Slow Flowing Drain


Hi,
We have a slow flowing shower drain Our bathtub and shower are separate, with a wall between them where the faucets come out. (The house was built in 1949) We're planning to have a plumber fix it. Will the plumber have to get access to the access panel to do this or can he just fix it by going down the shower drain? The access panel is located in a bedroom closet which shares a wall with the bathtub and shower. (back wall of bathtub and shower.)
And, what exactly is in an access panel and when would a person use it?
Thanks in advance.
Debbie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My guess is that he will go down the drain, The access panel allows you to get to the pipes coming up to the faucets and shower head. In general, it is seldom needed, but darned handy to have when you do.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Debbie wrote:

Access panel is mainly used to get to the faucet and feed lines, but it is possible there may also be access to the old drum-type traps that the drains probably have, through the same cubbyhole. How thick is the wall between tub and shower? If there is an access panel to the side, that implies there is actually a pipe chase big enough for plumber's arm, or maybe even the whole plumber, to get in there. Bonus points for whoever built your house- wet walls like that should always have access ports.
I'd use this as an excuse to clean out the closet and make a road to the panel anyway. On a 61 year old house, since you are paying for a house call anyway, it is cheap insurance to have plumber use his experienced eyes and a flashlight to take a quick look in there, if nothing else, and tell you if anything looks funny.( Like green or white stalactites growing from just-barely-leaking joints or anything like that.)
If just shower drain is slow, odds are it is just a hairball in the trap. May want to ask plumber if he can fit a different screen on the drain, that won't let as much hair go down. Then it is just a matter of running your finger over the drain as you get out of the shower, and moving the hairball to the trash can as you dry off. As a kid, I had multiple long-haired sisters- I had to clean the screen BEFORE I showered, or it would quickly get ankle-deep in there. Somehow, it never seemed to bother them.
--
aem sends....

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aemeijers wrote:

Females don't look down.
That's why they get so upset about the toilet seat being left up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We also have a shower/bath with a drain that gets slow draining over time. In our case it is due to a lack of pitch in the drain to the stack. Slime and crud accumulate, but there is no actual blockage. Getting a plumber with a snake eventually helps, because the snake will get the crud moving. I usually do it myself by using a good plunger with flowing water, after plugging the overflow hole with a wet cloth. It isn't pretty but it works, and it is a good workout.
--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

re: "what exactly is in an access panel..."
What's in (actually, *behind*) an access panel depends on what needs to be accessed.
re: "and when would a person use it?"
A person would use it whenever they needed to access whatever is behind the panel.
In my house I have 2 access panels:
One is to gain access to the tub plumbing (faucet and drain) in the main bathroom on the second floor. It's located in the hallway at the top of the stairs.
The other is to gain access to the dwelling's Pressure Reducing Valve. It's located in the ceiling of the basement bathroom.
If you ask nicely, I'll tell you a neat way to trim out an access panel in a ceiling where there is no room above it to lift it out.
P.S. My house used to have 3 access panels until I replaced the panel used to gain access to the attic with a pull-down staircase. My point is that it's hard to say "exactly" what's behind on access panel. They are not just for plumbing fixtures.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd be interested in knowing what you did. Around here, there is a trend in new homes to just cut a square opening in the drywall and snap in a plastic cover panel. The panels are available in different sizes and the opening is cut as required for the panel at hand. The panels are flat plastic on the outside, and have 8 tabs on the inside that fit against the cut drywall, holding the panel in place. They're used quite a bit for fire protection valves in the bigger homes, which are installed in the garages, typically. I've also seen them covering pressure reducers that are installed inside a wall for thermal protection in cold areas.
The plastic snap-in panels are sure not as durable as a trimmed out and hinged panel, but look better that a chunk of drywall scabbed over the hole.
Micajah
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.