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Hi everyone,

I've just finished installing a bathroom but to my horror, the shower is really slow draining. The tray is stone, and sits on the floor for easy access for the disabled user.

I've drawn a crude diagram of how the waste is set out. As the tray sits on the floor, I could see no option but to have the final run of the waste as a flexible hose (in order to lower the tray onto the floor).

Anyway, the water is either slow to clear or doesn't clear at all. It appears to back up pretty quickly leading me to believe the blockage is occuring just after the shower trap. The basin clears fine.

A quick pump on the plunger sometimes clears the blockage, sometimes not. I've bought some drain cleaner (that stuff that dissolves hair / grease etc) but as it's a new install it's not hair thats causing the blockage. Maybe I got clumsy and allowed sawdust etc to get into the waste pipe. Or maybe my flexible waste has "kinked" under the floor.

At the moment I can't see any alternative other than take the enclosure off, lift the tray up, remove the trap then rod the pipe. A pain in the ass to say the least.

Any suggestions welcome!!!

Thanks as always.
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I was pondering a similar problem, but Mr Muscle Drain Cleaner 2nd dose worked (no connection ... other than obviously the muscles:-).

My Plan B was to cut a access "hatch" in the chipboard flooring next to the shower and try and undo/clear blockage from that. You can support the edges of the chipboard "hatch" when put it back, by screwing 2 x 2 (ins) or similar battens under the edges of the apeture then screw the "hatch onto those.

Don't know if it would have worked - very relieved didn't have to try!

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Shower (and bath) waste contains a lot of hair. Any place that hair can catch, it will. Then more hair and soap scum sticks to it and finally it will block.

So it is best to have really smooth pipe. Your flexible pipe may just not be smooth enough, maybe a rough edge somewhere. And you will continue to get blockages.

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I've just finished installing a bathroom but to my horror, the shower is really slow draining.

Is this a brand new install, ie brand new waste piping throughout? If not you could well have dislodged some muck from the old pipe which could have partially blocked the waste.

I am confused by the mention of the sink. Is this on the same waste pipe? I thought this was very bad practise and each item should have its own non-shared run to waste?

Did you not include any rodding points in the waste run? I would be tempted to cut into the pipe and put in a rodding point as close to the shower as you can get without actually lifting the tray and check to see if everything is going ok from that point onwards. Might help to narrow down the problem.

It is possible that there is an bubble of trapped air in the flexible pipe, possibly enough to slow the flow, but not stop it completely. Are you able to get a decent volume of water FORCED down the pipe to dislodge any air?

If not, maybe you can use the fact that the sink is on the same run (if it is) to advantage. If you can block the outlet beyond the sink, and then fill the sink, the water will have to back up into the shower tray, which might dislodge the air (or anything else) that is stuck in the pipe.

Don't forget you can sometimes access the base of a shower more easily by cutting away the ceiling below than lifting the shower tray. Might be especially useful if you suspect the pipe may be kinked, as if you lift the tray it may straighten, so you can't be sure if that was the problem. A neatly cut square of plaster board can usually be replaced and decorated back over quite tidily and easily. Much less so with lath and plaster!!!

Just random thoughts. Hopefully something there might trigger an idea!
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If a plunger sometimes clears it so that the water flows out satisfactorily, then it is a blockage of some sort, as opposed to, say, lack of fall along the pipe.

I'd say the first approach is to let the tray fill, then apply the plunger to the trap with vigour. If it is movable (eg sawdust), that should work.

If that doesn't work, you could try this

A metre length of garden hose may work just as well.

If nothing works, you could have a kink, though surely you would have noticed before you put the boards back.


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Hmm thanks for the replies.

It's not hair causing the blockage. The waste run from the basin back towards the shower is all new, and the basin is clearing fine.

I bet the shower trap is just clogged with crap that I foolishly let get in there during the tiling / flooring etc.

OR this flexible pipe is too long and has just kinked. OR in fact a combination of the 2!!

I'll try this Mr Muscle stuff, although the stuff I tried today was pretty nuclear so I'm not holding my breath.

The only thing that concerns me, is getting the tray back down on the floor without the use of a flexihose.

I may have to actually cut away the floor further up the joist and access it that way. Just means ripping up the laminate :(

Oh well you live and learn...
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