How to Unclog a Shower Drain


Are you dealing with a clogged shower drain? If so, you’re not alone. A clogged shower drain is a common problem that many homeowners face at some point. The good news is that there are several things you can do to unclog your shower drain and get it flowing freely again. With a few simple tools and some elbow grease, you can clear that clog in no time. Read on to learn clogged shower drains and how to clear them.

Why Does a Shower Drain Clog?

A shower drain clog can be an inconvenient surprise, often resulting in water pooling around your feet when you shower. The underlying cause of shower drain blockages is typically a combination of built-up debris from everyday use. A clog is usually caused by hair, soap scum and dirt that has accumulated in the shower.  When showering, tiny particles and fibers from these shampoos, body washes, and other toiletries get caught in the trap and can eventually lead to a full-on clog. 

Hair is one of the most common culprits when it comes to shower drain clogs, as it can tangle around the small pipes or get caught in shower grates and create an obstruction. Soap scum and dirt will also build up over time if shower drains aren’t regularly cleaned, eventually leading to a blocked drain. 

 Luckily, shower drain clogs can be prevented by regularly cleaning the shower with a disinfectant cleaner and deodorizer that removes accumulated dirt and soap scum. Taking steps such as using a shower drain cover or regularly draining hair from the shower should help prevent such blockages from occurring in the future.

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Clogged Shower Drain

When shower drains become clogged, it can be daunting to figure out the best way to fix the issue. But with a few do’s and don’ts in mind, you should be able to keep your shower drain running freely. 

Firstly, make sure that only shower-appropriate items are going down the drain; this means avoiding hair products, toothpaste remnants and other foreign objects that could lead to clogs. 

Secondly, use strainers and covers on drains so that larger objects like toys or jewelry don’t end up being flushed away; regularly cleaning these covers should help prevent further clogs. 

Next, when necessary use store bought solutions as a last resort. Overuse of these products may actually harm your pipes, as they can be corrosive to your plumbing system.  When this happens, it can lead to bigger problems in your plumbing system than a clogged shower drain.

Lastly, for more complex clogs or those that fail to respond to the plunger method it’s best to hire a professional plumber who will have access to more advanced techniques for unclogging shower drains without causing damage.

Unclogging Your Shower Drain

Unclogging shower drains can seem intimidating, but with a few simple and safe steps it can become a quick and easy task. 

Use a Plunger

The first step is to look into the shower drain for any visible blockages, such as hair or soap scum. Sometimes you can pull out a visible clump of hair if it is high enough in the drain.  Make sure you wear gloves, though, as this can be a bit gross.  If no blockage is visible, the next technique is to use a plunging tool.  Start by filling up your shower enough to cover the lip of the plunger.  Then, start slowly pushing and pulling the plunger up and down over the shower drain in order to loosen the clog.  You may have to push the plunger several times to loosen the clog, especially if it is especially blocked.

Use a Drain Snake

If using a plunger doesn’t work, try using a drain snake – or auger – to dislodge the blockage. You will want to push the snake far enough down the pipe to hit the clog, and then begin to turn the handle.  This tool is suitable for unclogging showers and other plumbing drains, as it goes around the pipe’s curves while withdrawing the debris lodged in the line. 

Additionally, you should remove shower drain covers or strainers that may be preventing proper drainage. These may have collected hair and other debris over time, so make sure you clean them off to allow them to work properly again.

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

If plunging, using a drain snake, and cleaning off the drain cover fail to help with the clog, there are other methods to try to clear the drain.  Mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar in a measuring cup and pour it down into the shower drain; leave it there for 10 minutes, follow up by pouring warm water down the drain to wash away the excess debris and residue. 

By following these steps you will surely have your shower draining properly in no time!  If nothing seems to work, however, you may want to consider calling a professional for help.

Contact White’s Plumbing Today

A clogged shower drain can be a nuisance. However, by understanding why drains clog and following the dos and don’ts of unclogging your drain, you can help prevent future clogs. If your shower drain does become clogged, there are several methods you can use to unclog it yourself. If you find that your drain is still clogged after trying these methods or if you would prefer to not attempt to unclog it yourself, contact White’s Plumbing LLC near Youngsville, NC, for assistance. We will be happy to help get your shower drain running smoothly again.

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