DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Shower Drain Slow

4854 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Minus08

My wife and I have a slow shower drain on the 2nd floor of our home. No issues with toilet or faucet in the same bathroom.

We have tried all manner of Liquid Plumber/Drano. Today we purchased some "Clean Shot Drain Opener - Professional Strength Sulfuric Acid" from Lowes to try to see if that would help. It sure made an awful odor and seemed to make sounds like it was dissolving stuff inside the drain, but the drain really isn't measurably faster, maybe a little bit.

We have done two 6oz applications of this stuff this afternoon. The bottle says to use 4-6 oz at a time. The second time it didn't seem to make any sounds of dissolving and the odor was less.

We bought the house about 3 years ago and it was built in 1987. I am unsure if there's been a replacement of the tub/shower or even one of those bathfitter things (maybe someone will know from the pics), but the drain is odd to me.

There's what I call a hair catcher which is a screen of small (1/8") holes, that sits flush with the rest of the tub and pulls out (not pictured), then there's a cross piece down under that (pictured) then the drain pipe which doesn't seem to go straight down in any way, I believe it makes a right angle back towards the wall containing the faucet.

I have attached some photos but it's hard to see.

Any suggestions are helpful.

See less See more
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
That cross piece makes it almost impossible to use a snake to clean the lines---

Can that be removed without causing the drain assembly to fall apart?
Not as far as I have been able to tell. It seems to be all part of the tub which makes me think this was a bath fitter thing or something.

Really not sure what to try.
buy a hand spinner cable and clean your trap through the tub overflow
Chances are when you pull the overflow assembly out, your problem will either be solved, or at least identified. When you unscrew the faceplate (with the trip lever), you'll either pull out the whole assembly with the brass cylinder that plugs the drain (in which case it'll most likely be full of hair), OR you'll get nothing but the faceplate and you'll find the rest of the assembly has become detached and fallen down the drain causing the slow drain.

The overflow has a flip up/down lever for the internal drain plug. Which I can't seem to get past with the 2.5' "snake" my wife once purchased. I just tried it. I unscrewed the overflow plate and attempted to stick that snake down there but it wouldn't go anywhere major.
I guess I'll try taking the assembly out there's a cotter pin looking thing that attaches the lever to the plug assy.

I flushed the drain for about 5-8 mins with cold water per the bottles instructions so hopefully the acid won't be too much of an issue but I'll definitely be wearing gloves either way.
You will need to pull the entire trip lever, rod, and round drain plug out of the overflow pipe. Only then will your snake fit down the overflow so you can clean out your restriction.
As a side note, that cross shaped metal in the tub drain has a small hole it it. A perforated chrome metal disc (screen) fits over the drain and a screw goes throught that little hole to hold it in place. The chrome screen prvents stuff such as shampoo caps from falling down the drain.

Good luck
Yes I'll need to pull the whole thing out and see what happens.

As stated there is a hair catcher piece (screen) I am fully aware of. It's not visible on the photos because I pulled it off for the time being.


This is what it looks like behind and under the tub.
Win. Thanks for the diagram. I'm a very handy but visual person. This helps me a great deal
Yes I'll need to pull the whole thing out and see what happens.

As stated there is a hair catcher piece (screen) I am fully aware of. It's not visible on the photos because I pulled it off for the time being.

grab the faceplate with the lingage still attached and pull the works straight up. It will rub the edge of the hole- but it will come out. Next run water to see if the drainage has improved. If so, the stopper is set too long and is partially blocking the pipe. If not, try the snake. 2.5 ft may not be long enough.
Looks just like the surround in one of my bathrooms. I took the overflow off and as Eplumber mentioned cleaned the trap thru that. Here are a few photos, some behind the tub. I have an access panel in a closet.


See less See more
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.