Have you ever found yourself in ankle-deep murky water after showering? You’re most likely dealing with a clogged shower drain.
If shower water drains slowly or doesn’t move, it is called standing water and is a sign that your drain is clogged. This could be a small blockage or a significant obstruction in your sewer line.
You’d need professional assistance for the latter, but you can tackle the former at home. But if you’re unsure how to clear a blocked shower drain.
Let’s dive into the dirty waters without further delay on how to fix your clogged shower drain.
Don’t have time to read the complete guide? Here is a quick summary of unblocking your shower drain:
Immediately after pouring baking soda down the drain, pour distilled vinegar down the drain. Fizzing is created by the combination, which works away any obstruction. Pour a kettle of hot water down the drain to remove the blockage after it has worked for at least twenty minutes.
How To Know If Your Shower Drain Is Clogged?
Apart from the non-movement of water, you’ll find a foul smell. In some severe cases, there might be leakages, or your bathroom might start flooding too. If there are voids in shower grouts, this standing water could creep into walls and cause damage.
Why Do Drain Blockages Occur?
Most drain blockages are dirt, soap scum, and hair build-up. Especially long hair tends to clog drains, while soap makes the situation worse by making this hair stick to drain walls. Due to such obstructions, it becomes increasingly complex for water to flow through with time until a blockage occurs.
While you should try to remove such blockages, if they repeatedly happen all over your house, it is a sign that the main sewer line has a severe obstruction that needs professional treatment. A clogged drain can cause serious issues to your home’s plumbing system and should be treated as a high-importance maintenance problem.
7 Methods To Unclog Shower Drains
Whilst we have a detailed guide on unblocking common drains, the steps below outline solutions for your shower drain blockage.
1. Pour Boiling Water Into Drains
Hot water can break down soap or grease that might have accumulated and clear the passageway of these drains. Simply heating water and pouring it down the drain suffices, but you can use a funnel to concentrate this flow for better results.
Usually, this sole method might not yield good results if the blockage has occurred over time. But you can apply it alongside one of the other methods listed below for practical solutions.
Keep in mind that boiling water is above the melting temperature of PVC. Whilst pouring boiling water down your shower drain can unblock it, it may cause other issues. If it doesn’t work the first time, don’t continue trying with this method.
2. Using Plungers
This depends on two factors- the kind of blockage and drain design. If the clog happens to be deep and consists of a lot of hair, you’ll find it hard to get enough suction with plungers.
While using it, you should try to apply petroleum jelly to the edges for a better seal. Then add water to the shower so your plunger is submerged, and use it forcefully. While this method might not be immediately successful, it is a great starter solution involving little time and cost.
3. Using Vinegar And Baking Soda
As a natural alternative to chemicals, you can resort to these options. First, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and wait for some time before pouring in vinegar. After a few hours, see if the clog is dissolved and wash it out with hot water for complete cleanliness.
Although this option is more ecologically viable, you’ll notice that sometimes using chemicals offers better and quicker results.
4. Using Hands To Pull Out Clogs
Though this method guarantees a fair amount of success, many homeowners don’t want to get their hands dirty. If it does come to relying on your strength to take off the drain cover and pull out the clog, we advise wearing rubber gloves.
First, try and locate the clog; you might need to use a flashlight. If it is accessible, pull it out using sheer strength. While you’ll find this suitable for clogs with hair or smaller particles, it is not as effective during the mineral build-up.
5. Using Hooks
Proven one of the oldest and most effective methods, this is not so different from using your hands. Of course, a hook is helpful if the clog isn’t as accessible. We advise devising it from wire hangers and pulling out the clog.
Most of the steps mentioned above have to be followed here, but you should remember that it isn’t handy in the case of mineral deposits.
Try using a wire coat hanger bent into the shape of a hook to pull out whatever is causing the blockage.
6. Using Toilet Jacks
This method is also known as an electric eel or a plumbers’ snake; this method is cheap and yields good results. Using it is because you must put the tool down your drain and turn its handle before bringing it up again.
This tool should remove the clog, but you can always run water to test whether the drain is clear. If tree roots cause your clog, this tool won’t be too practical, but you’ll mostly see clogs are relatively simple to clear out and don’t need this tool to be used.
7. Using Chemicals
Strong chemical cleaners are readily available at hardware stores and are guaranteed to clear any clogs. But you should read the instructions and apply them carefully. Be careful about the amounts you use, and always wear your mask and goggles for safety.
Ensure that chemicals aren’t mixed because it results in poisonous gases, and while applying them, always try and pour the entire thing down the drain in one go.
Although chemicals are affordable and highly effective, be sure not to use them lightly. They are bound to damage the drainage pipes over time if applied repeatedly. Therefore, this should be one of the last options.
Preventing Future Clogs
We believe that prevention is always better than cure, so even if you have managed to unclog your shower drain, there are steps you can take to prevent it from happening again. Get a drain protector that can catch hair and debris to avoid blocks. Securing soap dishes also avoids such mishaps.
Shower Drain Clog Solutions
Following the steps outlined above, you’ll find your shower drains uncluttered, leaving you to enjoy baths in peace. However, if none of these methods works, you can contact Big Blue Plumbing. We will be glad to resolve your blocked shower drain on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa or Moreton Bay regions.
Take preventative measures whenever possible, and remember that if a problem persists, it could mean there is a more severe issue at hand.
Until next time!