For historical reasons (that is, reasons lost in history and no-one knows why any more!) birth baths had their waste pipes leaving sideways at an angle. This has caused a problem because these so called ‘low profile’ wastes have an inbuilt weakness: standard or proper plumbing fittings don’t fit conveniently. One solution was to try and incorporated a piece of plastic pipe as part of the bath, which is what one company did and still does. The problem being, as evidenced by several site visits to leaking baths, is that the seal between the the bath and the pipe was never durable enough, water got into the fabric of the bath and caused bloating and staining. Repairs were usually ugly and ‘stop-gap’. The best seal comes from using plumbing fittings designed for the job. But a plug hole on its side gives a bit of a lip.
So, for a bath with a better sealed waste, the plug should go through the base and not out sideways. One company claims to have a (sic) low profile fast flow system. Not sure what this is because pipes are pipes and gravity is the same everywhere! Also, the slightly higher bath (1″) with the plug in the base (more water pressure still) would be quicker to empty than a ‘low profile’ arrangement. ‘Fast flow’ might include an in-line trap, and we did introduce the use of in-line waterless traps to birth pools, so it’s nice to be copied.
Being able to use standard plumbing fittings mean that the most appropriate fittings are used, they are easy to source, easy to fit and can be repaired.
With this in mind we have redesigned one of our baths to incorporate these improvements to give the best value for money bath that is easy to fit and keeps on going. We call it the Canberra bath after the first hospital to have this improved birth bath.