Clogged upstairs shower drain, finding pea gravel

Discussion in 'Drain and Sewer Cleaning' started by ghopebham, Sep 10, 2018.

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  1. Sep 10, 2018 #1

    ghopebham

    ghopebham

    ghopebham

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    We have a mystery. The upstairs shower is not draining, and is completely clogged. The house is 8 years old, connected to city sewer, with no known problems downstream. All other drains in the house, including the downstairs shower, show no signs of problems. When I plunged this drain, it brought up some pea gravel. I cannot guess how pea gravel reaches a second-story drain. This shower does not get "beach feet" or other outdoor dirt - just regular daily use. To add to the mystery, moments before this clog appeared, I successfully poured about 4 gallons of boiling water down this drain when it was draining slowly.

    Many thanks for any ideas or guidance.
    Greg
     
  2. Sep 10, 2018 #2

    TomFOhio

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    Not sure how the gravel got there unless its been laying in there for 8 years with no problems from being built. I would
    get a snake ran through that drain If this is a shower only then you'll have to go through the drain itself. But if its a
    tub and shower try going through the overflow.
     
  3. Sep 10, 2018 #3

    ghopebham

    ghopebham

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    Many thanks for your reply, TomFOhio. It's a walk-in shower, so no tub overflow. I have tried to snake it, but my toilet snake (with a pretty thick cable) does not seem to get past the bend in the pipe, wherever that is. It just hits the bottom, about 12 inches down, then stops. Perhaps I need to try a cheapo snake with a very thin cable?
     
  4. Sep 10, 2018 #4

    TomFOhio

    TomFOhio

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    Yes, a toilet auger will only work on a toilet. You can buy those drum snakes for a drill. Might work for what
    you need it for.
     
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  5. Sep 10, 2018 #5

    Richard Gavle

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    Just to add a touch of humor. I had a clogged shower drain in my second story bathroom after a new tenant moved in.....I went to clean it with zero success and found that the previous tenant who left had poured cement down the drain....completely filling the trap!
    Fortunately there was no one renting the space below so it was not a big deal to cut the ceiling and replace the trap.
     
  6. Sep 10, 2018 #6

    TomFOhio

    TomFOhio

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    Talk about dirty tricks!!!!!!!
     
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  7. Sep 10, 2018 #7

    Richard Gavle

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    Yeah same guy made friends with one of my neighbors and stole his camera and some other stuff right before he moved out.....also ran up a 2500 dollar bill with the gas company....he had told them he had his elderly father or some such crap living with him to get them to keep extending the service prior to cut off.
     
  8. Sep 10, 2018 #8

    Geofd

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    a 1/4 by 25 or 50' cable is what I use....just for the heck of it try a wet vac......put a wet rag around the hose to get maximum vaccum …..
     
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  9. Sep 11, 2018 #9

    ghopebham

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    Many thanks to all for advice and humor. I used our wet vac and drew out about a gallon of water, enough to dry the ABS and see which way the trap was aiming. I was able to run all 3 feet of our toilet auger in, and brought back nothing when I pulled it out. I ran the shower wand directly into the drain to test the flow and it promptly filled back up. I can see the water in the drain and it's standing - no movement at all - and at a level above the trap, about an inch below the grate. I checked the water for debris as I emptied the wet vac, and found nothing suspicious in it. I'll be grateful for any ideas or advice, but I'm about ready to call in a pro... or a witch doctor.
     
  10. Sep 11, 2018 #10

    Richard Gavle

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    As said already get a small section of cable (small drain auger as sold at home depot or a hardware store) and run it down the drain cranking and pushing as you advance the handle on the cable. If the end with the small auger on the end will not go down then simply reverse it and use the small end to pierce the clog (probably hair).

    One quick note: If you do succeed in getting 8 or more feet down, then it will be moving from the horizontal section of pipe and into the vertical stack...... so be careful not to let the cable fall down the drain.....otherwise you have a whole new problem to deal with.
     
  11. Sep 13, 2018 #11

    ghopebham

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    In case anyone is still following this thread... I just got about 9 feet of 1/4 inch snake into the drain before it stopped. Nothing substantial came back on the hook, and the mystery remains. If no one has any additional advice here, I'll concede defeat and call in the pros. Many thanks for the help!
     
  12. Sep 13, 2018 #12

    Geofd

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    when you get to the stoppage don't force it just stay there and move until you here the motor slow down then pull back slightly until the motor starts spinning normally again
    a lot of snaking drains is patience.....I just had a janitors sink today and tried a small snake for a while...and it would go....I had to break the brass cleanout on the trap because it had never been taken off in 60 years...than ran a bigger snake in very slowly and finally got it.....patience...and you will get it....whe you do clear it go past the stoppage the run lots of hot water
     
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