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plenmao 04-15-2010 01:33 AM

Clogged Shower Drain... possible lime built up?
Hi, our shower drain was clogged. It took hours to drain the waste water after the shower.

I used the plunger and auger (RIDGID Kwik-Spin) but no improvement. The auger only reaches about 10 inches and stops. It also doesn't bring up anything when I retrieved it. I tried it for an hour but no improvement.

Below is the picture of the pipe after removing the drain cover... it looks like lime has been bulit up along the pipe which may narrow drainage and create the blockage.

Any advice would be appreciated.

chrisn 04-15-2010 03:19 AM

Ya think!:eek:

Just Bill 04-15-2010 06:17 AM

and an old drum(bell) trap. They were nearly impossible to get a snake thru when they were new.

plenmao 04-15-2010 01:15 PM

So what should I do? I tried baking soda and vinegar: lots of bubbles but still blocking. I think the blockage is actually worse!

plumber Jim 04-15-2010 11:55 PM

How old is the house? It could be you are just having trouble passing the p-trap.

plenmao 04-16-2010 12:11 AM

1973, a condo in southern California. However, I think it was converted from apartments to condos (with a lot of works done/improvement) in the mid 80s.
Now, the water just sits there, doesn't fall at all! Please help.

Mike Swearingen 04-16-2010 12:28 AM

Is the blockage real hard or soft? If it is relatively soft, it may just be soap scum, hair and other organic gunk clogging the drain, which is very likely in a shower.
The easiest way to clean that out is with liquid DrainCare, an enzyme-based drain cleaner that won't harm the shower or the pipes, but WILL dissolve that organic gunk overnight.
Just pour DrainCare in, let it eat overnight, and then flush it all down with hot water. I usually start that with a kettle of boiling water from the kitchen.
If the clog is really bad (like yours), it may take more than one application. Try it. It works. I've been using it successfully for years for sluggish and clogged drains.
Good Luck!

plenmao 04-16-2010 01:36 AM

Thanks, Mike. I will give it a try.
The blockage is hard to touch, but it cracks and breaks down to tiny pieces when I apply a cutter to it. It can be soap scum or limescale. I just hope that further down I do not have mortar or other harder materials...

Just Bill 04-16-2010 05:55 AM

CLR will dissolve lime/calcium deposits. But if too much of that is knocked loose at once it could end up in the trap and block that. If there is access from below, I would replace everything w/PVC.

Mike Swearingen 04-16-2010 07:08 AM

I think that Just Bill probably has your best solution, but you can try the DrainCare and CLR first if you want. Never know.

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