Do you ever find yourself standing in an ankle-deep pool of soap-filled, murky water when you are taking a shower? If your shower water is draining slowly or not draining at all, this could be a sign that your drain is clogged.
Common Causes of Shower Drain Clogs and How to Clear Them
Shower drain blockages are commonly caused by a buildup of hair, soap, and scum. Longer hair can easily clog drains, and the buildup of soap worsens the problem by causing the hair to stick to the drain walls. Over time, this buildup will result in a full blockage. While clogged drains are common, you can follow these steps to clear them and prevent future clogs.
Pouring boiling water down your shower drain can help with breaking up the soap and scum buildup. Depending on the clog’s severity, it might not completely clear the blockage but can help with partially clearing it. Using this method once a week should help fight off future blockages.
Pro tip: Use a funnel or similar item to contain the water as your pour.
Using a plunger can be an effective way to clear a blockage, depending on the severity of the clog and how your drain is designed. Try lining the plunger’s seal with petroleum jelly to create a better suction and add water to the shower so that the end of the plunger is submerged. This method can help eliminate hair buildup, but always remember to remove caught hair in the drain cover after each shower.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
If you prefer a more natural solution to clear a clogged drain rather than cleaning chemicals, try using a baking soda and vinegar mixture. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and wait a few minutes before pouring a cup of vinegar down the drain too. Wait a couple of hours to see if the clog has dissolved. The last step is cleaning out the drain by pouring boiling water down it.
Chemical Cleaning Products
Many hardware stores and supermarkets sell chemical cleaners that are made to specifically unclog drains and blockages. Be very careful if you consider this method and follow the instructions carefully on the bottle. You should also wear gloves and goggles.
Pro tip: Harsh cleaning chemicals can cause damage to your pipes. Don’t use this method lightly. If your drain is blocked enough that you need a stronger approach than a natural solution but are hesitant to use harsh chemicals, it might be time to call the professionals.
Take off the Drain Cover and Use Your Hand to Pull Out the Clog
Although this method has a good chance of success, it requires using your hands. Just be sure to wear gloves as it can get a little icky! Remove the drain cover and look inside the drain to locate the clog. You might need to use a flashlight in some cases. If the clog is within reach, pull it out with your hand. This method usually works great for hair buildup, but if mineral buildup is the reason your drain is clogged, you may still need to use a stronger cleaning solution.
Use a Hook
When you can’t reach the clog by hand, try fishing it out of the drain with a piece of wire or a wire coat hanger. This old-school method has a fairly high success rate. Similar to using your hand, this method is typically successful with hair buildup, but if mineral buildup is the problem, you might need a different cleaning solution.
Use a Plumbers’ Snake
This method, working more often than not, is an affordable way to fix clogs and is relatively simple to do. All you have to do is push the snake down the drain until you reach the clog. Once you locate the clog, turn the snake’s handle and bring it back up. Run water down the drain to ensure the clog is entirely removed.
If you’re experiencing a severe drain clog and need professional help, Bobby's Plumbing, Inc. is here to assist you. Call (772) 248-0476 today to schedule an appointment.