tiles/grouting that has packed up or the existing plumbing. It is perhaps natural, therefore, that churches would chose an option that does away with the need for plumbing.

This, along with such matters as colour choice, is something that needs to be explored and settled by or with the church members at an early stage. These blog entries can alway be a bit ‘over-summarized’ so do please feel free to get in touch to discuss anything with me either via the website, email (david@baptistryuk.com) or via twitter (@baptistry)