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Thread: Clogged Shower Trap creating big problems

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member PVC's Avatar
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    Default Clogged Shower Trap creating big problems

    My basement has no entry. The pics were taken before floor of kitchen was tiled over, no more access. The shower trap is obviously clogged. As you can see, ancient iron cast pipes.

    I want to access basement, clear dirt out and make accessible passage to work on pipes. Only that, my only option right now is, cutting through shower floor for access, pic shows Du-Rock floor with PVC pipe drainage connecting to brass pipes with a rubber connector, my snake can't get passed the rise of the rubber connector to the brass pipe. (?will professional plumbers rotating snake machine cause rubber connector to disconnect? concerned)

    Appreciate any comments, Thanks.

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  2. #2
    Homeowner
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    Thats a nightmare. Seriously

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    One reason those rubber connectors are not allowed above ground is that things can shift out of alignment which can trap waste (likely hair). It also makes it really tough to run a snake through there.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That is a nightmare even for a handyman job. Almost any snake should go through the rubber coupling, but NO snake will go through the drum trap. That is why it has a threaded cover on it, although whoever did it installed that drum trap upside down so the cover will be difficult, if not impossible, to remove without chopping it out.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member PVC's Avatar
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    Unhappy Trap connection problem

    Pic 4 shows how the 1 1/2 copper tubing is connects to the shower PVC drain with black rubber connector. Copper tubing is then connected to Trap in pic 5 (green color L or J shape). Copper tubing is connected to the trap with a 2 inch male socket (partially hidden behind water line). I have dug out all the dirt to arrive at the problem. (But can't get that male socket to turn want to drain out liquid by turning that L shape tube). Will Liquid Wrench Penetrant spray have any effect?

    I will hire plumber to replace as much as possible with PVC.

    Will the trap have alot of Gunk / Waste if I manage to open the clean out myself? Will I literally throw up while down there ?

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    You will need to dig a hole a couple feet across underneath the drum so you can work a big pipe wrench in the hole.

    It might be nasty, but it should be from the shower, not the sewer.

    You will have additional challenges in upgrading the system, as the shower drain should be all 2". All of the bends should be long sweeps, not short ones. A new P-trap should be installed directly under the shower and there must be a connection to a vent beyond that.

  7. #7
    Homeowner
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    I would cut the brass nipple off and extend pvc over,install a new waste and overflow pvc sch 40 and a new trap. The lead toilet arm is what would go next maybe,or the cast iron.

    The thing about replacing cast iron is the joints in cast iron can be deflected a few degrees,meaning the angle is not a true 45 or a true 90 etc. Same with lead but even worse angles are found.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member PVC's Avatar
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    I cut open my hard wood floors (no other way to access basement). Dug for hours that lead to days then finally arriving at the problem.

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    Last edited by PVC; 03-13-2012 at 11:27 AM.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member PVC's Avatar
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    As can be seen, the black iron pipe leading down to main was broke (who knows when). My basement dirt had been receiving all the shower drain water for who knows how many years. On my dig, the dirt was dry at the top few inches, then wet digging down. Closer to the break dirt was very saturated.

    You can see white clog of some type in the broken discarded iron pipe.

    Roots (surrounding broke iron pipe) from backyard have been drinking plenty on summer days of 100+ degrees.
    Last edited by PVC; 03-13-2012 at 11:12 AM.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member PVC's Avatar
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    We got lucky, a plumber was available on Sunday morning @ 9:30 am. Well as you can see, he did his best for the needed shower drain. The toilet (cast iron shown in pic) and faucet drains will be next. Hopefully changing out the main pipe (not shown) from outside going in won't have anymore breaks. But I won't cross my fingers on that.

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    This is a temporary fix. Wife was staying with her folks for the 4 week project, she works. Glad to have her back.
    Last edited by PVC; 03-13-2012 at 11:21 AM.

  11. #11
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    That guy must have needed some money.
    I would have told you to buy more insurance and a can of gas.

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; That guy must have needed some money

    WHY, do you say that? ANY TIME a customer calls with a problem, and is willing to pay my prices, I will take care of him/her.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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