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How To Unclog A Shower Drain

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Plumbing Guides

When you’re in the shower, you may have noticed that the water is pooling by your feet. This problem might be so bad that the water level rises to your ankles.

If you find yourself drawing a bath even though the drain is in use, you most likely have a clog in the system.

This doesn’t mean that you need to call the plumber just yet though, as there are a couple of easy ways to unclog the drain.

What Caused The Clog?

We define a clogged drain as a drain which is slowly releasing water from the shower base. Shower bases are meant to be drained quickly, so slow-moving water is often a sign of a problem.

If your shower has been clogged, it may be because of loose items that have formed a dam over time. This could be matts of hair, bathroom products and other waste sticking together to create an obstruction.

Because we put so much down our drains, it’s normal for a clog to build over time. So when this issue eventually happens, we need to be aware of how to fix it.

Bonus Drain: How to unclog a bathtub drain

First Inspection

Before we dive into the tips to remove a clog, we first need to see what’s going on.

There might be an obvious obstruction that you can easily remove without any worry.

The most common form of clogging comes from hair. You can normally see a couple of tufts hanging around the drain.

If you notice this, slowly and gently pull the hairs out of the drain. You will be surprised by how much has gathered further down the pipes.

For other obstructions, you might need a flashlight to view the items with more ease.

If your drain has a stopper, you may need to remove it by either lifting it up or pushing it down to release the catching valve.

Once removed, you should notice hairs or other obstacles blocking the water flow.

With the stopper removed, the water should move easily. If that’s the case, then the stopper worked correctly and easily captured all of the waste, preventing it from gathering in your pipes.

All you need to do is clean the stopper and then put it back around the drain.

4 Ways To Unclog A Shower Drain 

Once you have completed your initial inspection and found that the simple fixes have not worked, it is time to move on to something more “hands-on.”

Bonus Read: Guide on How to Unclog A Shower Drain with Standing Water

1. Removing The Clog By Hand

We have already talked about pulling wisps of hair and finding a massive ball attached to the end, but this time we want you to go further.

Put on some rubber gloves and use your fingers to search around the drain. If you can pull up some of the grime and dirt, you may be able to yank out the obstructing issue.

Be warned – do not use a coat hanger or any other sharp and long item. It might be tempting to scrape out the problem, but you will likely cause damage to the pipes instead.

2. Use A Plumber’s Snake

Unlike a coat hanger, a drain snake (also known as a plumber’s snake) is designed to go down your pipes and collect obstructions while not harming your home at the same time.

They are often retractable and always flexible, with little plastic spikes along the edges that collect debris as you push and twist them down the drain.

If the plastic options don’t sit well with your eco-friendly conscience, you can also buy metal ones. These are much more expensive and require you to rotate a dish that moves the “snake” up and down.

These metal options are often easier to use, easier to clean, and less likely to break while in use.

Bonus Read: How To Use A Drain Snake

3. Pour Boiling Water Down The Drain

If you cannot find the reason for the obstruction, even after using a metal plumber’s snake, then you should pour boiling water down the drain.

This is so that any congealed soap that might have stuck to the pipes can be melted away. Soap can often stick to the sides of your pipes which is why a drain snake might miss their target.

We recommend you do this a couple of times to make sure that the soap is completely gone. You could even do this after a successful unclogging from a drain snake to make sure that no area is left uncleaned.

4. Create A Drain Cleaning Solution

Sometimes boiling water isn’t enough to melt away the soapy residue, especially if it has been sitting in your pipes for years. However, that doesn’t mean you have to buy a drain cleaning solution.

In fact, most drain cleaners don’t work as effectively as natural homemade cleaners. The only positive difference they make is that they add a pleasing smell to the end product.

Instead, you should create this solution to make your own (and more effective) drain cleaner.

After mixing your ingredients together, let the solution rest. While that is happening, pour boiling water down the drain to dislodge any big obstructions. Wait a couple of seconds for the water to do its job, and then pour the mixture down too.

At this point, you should wait for 15 minutes for the solution to break down any solids.

Once those 15 minutes are up, you should rinse the drain with more boiling water.

5. Bonus Tip – Call A Plumber

If you have tried all of these methods and nothing has worked, then you should try calling a plumber.

Our methods should have dislodged, broken down, and scooped out any of the obstructions causing the blockage, but if nothing is working then, this is a sign that something more serious has happened to your pipes.

You should call a plumber to make sure that your waterworks are safe and repairs can be made.

Prevention

To stop your shower from clogging in the future, we recommend pouring boiling water down the drain once a week.

To be extra safe, you can follow the homemade cleaning solution method once a month too.

If the problem is way beyond a DIY fix, then it’s time to call the true experts. With Best Plumbers Club, we can find the best plumbers near you! We have the best network of US-based plumbers that provides top-notch drain clearing services of all sorts. Whether you’re in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, or anywhere in the US, trust that there’s a verified plumber we can recommend!

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