How to Unclog A Shower Drain? | Day & Night Air Conditioning, Furnace, & Plumbing

What You’ll Learn

As you read about how to unclog a blocked shower drain, you’ll learn:

  • Slow drains are on their way to becoming so clogged that they back up completely, so it’s important to diagnose the problem and get service quickly.
  • There are multiple ways to deal with a slow drain or even one that is completely blocked, but some ways are better than others.
  • Good habits and preventative plumbing maintenance in Phoenix can help you from developing a blocked shower drain in the first place.

What to Do When You Have a Clogged Shower Drain

Unfortunately, drains clog over time. It’s almost unavoidable, and it really starts to make sense once you think about all of the different things that end up going down the drain over time in addition to water. There’s toothpaste going into the bathroom sink and food going into the kitchen sink. Of all the drains in your home, the ones that are most at risk might be the ones in your shower.

The first thing you should do when you have a blocked shower drain is try to identify the source of the blockage. Look for anything on the drain cap that could be obstructing the flow of water. If that doesn’t turn anything up, it might be time to remove the drain cap and look into the drain itself. You’ll likely need a flashlight to get some visibility down there. If you can see a ball of hair or some other type of blockage, try to pull it out.

Sometimes, people think they have a blocked shower drain, but they actually just have a problem with the stopper. Make sure your drain is open first. That is, confirm that there is room between the stopper and the drain so water can flow through. If there isn’t, and if you can’t open the stopper, you have a problem with that mechanism and need shower repairs.

If the drain is open and unblocked, there are a few other things you can try:

  • Pull the clog out by hand. You might want some rubber gloves for this. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to stick a wire hanger or something similar into your drain, because that can damage the pipes.
  • Use boiling water. Pouring boiling hot water down the drain can sometimes get rid of soap buildups and similar problems. Just be careful that you don’t get burned by boiling water that backs up.
  • Try baking soda and vinegar. One cup of each should be a good mix, and you can rinse afterward with boiling water. This type of natural drain clog remover is better than the ones that use harsh chemicals because it is less likely to damage your pipes.
  • Use a drain snake. Of course, most people don’t have one of these handy, at which point it will probably be less expensive (plus way faster) to call a plumber instead of buying a lot of equipment. 

If these steps above aren’t working, you’re going to have to call a professional for your blocked shower drain. Any full-service plumbing company knows how to unclog a shower drain. Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing will have the tools and expertise required to undo stubborn clogs. 

Signs of a Clogged Shower Drain

It’s awful to have water backing up in your shower, and these types of problems always arise at the worst times, like when you’re trying to get ready for an important day at work. That’s why it helps to know the following three signs so you can get drain service before you have a mess on your hands:

  1. Slow Drainage – If the water isn’t running out as quickly as it used to, you’re already starting to see some early effects of a blocked shower drain. The water might drain eventually, but you will have a complete blockage on your hands soon if you don’t do something about it. It isn’t normal for water to pool up while you’re taking your shower.
  2. Puddle Around Shower – This is one of the most severe signs of a clogged drain. If the water has nowhere to go, a  backup is actually the best-case scenario. Sometimes the water pressure builds up so much that the pipe will start leaking or even burst. The water that escapes your plumbing system will start to form puddles around the base of your shower, and it may even leak through a roof below.
  3. Bad Smell in Shower – Even though your drains do carry some waste out of your home, the pipes shouldn’t necessarily smell bad. If you have a bad smell coming out of the drain in your shower, it probably means that something has gotten stuck in your pipe and is starting to rot. It could also point to an issue with the main sewer line that causes bad smells to come up through your pipes. In either case, though, you should call a plumber immediately.

What Causes Drain Blockages?

The best way to prevent a blocked shower drain is to practice good habits, like making sure you don’t wash too much hair down the drain. You can do this with a drain cover, for example. Also avoid body oils, large pieces of dirt, and anything else that can cause drain problems. Finally, keep up with your drain cleaning routine by having a plumber out for tune-ups and maintenance at regular intervals. This helps you avoid clogs.

Call Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing for More Help

Our team here at Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating, and Plumbing knows what it takes to keep things running smoothly in your home. As a full-service drain company in the Phoenix area, we know what it takes to handle a blocked shower drain or any other type of plumbing problem. Schedule online at your convenience.

When you have a slow shower drain or a completely blocked shower drain, you need answers right away. Whether it ends up being a hair clog or some other type of shower drain clog, waiting is likely to make the problem worse. Here are answers to some of the biggest questions we get about clogged drains.

How to Prevent Clogged Shower Drains

The best way to prevent a blocked shower drain is to get regular maintenance for it. That means having a plumber perform service on it at regular intervals so you don’t end up needing an emergency shower drain snake. Slow drains are starting to become clogged, so this is a sign that you need service sooner rather than later. Ideally, you would get shower drain service even before problems start to arise.

What to Do When You Have a Clogged Shower Drain

When you have a blocked shower drain, try to balance the short-term emergency with the long-term health of your drain and pipes. Some quick fixes might use corrosive materials that are bad for your pipes, which could lead to much more serious problems in the future. The best way to deal with a blocked shower drain is to call a professional plumber, especially for stubborn clogs. Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing is a full-service drain company in Phoenix, and you can schedule service online at your convenience.

Featured Image: Jason Finn/Shutterstock

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