We’ve all been there… standing in the shower and all of a sudden your feet are under water and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Unclogging shower drains is a common problem in every household and it doesn’t have to be a difficult one to solve.
Shower drains are so common, because they are literally building up every time you take a shower – soap scum, hair, oil, dead skin… it’s not a pretty picture… but the reality is, these things are flowing down your drain all the time, and they will eventually build up to the point where they can clog drains.
Rather than calling a plumber every time you get a clogged shower drain, here’s a a list of things you can try first. This should be enough to solve 90% of your shower drain problems. For the other 10%, call us at SewerTV and we will gladly help you out!
Unclog Shower Drains with the Plunger Method
Just as your first response for clearing a clogged toilet would be to use a plunger, a lot of the times, this is the only tool you’ll need. To aid in the effectiveness of the plunging and to increase suction, you can spread a petroleum jelly around the rim of the plunger to get a better seal. Also, you will need to cover any air overflow drains in your tub or shower – you can use a wet washcloth or tape to block these holes. Once you have all this, you can plunge the drain with 10-15 pumps at a time and keep checking to see if it loosens up and eventually clears the drain.
Unclog Shower Drains with The Coat Hanger Method
This method can also be very effective in unclogging shower drains. Use a screwdriver to remove any drain covers and grab a flash light. Shine the flashlight into the drain and you might be able to see a mound of hair or other blockage that is clogging the drain. Insert a straightened wire coat hanger and see if you can pierce or even fish out whatever is clogging the drain.
Unclog Shower Drains with Baking Soda & Vinegar
If you can’t see a clog or unclog it in the prior two ways, you can always use some household products – like white vinegar and baking soda to try and flush it out. This takes a little more time (a matter of hours) but is effective in flushing out and unclogging drains. A common ratio for this method is 3/4 cups of baking soda followed by the same amount of vinegar. Covering the drain after pouring in the solution is also effective to isolate the clog and keeping the solution down the drain.
Unclog Shower Drains with a Plumber’s Snake
To unclog shower drains that are particularly difficult, sometimes you need to bring in more specialized equipment like a plumber’s auger (aka the plumber’s snake). These are good for unclogging shower drains because they are longer than a coat hanger (usually 3-6 feet) and are flexible. They will have a hand crank that you can turn to drill down into a clogged shower drain and hopefully push through, or unclog the shower drain.
Unclog Shower Drains with Chemicals
If none of this works, you can always try to buy a chemical drain cleaner like Draino at your hardware store. This stuff is made up of very strong acids and other chemicals, so be very careful. Wear rubber gloves and make sure you ventilate the bathroom by opening windows and turning on fans.
All of these methods have been proven to teach you how to unclog a shower drain, but sometimes… you just need to call in a professional when the water won’t seem to go down. You could have more serious problems and a professional plumber may have the know how to fix it. Contact us if we can help!