At times, you may notice that your shower takes a long time to empty; this condition is most likely as a result of a clogged shower drain. Shower drains can become clogged with hair, soap scum, minerals from hard water other debris accumulated from months of washing.
A clogged shower drain proves to be quite annoying. Apart from giving you an icky feeling when you are taking a shower, with time, it may cause an unpleasant odor.
Unclogging a clogged shower drain is not a tedious job, and you can do it all by yourself. After unclogging the shower drain, you should work on reducing the chances of experiencing another drainage problem.
Before calling a plumber to come and check your drainage system, it would be worth to try the following number of ways.
Using a Plunger and Hot Water
Sometimes a clog can be caused by an accumulation of dirt such as hair which has been held together by soap or grease. Pouring boiling water down the drain will break the soap enabling the materials to flow with the draining water.
However, this method alone may not be efficient if the dirt had built up over time. Plungers are useful in sucking out accumulated dirt such as hair pulp which is deep down the drain.
The time and costs involved in using this method are minimal. For a maximum sealing while using the plunger, apply any petroleum jelly at the suction rubber.
Use of a Homemade Solution (Baking Soda and Vinegar)
Instead of going for commercial cleaning chemicals, you may decide to use this natural solution. For this method, you will require baking soda, vinegar, boiling water, and a rag.
Pour baking soda followed vinegar into the drain. Each should be about half a cup. Block the entrance of the shower drain with the rag and wait for twenty minutes. The vinegar will chemically react with the baking soda producing a fizzing reaction which pushes the clog down the drain.
This method is best applied when the shower is not in use. To completely remove the clog, repeat the above steps. This method is eco-friendly and does not damage the plastic pipes.
Use a Drain Snake
A drain snake is a plumbing tool designed to deal with clogged shower drains. It is available in many hardware stores at an affordable price. Ensure that you pick the best drain snake that is big enough for your shower drain.
A small drain snake can easily bend inside the drain making it hard to get out or pull out the clog. To use this tool, you will first need to screw out the drain gate. Push it down the pipe.
Try and vary the lengths by which you push it down. Start by pushing it down around 10 feet and then pulling it back. Observe if the water will start to drain.
If you don’t see any changes, push it down further. When the drain empties the water, you can pull out the snake drain and screw the drain gate back to position.
Use Commercial Chemicals
You can use strong chemical cleaners which are available at any supermarket or hardware store. However, when working with these chemicals, ensure that you follow the instructions carefully. Do not use too many chemicals.
Wear gloves and an apron since most of these chemicals are dangerous on human skin. Do not mix chemicals as they may produce poisonous gas. Even though the use of commercial chemicals is easy and cheaper, excessive usage may damage the drainage pipes.
Use of a Wire Hook
Using a hook to remove a clog is one of the most common methods. The success rate of this method is high and you can, therefore, rely on it. If the clog is near but cannot be pulled out by hand, use a hook.
Look for hard wire and bend it into a hook. Push it down the drain and hook the clog. You can then pull it out slowly with the clog. Pour hot water down the drain to break any soap that might hold any other dirt.
Removing the Drain Gate and Pulling out the Clog by Hand
Assuming that the clog is near the drain gate, you can use your hand to pull it out. It is the easiest method that you can try before going for other complex ways. You should wear a glove since the drainage systems are dirty.
Screw out the drain gate and try to reach the clog. You can decide to use a flashlight for better visibility. This method is best when removing a clog caused by an accumulation of hair.
One of the main signs of a clogged shower drain is finding yourself in a pool of water after taking a bath. Most of the time, a shower drain doesn’t clog abruptly. It starts by slowing the speed at which it empties water until the water cannot flow out anymore.
Once you have unclogged your shower drain, start working on how you will prevent future blockages. Start by acquiring a drain protector. It captures hair and bits of soap that could have accumulated into a pulp.
You can also apply some of the methods above even if there is no clog. Pour hot water or vinegar and baking soda into the drain from time to time. It will prevent the accumulation of water minerals which will eventually lead to clogging.