How to unblock a shower

We moved into a house with a newly installed shower, a few months ago. It's the type of shower that has a small pot to trap hair, bits of soap etc, but the waste pipe has still managed to get blocked, so it's now draining so slowly that there's a danger the tray will overflow.

I bought a round, stainless steel 'snake' to unblock the pipe but when I tried to use it I found the 'well' has a raised based which means there is only a narrow space (not itself blocked) for the water to run away through. The snake can't pass through this so I can't get it down to wherever the blockage may be.

As we are on private drainage into a water treatment system, I don't want to risk using any caustic materials, so, please, has anyone any idea how I can clear this blockage?


  • Half a bottle of thick bleach clears most blockages in my experience. bung it all down there and leave it half an hour, then pour boiling water down. If that doesn't work try Mr muscle, he loves those jobs apparantly :rolleyes:

  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
    5.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Thanks, wishiwasarichgirl... the trouble is the water treatment plant. Bleach and Mr Muscle etc are no-nos, apparently :(
  • what do they suggest then? surely if they forbid all normal options they must have alternatives?

    Is the treatment plant shared between lots of properties? if so then how would they know who has used the offending liquids ;)

    otherwise maybe report it to the developers you bought it off as a design flaw?

  • maninthestreetmaninthestreet Forumite
    16.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    Is there anything smaller you can try to get down the plughole to clear out the blockage? A bent wire coat hanger, perhaps? One of those old fashioned stretchy net curtain hangers?
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
  • I don't suppose it has a removable section like this one-

    If not go and buy a blast unblocker, silverline sell them and are only a few quid, these squirt a jet of water down the pipe and should move most blockages.

    You can see one being used here-
  • money_savymoney_savy Forumite
    88 Posts
    Try caustic soda...I have been using it for years and it really does the trick. You can get in B&Q, Homebase etc..
    PS. Please make sure that you take care and mix the right quantity of it with water and follow the instructions..Really works:beer:
  • ricktorricktor Forumite
    4 Posts
    Open the overflow cover (it's on inside of tub in new tubs & is beside the tub on old ones) Lift the stopper mechanism & unhook it. You now have a route to the stoppage. Take a toilet bowl auger ($25 in most shops) & place it in the opening and it should take you about 30 seconds to pull out all the long hairs stopping your line. GO easy on the auger; don't force it especially if you have plastic pipes. Be aware that when using an auger always turn in the same dirction even when you are working your way back so as not to lose the crud you've snared. I've done this a dozen times & it always works.
    No Links in Signatures by Site Rules - MSE Forum Team 2
  • Sailor_SamSailor_Sam Forumite
    278 Posts
    If the shower is a new one, you should be able to get access to the trap from inside the shower, if not can you get to it by lifting a floorboard near it, it should only be the trap that is blocked.
    in my last house the pipe was blocked solid, the angle of the pipe was to narrow, and over a period of years, soap blocked it up. we could not clean it, it was solid, and a new pipe had to be fitted. if your pipework is new this should'nt be needed.
    A good cowboy always drinks upstream from the herd.
    A good cowgirl always keeps her calves together.
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