As much as people use their showers, it’s bound to happen. At some point in time, you will experience the inconvenience of your shower drain backing up. When this happens, all sorts of questions might run through your mind. Why is my shower drain clogged? Do I need to call a plumber? What’s this going to cost me to fix? Before you panic, first know that an occasional clog is completely normal. Most clogs, if caught early enough can be resolved quickly and easily with a few DIY remedies.
What Causes Your Shower Drain to Clog?
Understanding what causes a shower drain to clog is just as important as knowing how to unclog it. What may seem obvious on the surface might be a bigger problem deep down in your drainage system that requires the services of a professional plumber.
For instance, one might conclude it is a simple hair clog that’s easily pulled out. However, when there’s no hair found, the alternative reasons might surprise you. Other clogs might be from soap scum or hard water buildup, foreign objects, tree roots, bugs, or rodents getting access from a broken drainage pipe or the main sewage line.
6 Ways to Unclog Your Shower Drain
It may seem like the best solution to purchase chemicals to unclog your shower drain. However, when these drain cleaners get used over and over, their ingredients will corrode your pipes. That erosion will lead to more buildup and weaken your pipes which can easily break or burst in the winter. Before you buy, consider using these solutions first.
Boiling Water – To break down soap scum, shampoo film, greases, and other gooey contents stuck in a shower drain, boil water and then slowly pour it down the drain. Now, based on the amount of buildup, you may need to make several attempts.
Natural Ingredients – Vinegar and baking soda are alternative solutions that neither harm nor corrode your pipes. Here’s the process. Pour one cup of baking soda into the drain. Wait a few minutes, add one cup of vinegar. After a few hours, use the boil water process to flush the drain.
Toilet Plunger – At times, unclogging your shower drain is done using a standard toilet plunger. Depending on what type of clog you have and the drain design, this method may provide plenty of suction power to remove the blockage. Do note: not recommended for hair clogs.
Hands-On – If you can see the clog, you might be able to pull out the blockage. It can be messy, but with gloves, a flashlight, and the help of a $2-$3 zip-it drain cleaning tool found at most home improvement stores, you can hook and pull out the clog. Once cleared, flush the drain with hot or boiling water.
Plumber’s Snake – If pulling out the blockage doesn’t work, you can use a plumber’s snake. You are simply pushing the snake down the drain while turning the handle until you’ve reached the clog. Once you’ve freed the blockage, pull the snake out with the clog attached.
Call The Plumber – If all attempts to unclog a shower drain have failed, the best solution is to call a professional plumber. A plumber will assess the situation and determine the best course of action.
How To Prevent a Shower Drain Clog?
If you’ve heard the old saying, “An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure,” that also applies to preventing a shower drain clog. The easiest method is using a drain protector. Those unique devices can easily catch hair or other foreign objects before falling down the drain.
If you have any questions about your shower drain and how to unclog it, contact Jackson Comfort Services today to speak with our plumbing experts!