I tried loads of things that may clear a blocked shower drain (store-bought liquids, vinegar+baking soda, running hot water through) over the past months, but the water still drains very slowly. After a minute of shower you would stand in 3-5cm of water.

When I remove the shower head and stick the tube in the drain (and turn on hot water on max strength), after like a minute or two I start to see air bubbles coming up and then after a while the water suddenly drains. Still, when I start showering again, the same old problem comes back.

Do you have any idea what could be the problem? Could it be that the blockage is somewhere further down the system (the apartment I rent is on the 4th floor)? Is it fixable by myself or need to call a professional?

2 Answers 2


There's a very good chance it's caused by a blockage from a lower unit. You could try running a snake down your shower drain to see if you could clear the obstruction. Other than that, since it's a rental let the landlord know about this as other units might be affected. He should be the one to call the professional, not you.

  • 1
    I wouldn't snake it it in a rental, you could damage an old pipe and then you're liable for it.
    – GdD
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 13:41
  • 1
    @GdD Good point, I was referring to one of those little quarter inch, 6' snakes just to clear his pipe. If it's his unit blockage, he could be charged for the plumber.
    – JACK
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 13:55
  • Have you tried a plunger on the tub drain? Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 17:31
  • If you try a plunger push gently and pull quickly. Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 0:48

Seeing air bubbles usually indicates a problem with the vent stack that comes out your roof. The vent stack serves as an escape route for any air in the pipe to go when water and poo poo are put into the system. If it's not built correctly, or clogged, the air has to go somewhere, so it eventually makes its way up your drain. If you were the homeowner, I'd suggest getting on the roof and running water down the pipes to see if you can clear any blockage, but being in a rental, it's time to get your landlord involved.

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