Saturday night, my bathtub was draining fine. No clog whatsoever, no slow drain. Sunday morning, I hear my neighbor running their garbage disposal continuously. My shower and their kitchen share a wall. In the time span of them running their garbage disposal continuously for about ten minutes, my bathtub made gurgling noises twice. I went next door and asked them if they were having plumbing issues. He said yes. Plumber came out today with a 25 foot snake and ran the snake in my neighbor's kitchen sink. It did not resolve their clog nor my shower clog. We assume the clog is somewhere where our pipes meet. We're wondering what steps should we take next? Is it likely the clog is somewhere in the main? However, if the clog is in the main, when the units above us use their fixtures, wouldn't it back up into our units? That's not happening. In that event, is it possible that our units tie together and the main is over 25 feet from their sink? Should the plumber have snaked both their sink and our bathtub?

Things to consider - This is a condo building and we are located on the fourth floor. No other unit seems to be experiencing any clogs.

  • Does it drain at all or is it a complete block?
    – JD74
    Apr 4, 2023 at 3:12
  • @JD74 When the shower is turned on, it takes roughly 25 seconds to back up, and then drains very slowly.
    – Ari
    Apr 4, 2023 at 8:01
  • only 25 seconds to back up your shower indicates that you have a clog in your shower drain, ( probably hair). That clog is most likely independent of the neighbors clog.
    – RMDman
    Apr 4, 2023 at 12:23
  • What kind of plumbing issue did your neighbor indicate—same slow draining? Clog has to be downstream of where your two units meet. Any other condos on this floor, and are there floors above?
    – Huesmann
    Apr 4, 2023 at 13:51
  • @RMDman What you're saying makes sense. However, the only thing that confuses us is that our clog started at the exact same time as our neighbors. Everything was fine with our bathtub Saturday night and we experienced the clog on Sunday morning as my neighbor's kitchen sink clogged. What are the odds?
    – Ari
    Apr 4, 2023 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


If your trying to resolve this on your own you could buy a snake and try snaking from your shower. I also wonder if what he was putting down the disposal could of also plugged up the vent. Did you ask your neighbor what he was putting down the garbage disposal? Trying to put a lot of stuff down a disposal is a frequent cause of clogs.

If you get a professional make sure they are reputable and understand the situation. Not all plumbers like dealing with clogs if they aren't close to the drain. I'm surprised the first plumber just left.

  • I did not ask my neighbor what they put down the disposal, however I have heard their disposal running a lot in the past few weeks, more than usual. We were all pretty surprised and disappointed with how quickly the plumber left. He was here for less than fifteen minutes and at the end just said "Maybe you guys need a hydro jet."
    – Ari
    Apr 4, 2023 at 15:29
  • 1
    Have you tried a plunger in your bathtub? Have the neighbor partially fill their sink (both sides) and you partially fill the tub. Use duct tape on the overflow. With a plunger push down moderately then pull up vigorously. This may loosen the clog. Apr 4, 2023 at 22:17

Without knowing the layout of all the plumbing fixtures, this will be tough to diagnose. For example, is there also a sink and toilet near the bathtub? One would think these might all connect to a main drain nearby. But here is something you might want to try. Have your neighbor fill his kitchen sink(s) up as full as possible, then let the entire contents drain at once while the faucet is running full-blast. If there is a clog in a connecting pipe, the water from his sinks will likely backflow into your tub. This would confirm a clog in a connected line and maybe snaking from your tub will get it. BTW - if it is a shared line that is plugged, it is typically the HOA responsibility to get it cleared. Check your by-laws to be sure.

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