How to Unclog a Shower Drain in an RV

How to Unclog a Shower Drain in an RV
RV plumbing is more fragile than house plumbing. The plumbing pipes, onboard gray water, and black water tanks in a RV are made out of plastic. Caustic household drain openers and mechanical augers damage RV pipes, tanks, valves and seals. Shower drain clogs in RVs are usually caused by hair or items dropped down the drain. Using gentle drain opening methods, you can remove the clog without damaging the RV plumbing system.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Sink plunger
  • Enzyme based drain opener designed for RV use
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Flashlight
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Hand auger
Step 1
Check to see if your gray water tank is full before you remove the clog. If your gray water tank is full, your shower will not drain.
Step 2
Plunge a shower filled with sitting water using a sink plunger. Place the plunger over the drain opening, and push down on the plunger until it forms a seal around the drain. Pull the plunger up and down until you release the clog and the water drains from the shower. If the water does not drain after 15 minutes of plunging, try a different method.
Step 3
Pour an enzyme based drain opener designed for RV use down the drain or make your own drain opener using a mixture of 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup white vinegar. Let the drain opener sit in the drain overnight, to allow it time to eat away at the clog. In the morning, run hot water down the drain. Plunge the shower drain again for 15 minutes if the clog remains.
Step 4
Look down the drain to see if you can identify the offending clog. Point a flashlight down the drain to help you see. If you can see an object or hairball that is causing the clog, try to remove it using a coat hanger wire. To make a coat hanger wire, unfold a wire coat hanger and straighten the wire, until it is relatively straight. Work slowly and carefully with the coat hanger wire in the drain, to avoid damaging the RV plumbing. Place the wire through or under the offending item, so that you can pull it up through the shower drain and remove the clog.
Step 5
Unclog the drain using a hand auger. A hand auger is a drain opening tool available for purchase in the plumbing section of home improvement stores that is powered manually with your hands, instead of mechanically. Mechanical augers damage RV plumbing, so only use a hand auger. To use the hand auger, insert the auger tip into the shower drain. Gently push and guide the auger into the drain, and push the clog through the pipes and into the gray water tank.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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