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How to Get a Shower Drain Unclogged

The plumbing in your home is one of those things you never think about until something goes wrong. Just about every plumbing fixture in your home can become clogged, from the kitchen and bathroom sinks to the tub and toilet. Clogged drains are annoying and can slow you down when getting ready in the morning.

A clogged shower drain is one in particular you don't want to deal with. Baths take forever to drain and showers leave you with soapy water pooling around your ankles. Stop putting up with your clogged shower drain and clear it out in just three easy steps!

Step 1: Remove Hair and Soap Scum

The most common reason for a clogged shower drain is a simple accumulation of hair and soap scum. This is easy to get rid of.

Start by removing the drain screen if your shower has one. Unscrew it from the drain hole so you can see inside - or, if your shower has a pop-up drain, raise the lever to open the drain and pull the stopper out of the drain hole.

Once the drain opening is clear, stick a bent wire down the hole and wiggle it around to help hair and other gunk latch on. Pull as much of the clog out of the drain as possible, tossing it in the trash as you go.

When the drain is as clear as you can get it, run the tub to see if the clog is gone. If so, rinse any residue off the stopper and replace it in the drain opening. If not, move on to step 2.

Step 2: Use the Baking Soda and Vinegar Technique

The second method for unclogging a shower drain involves making your own drain cleaner. This is a safe, nontoxic alternative to using a chemical drain cleaner, making it a preferable method.

Pour ¼ cup of baking soda into the drain followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Leave the foaming, bubbling chemical reaction to work for 15 to 20 minutes.

While you wait, boil a large pot of water. When enough time has elapsed, pour the water directly into the drain to wash away the baking soda and vinegar - and hopefully all the gunk clogging your shower drain, too. Turn on the bathtub faucet and see if the drain is clear. If not, move on to step 3.

Step 3: Plunge the Drain

Just as you can plunge a clogged toilet or sink, you can also plunge the shower drain. This is the final step you should take if the previous two methods aren't enough to clear the drain.

Fill the tub with an inch or two of water. If your tub has an overflow plate, cover the holes with a wet rag or duct tape. Force air into the drain with several sharp plunging movements. Let the water drain and test if the clog has been removed. Complete a series of three or four attempts. Then run the bathtub to see if it drains normally.

One of these three steps is bound to work if you have a slow drain caused by a small clog. However, if you discover your shower drain has more than just a superficial clog, you'll need to call a plumber. Leave the job to an experienced Mr. Rooter® plumber. Contact us today to schedule a visit.


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