How to Unclog a Shower Drain

A clogged shower drain isn’t always a sign of a plumbing emergency. Soapy residue or hair can block up the drain but is usually easy to remove. This is a common reason for a clogged bathtub. Instead of calling a plumber, here is how to unclog a shower drain so you’re not left standing in a pool of soapy, grimy water.

Initial Steps to Take

Before you take any action, it helps to thoroughly assess the situation. What is causing the clog? How does the drain look? These initial steps will help you determine what to do next.

  • Look for Obstructions: Visible obstructions include clumps of hair or debris under the drain cap. Check inside the drain as well. If necessary, use a flashlight to see any hidden debris or solid objects.
  • Make Sure the Drain Is Open: Is the stopping component blocking the drain? If so, move the switch to open the drain, or unscrew the stopper and lift it out depending on what type you have. Water should then flow into the pipe again.
  • Try to Remove the Obstruction by Hand: If you can see the obstruction and reach it, try to remove it by hand. You may want to use rubber gloves if you don’t know what it is. Plastic drain hooks can help remove tough clogs.

Next Steps

Once you’ve looked at your clogged drain, here are a few steps you can take to resolve the issue :

  • Use a Plunger: Plunging is usually a quick way to clear simple blockages, such as hair. For a better chance of success, use force, submerge the end of the plunger in water or, for a better seal, add petroleum jelly around the suction pad’s edge
  • Use a Drain Snake: A plumber’s snake, available at hardware stores, is a flexible drilling tool with a retractable wire or coil. Push it down the drain and, when you feel the clog, turn the handle to push it through or draw it up. Drain snakes can be used to unclog toilets as well.
  • Boiling Water: Another way to clean drains is to pour boiling water down the drain. Heating soap scum and dirt buildup softens and loosens it, so it can be washed away. You can repeat this a few times until the drain works again.
  • Natural Drain Cleaner: Avoid conventional store-bought drain cleaners as they don’t work as the label says. Plus, they’re often made with harmful chemicals that can corrode pipes and otherwise damage your plumbing.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: If you suspect the blockage is deeper, pour one cup of baking soda down the drain. Wait a few minutes and do the same with one cup of vinegar. The mixture should dissolve the blockage in a few hours. Rinse the drain with boiling water to fully clean out the drain.
  • Call a Plumber: If you aren’t comfortable with unclogging your shower drain yourself, any methods you tried didn’t work or don’t have the time or patience, contact a professional plumber. This is the most direct way to resolve your clogged drain.

Contact Black Hills Inc. Home Services

A licensed and bonded plumbing repair company in Olympia, we can quickly figure out what’s causing your clogged shower drain and restore flow. Black Hills Home Services offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and an exclusive maintenance program. In addition, we provide HVAC service near you, including air duct cleaning, as well as electrical rewiring. Call 888-445-0585 or contact us online to request service.