You’ll realize that your shower is clogged when you’re standing calf-deep in a pool of water during your shower. Many believe that it’s could just an off day for the drain, but a clogged drain won’t go away on it’s own. The sooner you attack the issue, the easier it will be to resolve and get you back to using your shower normally again. Shower drains can become clogged from a lump of knotted hair, grease, dirt, and/or soap. There are methods you can try to unclog your shower drain before calling a plumber or breaking the bank on expensive drain clearers. Here is a guide on how to unclog a shower drain so you can get back to showering in peace and comfort.
Method 1: Use Your Hands
After you haven’t used your shower for a few hours and the water has emptied from the pipes, unscrew the drain stopper with a screwdriver. If you can’t find the screw, lift the stopper and you can usually see it when it’s at tub level. Once your drain is open, use a flashlight to see if the clog is at the surface. If applicable, wear gloves and pull out the object that’s causing the clog.
If you can’t see the clog, unwind a wire hanger so that you have a long piece of wire. Using pliers, bend the end of your wire and reach the wire into the drain to attempt to catch the clog and pull it out. Repeat this process as many times as you need until the clog is removed.
Test to see if you completely unclogged your drain by pouring water down and see if water moves freely.
Method 2: Boiling Water
After you haven’t used your shower for a few hours and water has emptied from the pipes, fill a saucepan with water and heat until the water is boiling. Carefully bring the pot to your shower and pour the hot water down the drain. Boiling water can sometimes break down the soap or grease that’s holding the clog together and clear the blockage. This method usually helps clear the clog, but it’s recommended to finish clearing the drain by using one of the following methods.
Method 3: Use a Plunger
If your shower doesn’t have a pool of water already, fill your shower with enough water for the end of a plunger to be submerged. With your shower drain still unscrewed, begin plunging your shower drain by moving the plunger’s handle up and down five to ten times. After you’ve plunged the drain, check the drain with a flashlight to see if what’s causing the clog has surfaced. If not, use your wire hanger to see if you can remove anything close to the surface. If what was clogging your drain hasn’t appeared, pour water down your drain to see if plunging cleared out the clog.
Method 4: Baking Soda and Vinegar
Before you result to using chemical commercial drain clearers, use baking soda and vinegar. This method won’t cause any damage to plastic pipes and is ecologically preferable. After you haven’t used your shower for a few hours and water has emptied from the pipes, pour one cup of baking soda down your drain. Wait five to ten minutes, and then pour one cup of vinegar down the drain. This solution can help dissolve clogs made from hair and grease. After waiting a few hours after pouring down the baking soda and vinegar, pour three to four cups of boiling water down to flush out the baking soda/vinegar and most importantly, the clog.
Method 5: Use a Hand Snake
If you don’t already own one, head to your local hardware store and pick up a hand snake. After waiting a few hours for water to be emptied from your drain, place the snake at the mouth of the drain. Continue to feed the snake into the drain until you feel resistance- this means you’ve reached the clog. Turn the crank on the hand snake in a clockwise direction as you pull the tool out of the drain. The clog should be carried up with the end of the hand snake and your water should be able to run freely after the clog has been removed.
When you’re finished performing any of these methods, remember to screw your drain back on once the water runs freely. If you have a really tough clog that wasn’t alleviated by performing any of these methods, use store bought chemical cleaners designed to unblock drains or call your plumber as a last resort so they can identify the source and treat your drain accordingly. To prevent future clogs, consider investing in a drain protector to catch hair and stop it from clogging up your drain.
Sources: dengarden.com, wikihow.
Images: homeguides.sfgate.com, handmanhowto.com, thisoldhouse.com, pinterest, wikihow.