How to Plumb a Bathroom


A drain blockage could cause a backup in the shower, toilet or bathroom sink. Sometimes the toilet will not flush all the way since something, perhaps as simple as too much toilet paper, is stuck inside the piping. If after a shower the water tends to drain slowly, there is a blockage in the bathroom's drainage. There are several things you can do to plumb the bathroom and get the water draining smoothly again.

Things You'll Need

  • Closet auger
  • Drain and trap auger
  • Plunger
  • Detergent and bottle brush
  • Wrench
  • Use a plunger to unclog the toilet. Press the plunger against the hole in the toilet and pump it up and down. If this doesn't unclog the toilet, then use a closet auger. This has a coil at one end and a crank handle on the other. Place the flexible coil into the drain and turn the handle to make it turn into the piping. This will go down further into the toilet's piping to clear the pathway. If this still doesn't unclog the toilet, then use a trap and drain auger. This has a longer coil than the closet auger and will be able to do down further into the toilet piping.

  • Unclog the bathroom sink. Use a plunger or auger. Another way of plumbing the sink is to cleanout the plug under the sink. Some sinks will have a trap that can be cleaned out by removing the cover to the trap. This would be located at the bottom of the piping before entering the wall fixture. You can stick a hanger through to probe through and see if you can pull anything out or use a wrench to disconnect the pipe and clean it out with detergent and a bottle brush.

  • Plumb the floor drain. A drain in the shower can be plumbed by using a hose rather than an auger. Remove the strainer from the drain and attach the hose to the faucet. Push the hose as far down as you can and pack rags round the hose near the entrance of the drain. Turn the water on full force and turn it off. Repeat turning on the water and turning it off.

  • Use an auger to plumb the bathroom tub. Unscrew the overflow plate and lift it up and out. Then run the closet auger through the piping. It should reach the point where the tub drain meets the overflow and unclog the pipes.

  • Open up the drum trap. This would be in older homes and on the floor near the tub. Use a wrench to unscrew the cover of the trap. Remove the rubber gasket and put the drain and trap auger through the drum which is the lower piping towards the tub. Then pull it out and re-enter through the left side which is the upper piping and goes to the main drain in the bathroom.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands and skin. Turn off the water when working on plumbing.

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