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Shower Drain Blocked and no Access for Snake

Postby gshaw442 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:59 am

I've got one of those wet room showers that are flush to the ground (no drainage tray, just tiles) - i think there is not enough space below for a traditional u bend so it has one of those drains that when you open it up it just has a plastic bit below to catch waste and the waste water I assume comes over the lip of that to the drain at the side. So there is no direct access to the drainage pipe.

Unfortunately I unscrewed the whole thing so the puddle of water that was blocked and not draining, drained into a void below (not a huge volume) and seems to have ran below, coming out of the kitchen doorway downstairs. I screwed it back on straight away and no more water has been put down the drain.

I have 2 questions - firstly is this water that has gone down the void going to cause me a big problem as most of it seems to have come out now and no more should go down. Do I have to worry about wet joists etc?

Secondly, how do I unblock this drain?! As I said it is not conventional so can't get the snake down and we have tried some bathroom sink unblocker with hot water after already - no joy.

Should I just get a plumber out since I have interfered a bit too much? My worry is that he will have to hack up bathroom tiles as well and the expense to repair that.

Any help appreciated!
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Simply Build It

Postby KitchenGuy » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:40 pm

Firstly, unless have been unlucky such as the water has found itself in some electrical works, there is unlikely to be any long term problems from a one off water spill other than some staining on the paintwork.

You can possibly send a rod up from where the waste exits the building to clear the blockage but I would put that down as a last resort. My favourite way of unblocking in this sort of situation is to make a made to measure plunger. Remove the inners of the waste trap, they usually just pull out. Then just cut up a bit of plastic to roughly the size and shape of the opening, an old plastic milk carton is ok. Then screw this to the end of a stick with a long screw and a large washer. Start up and down gently and then get a rhythm going. This is a very underrated method and can get rid off most blockages.

You can combine this with some caustic soda or some sink unblocker if needed. Some un-blockers work better than others in different situations so don't give up if the first make doesn't work, as long as the material blocking it is organic one of them should work at least to soften the blockage for plunging. Last resort and as long as there is no metal in your trap gully is what they do in hotels and commercial kitchens. Scoop out as much water as you can from the gully. Pour down 500ml of 98% Sulphuric acid, the water will get very hot with the reaction on all the organic material. Wait 15 mins it should be free. Wash the drain thoroughly with loads of cold water to dilute and cool the reaction. Careful though as it will burn your clothes and skin so wear gloves, body and eye protection. Strangely, written on the pack off these strong acid drain cleaners is " kind to the environment" but I wouldn't like to guarantee that lol.
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