Smell Coming from Shower Drain When Having a Shower

Hi long time lurker first time poster here I noticed a smell coming from the shower drain recently tried the usual things I read online like bi carb soda vinegar hot water down there it didn’t go away then called a plumber he plunged it and put the snake down the drain and he said he couldn’t find anything clogging it, anyway after about 5 mins in the shower it starts to smell of sewage gas again.It does not smell when I am not using it.

Any drain plumber out there knows what I could do the house is on a slab (13 yrs old)I called the plumber back he now seems to think the rubber seal has gone on the toilet and that is where the smell is coming from am reluctant to get him back again


  • Get a 2-3 plumbers to look at it and see what they all say.

    • +1

      you mean 4-5

  • The water from your shower should have an S bend in the line before it connects with any other pipe carrying sewerage.
    Hard to tell if one was installed now being on a slab.
    The plumber should have checked this first up.
    Has it always been like this or only recently?

  • +18

    Stop waffle stomping?

    • +2

      I almost spat my lunch onto my keyboard!!

      • There's no shame in a good ol waffling……

  • +3

    Given the age of the house, it is possibly build up of soap, shampoo and conditioner etc in the drain. Try removing the strainer fitting in the drain, then using a new toilet brush and some Duck Toilet Gel give the drain a good clean as far as you can safely reach with the brush. Run the shower to wash debris and cleaner down the drain. This worked for me.

  • +7

    A new house would fix it

  • +1

    It does have an s bend in the drain have put bleach down there as well and I have removed the strainer it’s been cleaned many times the smell just appeared about a month or two ago have poured plenty of water down all the drains in the house.

  • I'd buy some caustic soda crystals and let that sit in the drain for a few hours. Do every drain in the house - 2 tablespoons per drain including the floor wastes. (it is nasty stuff so gloves, eye protection and good ventilation essential).

    Follow it up with bicarb soda & liberal doses of cheap vinegar.

    If possible, get in there with bottle brushes or scouring pads.

    Have you actually put your hand into the P-trap and scooped out the build-up?

  • +2

    Hi big1964

    1) No smell when not showering.
    2) After 5mins, smell appears.
    3) Tried cleaning but to no avail.

    Possible Problems:
    1) It is likely the shower waster is connected to the WC. And there may be a blockage somewhere along the line so that when you are showering and a large amount of water is pushing through, the sewer gases can backflow due to the pressure build up. [Clear the blockage and all's well again.]
    2) It could also be that your air escape vent leading to the roof or externally is not venting properly and hence the backflow of gases when showering. [Clear the air escape vent pipe and it could solve your problems. Btw, the vent pipe is normally not accessible as it's normally in the roof space or roof top.]

    Finally, like most members commented, give it a good clean before calling out the plumber. It may just solve it for you.
    If that does not, a plumber with a camera has to come in and scope your pipes to see whats going on.

    Best of luck.

  • Yes the plumber scooped out the trap all he could find was a bit of hair will try and do what you say if with the caustic soda

  • Thanks Lexus 101 I did see the vent on the roof will look at that as well

    • +4

      Take care. Don't venture onto your roof unless you know what you are doing. I tried cleaning my gutters every year but one day I fell like a sack of potatoes and hurt for a whole week. Thankfully, my body landed first onto grass not my head. Wife barred me forever and I have a phobia going up ladders now.

      • +1

        You were lucky, one of my ex work colleagues fell off a ladder and fractured his pelvis. Start with having someone hold the ladder and don’t stretch.

  • -1

    Stop pissing in the shower

  • you can look for a product like this

    i'm sure there are alternatives that may or may not be cheaper but at least it will give you a starting point.

    these types of solutions work well and are easy to pop out and clean / replace if needed.

  • Possibly the drain pipes under the shower were installed incorrectly. You have to put them at certain angles to avoid that smell trap.

  • I tried grateseal it didn't work

  • We have a similar problem. Have tried vinegar bicarb which works for a little while. Need to try something stronger, but keep forgetting to purchase it. Seems to reduce the problem if we use the exhaust fan before starting the shower.

  • +1

    "It does not smell when I am not using it."

    Does it smell if someone else uses it?

  • I live on my own and no one is allowed to use it because I live in Melbourne under stage 4

  • Mate what I normally do is boiling/hot water down the drains first and then bleach down each of them, including the toilet (even dump some into the water reservoir), let it do its magic for about 20 minutes and then boiling/hot water to flush it all. It sounds a more serious problem if the smell is still lingering.

  • +1

    Thanks neo have put 2 litres of bleach down there with hot water it’s not as bad as It was though

  • The smell occurs when hot steamy water goes down the pipe and the steam comes up which wafts up whatever is down there. I’d say you’ve been using the shower as a toilet a bit too much.

    Flush it with hot water and some drain cleaner.

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