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How to Unclog a Shower Drain

Clogged shower drains are a problem that creeps up on people. The tub or shower pan gradually takes longer and longer to drain. You’ll notice that water builds up around your ankles as you wash. This is a sure sign that it’s time to learn how to unclog a shower drain. The problem is not going to go away on its own. It will only get worse unless you remove the hair and gunk blocking the pipe.

Waste lines on showers are prone to clogging. Soap scum and hair are the main culprits although oily bath products contribute to the problem. No one can prevent clogging entirely, but you can take steps to limit how often shower clogs develop. If you’re having issues with a clogged shower drain, give the expert plumbers at Oliver a call at 1-888-810-2681. Our pros have been helping homeowners throughout the Delaware Valley and at the Jersey Shore for over 50 years.

Tools You’ll Needed How to Unclog a Shower Drain

  • Rubber gloves
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic drain snake
  • Metal drain snake
  • Kettle

Tips for Keeping Shower Drains Clear

Drains fall into the category of out of sight and out of mind. To put an end to nasty clogs, you should adopt a drain maintenance routine. Occasionally pour baking soda down the drain and then white vinegar. After letting the chemical reactions break up residue for a few minutes, rinse the drain with hot water. The baking soda/vinegar combination dissolves soap scum. Without the scum to bind hair into clumps, the hair can flow away to the sewer.

If you don’t have a drain cover already, install one. This is a screen that fits over the drain hole. They are available at any hardware or home supply store. Some covers simply set over the drain, but others are installed with a screw. After you shower, wipe up the hair that the screen stopped and throw it away.

As already mentioned, oily bath products can build into clogs. The oil hardens farther down the pipe as the hot water from the shower cools. You’ll keep your drains cleaner if you apply moisturizing products after your shower.

Finally, don’t add any unnecessary dirt and debris to your shower. Avoid the temptation to shake dirt out of a bathmat into the shower.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain Step by Step

  1. Just as baking soda and vinegar can maintain a clear line, the mixture can attack a clog.
  2. Start by pouring some boiling water down the drain.
  3. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda.
  4. Pour the mixture down the drain.
  5. Let the mixture fizz in the drain for 15 minutes.
  6. Flush with more boiling water.
  7. Sometimes, you simply need to remove a clog near the surface instead of using a homemade drain cleaner.
  8. If you already have a drain cover, remove it.
  9. A visible clog of hair and soap scum may be trapped at the entrance of the pipe.
  10. Put on rubber gloves and scrape out the clog with your fingers. It’s not a pretty activity but is well worth the effort.
  11. For clogs a little farther down the drain, get a plastic drain snake. This is a thin wand with ridges on its edges and a little handle.
  12. Insert the plastic snake into the drain and work it down for its entire length.
  13. Spin the snake by turning the wand with the handle.
  14. Pull the snake out. It will grab a bunch of gunk out of the pipe.
  15. In some situations, the clog is several feet or more down the pipe. This problem calls for a metal drain snake. This tool has a narrow coil that can reach far down into the plumbing.
  16. Insert the tip of the metal coil into the drain.
  17. Crank the snake’s handle to unwind the coil.
  18. Use firm and steady pressure as you unwind to force the coil down the pipe.
  19. You might feel it hit the clog.
  20. Keep pushing on the snake a little more and then wind the coil back up.
  21. The snake might pull out the clog or break it up so it can be flushed out of the pipe.
  22. Run the water to confirm that the drain has been cleared.
  23. If snaking fails, you can try boiling water.
  24. Bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil.
  25. Transport it very carefully to the shower and pour down the drain.
  26. The boiling water might dissolve a clog held together by congealed oils.

When none of these basic homeowner strategies work on a shower drain, it’s time to call a plumber. You should resist the urge to use a chemical drain cleaner. They can be damaging to pipes. Oliver’s professional drain cleaning service will solve the most stubborn waste line problems. We have scopes for inspecting clogs deep down the line as well as longer industrial snakes. Contact us today for an estimate!

Do You Want To Remodel Your Bathroom?

Keeping drains clear is a normal part of maintaining a bath regardless of its age. Eventually, however, you may decide it’s time to remodel your bathroom making it much more modern. At Oliver, we have a highly accomplished bath remodeling team. We can handle every aspect of the plumbing, electrical, flooring, and fixture installation. To transform your bath from dismal to dazzling, contact Oliver for bath remodeling estimate today.

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

Contact us today at 1-888-810-2681 Get a Free Estimate
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