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Hub Drain vs Floor Drain: Which Drain System Is For You?


Choosing between a hub drain and a floor drain depends on the specific needs and circumstances of your drainage system. Both types of drains serve the purpose of directing water into the plumbing system but are designed for different applications and environments. Here’s a comparison to help you decide which drain system is more suitable for you:

Hub Drain

Function and Application

- Primary Purpose: Hub drains are designed to collect and dispose of wastewater from indirect waste pipes, such as those from dishwashers, ice machines, and other appliances.

- Common Uses: Often used in commercial kitchens, food service areas, and medical facilities where indirect waste discharge is required.

Design and Structure

- Connection: Features an inlet hub where waste pipes discharge indirectly above the drain, ensuring an air gap to prevent backflow contamination.

- Installation: Typically installed at a higher elevation compared to floor drains, to receive waste from pipes above the floor level.

- Features: May include a removable strainer or basket to catch debris.


- Backflow Prevention: The air gap in a hub drain setup helps prevent backflow, which is critical in applications requiring sanitation.

- Indirect Waste Compliance: Meets plumbing codes that require indirect waste connections in certain environments.

Floor Drain

Function and Application

- Primary Purpose: Floor drains are designed to remove standing water from floors, preventing flooding and water damage.

- Common Uses: Found in basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, and industrial areas where water spillage or accumulation might occur.

Design and Structure

- Connection: Directly connected to the drainage system with a grated cover to allow water to enter while keeping out debris.

- Installation: Installed flush with the floor to collect water at ground level.

- Features: May include a trap to prevent sewer gases from entering the building.


- Water Removal: Efficiently removes standing water from floor surfaces, maintaining dry and safe conditions.

- Variety of Applications: Versatile for use in various residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

Key Differences

1. Purpose and Use:

  - Hub Drain: Specifically for collecting indirect waste from appliances and fixtures above the floor, with an air gap for backflow prevention.

  - Floor Drain: For removing standing water from floors, suitable for a wide range of applications.

2. Installation Location:

  - Hub Drain: Typically installed at a higher elevation to receive waste from indirect connections.

  - Floor Drain: Installed flush with the floor to capture water directly at ground level.

3. Design Features:

  - Hub Drain: Includes an inlet hub for indirect waste pipes and may feature a strainer or basket.

  - Floor Drain: Features a grate and often a trap to prevent sewer gases from entering the building.

4. Plumbing Code Compliance:

  - Hub Drain: Meets specific code requirements for indirect waste discharge, important in commercial kitchens and medical facilities.

  - Floor Drain: General compliance for floor-level water drainage in various settings.

Which Drain System is Right for You?

Choose a Hub Drain if:

- You need to connect indirect waste pipes from appliances or fixtures.

- Backflow prevention is critical, and an air gap is required.

- You are installing the drain in a commercial kitchen, food service area, or medical facility.

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