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slow drain shower

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: Apr 20 2003

Hi--anyone confronted with slow drainage in the master bath shower?
Any advice on figuring this one out? Plungers, draino...don't work.


Joined: Aug 12 2004

Try snaking it from the clean out. It should be outside close to the bathroom.

Snakes can be rented.

Joined: Mar 16 2005

If Ben's idea doesn't work and no one replies with better ideas, try an enzyme, I think from Drano. It is a medium green liquid sold in a opague plastic jug of about 32 ozs. It advertises itself for slow running drains; it's not for clogged drains which I believe use a caustic chemical. This enzyme, I think, breaks down organic matter and must be left alone overnight.

I don't have any particular experience with it and don't know if it works on hair which is probably causing your drain to slow. The label has a description.

Joined: Aug 12 2004

I don't recommend any of the harsh chem's, as they have potential to ruin the pipes and anyone's snake.

I own rentals and hate it when a renter calls the manager complaining about leaky trap. Know that 99.999999% of the time they used Draino first. It changes the metal trap to become very brittle. Touch it and it falls apart.

Also, any snake put down into a line that has had Draino or the like has great potential of changing the snakes metal to become brittle. If I suspect Draino or the like, I'll call a plumber before I'll put my own personal snake in there.

GREAT stuff the enzymes, but they take a loooooong time to work and best as a preventative remedy. I toss a bit down each drain every once in a while. Keep a small bottle of the stuff (contact cleaner/solution bottle converted to this use and squirt it down the overflow hole of the sinks).

All of my traps have been converted to ABS or whatever plastic it's made of. Stuff just doesn't "stick" to easily, so keeps clear longer and the squirt of enzymes seems to keep them clear.

Slow draings can be from clogged traps at the drain, partially blocked pipes to roots in the pipes.

On Eichlers, usually the plants/trees out in front by the garage. They usually are planted in the square of dirt by the mail box or garage door, which is usually right over the the sewer line run to the street. This will have the whole house line slow.

If only one line is slow, then localized on that run of pipe.

Plunger is first try. Gets the trap at the utility (toilet, shower, tub, sink, etc). Then the outside clean out with a snake. Manual or motorized snake. Even a 1/4" dia hand snake will work if it's that localized. There is an "art" to using a plunger. It has to be "under water" and be pressed hard enough to actually "suck" and then "expell" forcefully enought to dislodge whatever. I've taught sweetie and "even" she manages (I've married a very non-athletic gal).

If it's farther down the pipe, then a motorized, larger dia snake is in order.

Not a "hard" thing to do, but messy. Most rental shops has 1/2" or larger dia, motorized snakes for rent.

Joined: Oct 10 2003

If you're lazy like me, get a plumber in to snake it. There was a previous discussion on this many months back, and the net was: those roto-rooter and "let stinky do it" plumbers see this stuff day in and day out, and can quickly solve the problem.

I recalled that thread a few months ago when I had the MBR shower drain slow up and stop. As you did, I tried chemicals, etc with no luck. The plumber came in, snaked it (from the drain itself, not from an exterior cleanout), and pulled out a hariball the size of a small mammal. yuck.

Joined: Dec 14 2003

If several drains are slowish, have the plumber rod it out to the street too. It isn't that expensive and it's easy. I always call one of those drain cleaning services like Roto-rooter. Those guys do it all day long and frankly, it's disgusting work. Better to spend the $80 or whatever.

Joined: Aug 12 2004

$80 bucks is $80 bucks, plus I've been laid off for a while...but DIY'd even when working.

I don't get "that" dirty either. Worst of it is on the hands and that is what goves are for (laytex...pennies per).

My snake has a strain relief that covers it from the power head to the drain opening, so no portion of the snake is exposed. Also, my drum is all plastic, so no "stuff" if flung off. Power head as it pushes and/or pulls the snake so don't have to "touch" it. 5/8" with a solid rubber core, so can also cut roots in up to 4" dia pipe.

Plus I have a special hose end with a pistol grip that I hook up to the water heater spigate, so does double duty. Cleans the snake when it's pulled out and almost shiny and flushes the water heater of sediment. Use a can of WD40 on the snake as it comes out.

Though for the rentals, I have the property manager hire professionals. Above stuff is for my home.

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