I live in a block of flats in China. I had a lot of friends over a couple of days ago and since the toilet, sink and shower are all blocked.

The water on all those items does go down, but really, really slowly. The day after, the water was going down faster, but as of today, it the water is going down slower.

I have just put an auger all the way down the toilet - about 2 meters, but it doesn't seem to have made a difference. I'm going to try putting it down the shower drain as I fear this could be a drain blockage.

When the water from the sink or shower is going down, the toilet water bubbles.

Is this likely to be a drain issue? Is there anything I should keep in mind?

  • Could be a blocked vent.
    – Tester101
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 9:46
  • @Tester101 OK. I updated my question to include that I live in a block of flats. Is this something I can fix with a really long auger?
    – rhughes
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 9:59

2 Answers 2


I am assuming Chinese plumbing works the same as most other. In such case, the only place in common to the sink, shower, and toilet is somewhere past the last one.

You might check with neighbors to see if they are having any problem. If they started having trouble when you did, the block is downstream of them too, in which case a longer auger is called for.

The toilet has the largest diameter pipe of all of them, so that should provide the best route into the pipe, unless there is a convenient cleanout port.

If the toilet's trap is tight, it may well be expedient to temporarily remove the toilet: there are only two bolts holding it to the floor, a wax ring (which should be replaced before re-installation), and the water supply connection.

The pipe beneath the toilet should be at least 3 inch inside diameter, so a more stout auger (1/2 inch or larger diameter) is better than a light duty one (1/4 or 3/8 inch) as the light ones tend to curl up inside the pipe and resist being fed (their place is less than 2 inch pipe).

  • 1
    Interesting. I tried a smaller auger, probably the 1/4 inch one. That may explain the difficulty I had with it.
    – rhughes
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 8:38

If the auger doesn't work, try plunging. Block the sink and shower drains and plunge the toilet.

  • 1
    Plunging works great on toilets because there is no vent between the plunger and the blocked toilet trap. His blockage is farther down, vent pipes in the system will likely make plunging totally ineffective (no pressure), the water/waste will just slosh around. Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 4:42

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