Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

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SVariance1
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Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by SVariance1 »

Would anyone have suggestions on how to fix a slow shower drain. A plumber fixed the issue a couple of months ago but the problem is here again. I tried running very hot water down the drain for 20 minutes and that seems like a temporary fix. There is no build up of water while this is happening. Then, I took a shower and it happened again. I am thinking my next try at fixing it is to change shampoos/soap. I have been using a a liquid soap and have probably been using too much of it. I may try a bar. I am not sure what to do besides getting the plumber back to fix it.

Any advice?

Thank you.
Mike
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by jebmke »

I have had pretty good success with Zep Advanced Tub and Shower Drain Opener which I can get from Lowes.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by adamthesmythe »

The most likely cause of a slow shower drain is hair.

There are various mechanical tools for removing hair buildup, including a bend coathanger.
EagertoLearnMore
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by EagertoLearnMore »

Have you removed the drain cover and cleaned out the pipe below the drain? Sometimes hair and soap create a plug.

If there isn't anything visible from above perhaps the blockage is lower in the pipe and needs a plumber to run a snake/camera down the pipe to look for a blockage.

I prefer to remove the hair/soap blockage instead of pouring chemicals down the drain.
quantAndHold
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by quantAndHold »

What did the plumber have to do?

Usually it’s hair, especially if someone in your household has a lot of hair, and if you remove the cover, you might be able to just pull it out. Prepare for it to be disgusting.

The Zep stuff does work on greasy stuff, but for hair, it doesn’t seem to do much.

You can also get a cheap snake from Lowes and snake it yourself every once in awhile.
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windaar
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by windaar »

How old is the house? Do you know what kind of trap is on the shower drain? If it is a drum trap you need to have it replaced.
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SVariance1
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by SVariance1 »

Delete
Last edited by SVariance1 on Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SVariance1
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by SVariance1 »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:46 am What did the plumber have to do?

Usually it’s hair, especially if someone in your household has a lot of hair, and if you remove the cover, you might be able to just pull it out. Prepare for it to be disgusting.

The Zep stuff does work on greasy stuff, but for hair, it doesn’t seem to do much.

You can also get a cheap snake from Lowes and snake it yourself every once in awhile.
The plumber removed a lot of hair but now the problem is back again.
Mike
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SVariance1
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by SVariance1 »

windaar wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:47 am How old is the house? Do you know what kind of trap is on the shower drain? If it is a drum trap you need to have it replaced.
About 50 years old. I don't know what kind of trap it is
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Kookaburra
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Kookaburra »

Drain weasel, from Home Depot. Works brilliantly for removing hair wads.
turtlebug
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by turtlebug »

I have something that looks like this that I use occasionally to remove hair and it prevents slow drain in the shower and the bathroom sinks:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraf ... /305468409
Last edited by turtlebug on Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Joyful
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Joyful »

There is an inexpensive tool that you can purchase from home depot (and maybe at Dollar Tree) that is long and has jagged edges. Sorry I don't know the name of the tool, however, I'm sure that the guy in the plumbing department will. Insert the tool down into the drain and then pull the tool out of the drain. The tool will grab hair and debris with its jagged edges as you put it out of the drain. It's an inexpensive solution to a clogged drain.
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SVariance1
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by SVariance1 »

Kookaburra wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:51 am Drain weasel, from Home Depot. Works brilliantly for removing hair wads.
I am going to try this. It gets very good reviews
Mike
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Beensabu »

Liquid-PLUMR
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mkc
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by mkc »

Once you get the drain cleaned, consider using a removable hair trap or hair screen in the future. We use a "tub shroom" for our RV shower.
Bronco Billy
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Bronco Billy »

My money would also be on HAIR. I have used these to clean my daughters drain on many occasions. Sometimes you have to run it down the drain several times to get it all. They are a couple of dollars at lowes or home depot.

https://www.amazon.com/ONLYWEE-Cleaning ... 2860&psc=1
Joyful
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Joyful »

SVariance1 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:00 pm
Kookaburra wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:51 am Drain weasel, from Home Depot. Works brilliantly for removing hair wads.
I am going to try this. It gets very good reviews
I purchased one that has really jagged edges from Dollar Tree. If you have one in your area you can't beat $1 (now $1.25) from Dollar tree.
OpenMinded1
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by OpenMinded1 »

After you get it fixed, buy a strainer to put over the drain. I use a dome shaped wire mesh one, and use a small stiff-bristled brush to clean it about every other time the shower is used. It only takes a second.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by random_walker_77 »

turtlebug wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:53 am I have something that looks like this that I use occasionally to remove hair and it prevents slow drain in the shower and the bathroom sinks:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraf ... /305468409
If it's hair, then these < $3 plastic snakes (even cheaper at ebay or dollartree) work really well and are convenient. I think that's worked 90% of the time for me. When that doesn't work, I pull out a drum auger, which you can usually get for less than $20. This one is apparently $13: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-1-4-i ... /301879196

Don't know how to use an auger? Look it up on youtube...
I think all homeowners should have one or both of these on hand, as well as a toilet plunger. Much better than waiting for a plumber (and paying a lot more $$$)
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by fposte »

OpenMinded1 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:05 pm After you get it fixed, buy a strainer to put over the drain. I use a dome shaped wire mesh one, and use a small stiff-bristled brush to clean it about every other time the shower is used. It only takes a second.
Oxo makes two different styles of drain cover and they've saved me a lot of plumbing money over the years.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Sandtrap »

rubber toilet plunger
drain snake
grabber thingy with the retracting triple claw on one end and a handle operator on the other.
better non deposit liquid soap
install drain screen clean often

use no chemicals

many of the jagged plastic strip types advertised are too stiff to bend around the trap or risk breaking in the drain. caution.

....with time and age...there may be less and thinner hair.....
j🌺
Last edited by Sandtrap on Wed Aug 03, 2022 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Kookaburra
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Kookaburra »

Anyone know of a good strainer to prevent hair from going down the drain and clogging it, that is square in shape to confirm to my drain geometry?
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Kookaburra »

Sandtrap wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:19 pm
....with time and age...there may be less and thinner hair.....
j🌺
Or the same amount of hair, but now coming off different parts of the body :)
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by tunafish »

I haven't had a chance to read the replies.

What works for me for fixing a sink drain is to run hot water in it for several minutes, then dump about a cup of bleach in it, leave the bleach for at least several hours or overnight, then flush the drain with hot water for several minutes. I keep the door closed while the bleach is working because of the smell.

I avoid bath products that are oily, Those I've tried clog up the bath drain quickly.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by the_wiki »

9/10 times for me, it's just a (nasty) wad of hair and soap building up in the drain. I just try to clear it out with some thin pliers or a little metal hook from bent wire of some sort. Shine a flashlight down there and see if you can see anything. Usually takes me about 5-10 minutes to fish out the blockage and It's good as new for a while.

If it is under the sink, you can just remove the stopper and the U section at the bottom and push the blockage through into a bucket or something. That's a quicker fix, but those pipes are impossible to get to in most showers.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by treypar »

zip it tool from Home Depot
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by fposte »

Kookaburra wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:47 pm Anyone know of a good strainer to prevent hair from going down the drain and clogging it, that is square in shape to confirm to my drain geometry?
I just looked up "square drain protector" and got several hits; Amazon has quite a few.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by gavinsiu »

It's usually hair. I usually remove the drain cover and pull out a large wad of hair every couple of month.

Online, I have see someone use a shop vac where he would fill the drain with water, put the shopvac head on the drain underwater and hit vaccum to pull out stuff.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by manuvns »

Search youTube and you will find many help videos
Thanks!
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Riprap »

Agreed, it's probably hair. Extra long needle nose pliers can work too, especially ones with curved ends.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Ruprecht »

first, I took this off: Image


Then, I used this https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store ... ickup=true to extract a gigantic mass of hair.

This drain weasel also works really well on sinks, even without removing the drain plug. But in the shower, It was better to take off the cover first.

There may be bigger ones that are better for the shower, but this worked for me.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by dekecarver »

Try not to use chemicals.
Use one of the flexible rods; if that doesn't work run a 1/4 drain auger with a hand held drill and be done with it.

If the bathroom is in the basement, might as well auger the laundry drain as well while you have the gear already out.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by CAsage »

treypar wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:01 pm zip it tool from Home Depot
Aha! That's the name of the little plastic long stick with lots of jagged hooks. Works amazingly well, two people with long hair here and it's a mandatory periodic task. I find a pair of plyers to help pull it out (and make sure you wiggle/jam it all the way down) and some paper towels to clean up helpful. Then maybe a liquid product to flush the pipe, but those can cause damage....
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by like2read »

We had a similar problem in our 50 year old house. Tried most of the suggestions above, multiple times, over a few years, thinking the bathtub drain was clogged with hair or something. It would improve slightly, but still the drain was slow.

About a year ago I once again paid another visit to YouTube and came across a video describing how to use a plunger on a bath drain. The key is to remove the water overflow cover and jam a rag enclosed in a plastic bag into the opening. Then use the plunger over the floor drain, with water in the tub. The now totally clogged up drain gets a ton more suction and pressure going. I was pleasantly surprised to see a red plastic, 2 inch tall Darth Vader action figure pop out, light saber and all. He was stopping up the drain for years. One of the kids of a previous owner we assume may be missing him.

If what you have is a stand up shower with a single drain and no overflow drain, you might just try the plunger directly. Or, you may need to remove the drain cover and try a hand cranked snake, available at the big box store plumbing department.

l2r
Last edited by like2read on Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by 02nz »

I've had good luck with enzyme cleaners, which are a lot less harsh than Drano. Also try the baking soda and vinegar trick.
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Slow Drain in Shower, Some Advice

Post by Bogle7 »

Do not use Liquid Pumber [sic] or any of his relatives. The lye will eventually destroy your pipes.

If you want to use chemicals use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. It needs to sit in the drain for 6 hours. You need to do this method monthly. It is harmless to plumbing. Baking soda and vinegar is useless.

Start with mechanical cleaning.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by adestefan »

like2read wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:25 pm We had a similar problem in our 50 year old house. Tried most of the suggestions above, multiple times, over a few years, thinking the bathtub drain was clogged with hair or something. It would improve slightly, but still the drain was slow.

About a year ago I once again paid another visit to YouTube and came across a video describing how to use a plunger on a bath drain. The key is to remove the water overflow cover and jam a rag enclosed in a plastic bag into the opening. Then use the plunger over the floor drain, with water in the tub. The now totally clogged up drain gets a ton more suction and pressure going. I was pleasantly surprised to see a red plastic, 2 inch tall Darth Vader action figure pop out, light saber and all. He was stopping up the drain for years. One of the kids of a previous owner we assume may be missing him.


l2r
You can also get a bowl, put Vaseline around the rim, and use that to cover the overflow. Also works well in double sink.

With three woman in the house I pull a two foot long string of tangled hair from my drains about every three months.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by adamthesmythe »

like2read wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:25 pm a red plastic, 2 inch tall Darth Vader action figure pop out, light saber and all. He was stopping up the drain for years. One of the kids of a previous owner we assume may be missing him.
Well, it's not always hair.

And Darth Vader is definitely a bad 'un.
nalor511
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by nalor511 »

Get a hair catcher. https://www.amazon.com/Drain-Catcher-St ... B07H1WQTGD , I empty ours every 48 hours, from a surprising amount of hair. Much easier than letting it get into the drain.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by evelynmanley »

I just used this recently in bathtub drain (purchased on Amazon) and it worked like a charm. I have always had a hair-catcher in the drain.
https://greengobbler.com/

I used one pre-packaged packet instead of the liquid. https://greengobbler.com/bathroom-drain-opening-pacs

<<About Green Gobbler

At Green Gobbler, our mission is to deliver effective solutions to people with household problems.

From clogged drains to surface cleaners, we make products with you in mind. That's why our odorless, biodegradable formulas are safer, stronger and more reliable than other cleaners you might find in the same aisle.

We carry a full line of trustworthy, industrial-strength drain openers, surface cleaners, bathroom deodorizers, ice melt and weed killers. We want you and the planet to feel good about using Green Gobbler.<<
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by OpenMinded1 »

nalor511 wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:03 am Get a hair catcher. https://www.amazon.com/Drain-Catcher-St ... B07H1WQTGD , I empty ours every 48 hours, from a surprising amount of hair. Much easier than letting it get into the drain.
Yep, that's exactly what I use. Has to be cleaned frequently, and water flows thru it somewhat slowly even when clean. Wish I could find one that's a little bigger to increase the surface area the water flows thru, and/or one with mesh that isn't quite so fine. Slightly larger holes in the mesh would probably still catch hair, but allow water to flow out of the tub a little faster. Larger surface area would keep the whole catcher from from getting clogged/dirty so quickly.
Last edited by OpenMinded1 on Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Mr. Rumples »

If the plumber cleaned it, is there a blockage further down the line? Regarding an auger, be very careful about pushing it, it can compact blockages making them harder to fix and if not done right, they can dislodge old or PVC connections. Old pipes have a zinc covering to prevent them from rusting; not handling the snake correctly can damage the zinc coating or chip old pipes.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by JoeRetire »

SVariance1 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:35 amA plumber fixed the issue a couple of months ago but the problem is here again.
What did the plumber do to "fix" the issue? Did they indicate the cause of the slowdown?
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by neurosphere »

turtlebug wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:53 am I have something that looks like this that I use occasionally to remove hair and it prevents slow drain in the shower and the bathroom sinks:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraf ... /305468409
Be careful with this, I had the plastic break off in my drain, and it took me a LONG time to get it back out. In the meantime it had created a hair catcher making things much worse.

Also, when you say "shower" do you mean a tub with shower or a stand up shower? I learned (the hard way) that with my tub, the drain starts horizontal to the tub bottom before connecting to a line that runs down into (I assume) a p-trap. My hair clog was more than 12 inches away, and after two right angles. Draino always made the slow drain a little faster, but then started taking lots of draino, and more often. Finally, a metal snake attached to a power drill did the trick (but still with a lot of physical effort). No clog came back but must have been pushed through and/or chopped up enough to fix the problem.
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by Sandtrap »

Grabber tool thingy. Most plumbers used to carry this thing since the "old days". . .
Amazon.com
(Comes in various lengths, won't break inside the drain, won't harm the plumbing if used properly).
https://smile.amazon.com/Flexible-Grabb ... ljaz10cnVl
Image

I have used these grabber things to clear drain clogs long before the jaggy barbed plastic drain unplugger zip strips were made nowadays.

It will pickup from drains:

toothbrush heads
barbie doll heads
G.I.Joe pieces
Tampon heads
Wads and gobs of hair mixed with soap slime
Marbles: both cat eyes and jumbos
popsicle sticks
ear swab things
electric razor heads
other mysterious things.. . .
etc.

. . . usual customer or tenant responses. . .
"how did that get in there. . . ?" :shock: :shock:
"that must have been there before I moved in. . . "

j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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HomeStretch
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by HomeStretch »

Try the product Glug (carefully, contains lye) if your drain is still slow after scooping out any visible hair clogs. Then use something under/over the shower drain cover to keep hair out of the drain. Try to use the hair catcher every time someone showers to avoid having to use drain snakes/augers or chemicals in the future.
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SVariance1
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by SVariance1 »

Kookaburra wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:51 am Drain weasel, from Home Depot. Works brilliantly for removing hair wads.
I tried it but it did not work. It took out a little hair not a lot. The weird thing is when I put a flashlight to the drain opening, I do not see anything other than the drain. I do not see any gunk or hair. I tried putting a tool down there but it will not make it past a certain point. I am not sure where this drain lead to?
Mike
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SVariance1
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by SVariance1 »

Sandtrap wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:59 am Grabber tool thingy. Most plumbers used to carry this thing since the "old days". . .
Amazon.com
(Comes in various lengths, won't break inside the drain, won't harm the plumbing if used properly).
https://smile.amazon.com/Flexible-Grabb ... ljaz10cnVl
Image

I have used these grabber things to clear drain clogs long before the jaggy barbed plastic drain unplugger zip strips were made nowadays.

It will pickup from drains:

toothbrush heads
barbie doll heads
G.I.Joe pieces
Tampon heads
Wads and gobs of hair mixed with soap slime
Marbles: both cat eyes and jumbos
popsicle sticks
ear swab things
electric razor heads
other mysterious things.. . .
etc.

. . . usual customer or tenant responses. . .
"how did that get in there. . . ?" :shock: :shock:
"that must have been there before I moved in. . . "

j :D

I tried something similar but with no luck. The weird thing is that when this happens in the bath tub, hair is right near the top of the drain and I can just pull it out. I could not even see any gunk or hair with a flashlight.
Mike
hnd
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by hnd »

We bought a home that was a little older, 60 or so years. we had a plumber come out to a slow drain. they extracted a number toys from the drain that basically would catch hair over time. and we never had the issue again.

Have the plumber snake as far as he possibly can if you have them back.

At our current house, we ran into this issue with one of the drains. I purchased one of these https://www.amazon.com/Drain-King-Unclo ... BIWC&psc=1

its a drain king. instead of trying to extract your clog, this thing just muscles it down. used in conjuction with Zep, I've never had much of an issue.

I have 4 daughters and a wife. even screens don't catch it all and it used to be infuriating.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Problem with Slow Drain in Shower? Any Advice

Post by LilyFleur »

After I had to call a plumber out a few years ago, I put "shrooms" on each bathroom and shower drain in my condo.

I'm amazed at how much hair goes down my shower drain every time I wash my hair. I clean it out every time.

I have no explanation for the hair in my bathroom sink drain, but I have to clean out that shroom about once a month.

Since I've been using the shrooms, I've had to do no nasty clean outs from the pipes.

Humans shed. :mrgreen:

https://www.amazon.com/TubShroom-Revolu ... RydWU&th=1
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