How to Handle and Prevent a Clogged Shower Drain in Calgary, AB

A shower drain on a tile floor with droplets of water surrounding it after it has received services for clearing a clogged shower drain.

Do you find yourself standing ankle-deep (or worse) in standing water at the end of your shower? Chances are good that you’re dealing with a shower drain that's been blocked with debris like soap scum and hair. A drain issue like that isn't something you should ignore. Luckily, you can always get help with clearing your clogged shower drain in Calgary.

This particular plumbing problem is pervasive. It's often caused by hair that is shed while showering and gets washed down your pipes, along with soap scum and many other kinds of debris. All those culprits create stubborn clogs that can be difficult to clear. If you leave drain blockages like that for too long, your shower might never empty out properly.

Are you familiar with the struggle of having a clogged drain in your shower? The professional plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary have all the information you need to know about clearing Calgary clogged shower drains and stopping them from coming back—plus a wide range of services for everything from clearing shower drain clogs to other types of plumbing service in Calgary.

Calgary Clogged Shower Drain Solutions

1. Use a Plunger

Plungers have a long history of being used to clear out clogged drains. That's because they're often the best tool for the job. So, grab yourself a plunger, get your hands on some petroleum jelly, and roll up your sleeves! It's time to apply some good old-fashioned elbow grease to this plumbing issue.

Start by running your shower until the water level rises enough to cover the rim of your plunger's cup. Next, apply some petroleum jelly to the rim of your plunger (this step is optional but will create a tighter seal) and pop it down over your blocked opening. From there, it's a matter of pumping fast to dislodge the clog.

Don't worry if it doesn't work on your first attempt. It may take multiple tries, mixed with efforts to clear away any hair or other surface-level debris with your fingers. To speed things along a bit, you could try flushing out blockages with hot water in-between plunger efforts (ensure that you are very careful around any hot or boiling water).

2. Use a Wire Hanger

Do you have a spare wire coat hanger in the closet? Go and grab it, snip it along one side with some wire cutters and bend over the end to fashion a makeshift hook. You can then poke this down to see if you can reach, dislodge and remove any hair or gunk.

With any luck, you’ll be able to clear the main blockage by hand. In more serious cases, try combining these efforts with another attempt at plunging. Dig out as much muck as possible before repeating the process above. If you also flush your clogged shower drain with hot water for good measure, you should be able to clear away most debris in your blocked pipe.

3. Invest in a Plumbing Snake

A makeshift coat-hanger hook is essentially a rudimentary plumbing snake. Drain snakes are purpose-built to enter pipes, dislodge anything inside and pull it all out. If you have a seriously clogged shower drain in Calgary, then it might be worth making a trip to your local hardware store.

As soon as you have a plumbing snake in hand, you can remove your shower’s drain cover and insert it carefully inside. Without forcing anything, twist the snake as it descends and remove it when you can’t go any further. Expect it to be covered in all sorts of hair, grime, and gunk! Remove all gunk from the plumbing snake and repeat this process until you destroy your clog. Owning a drain snake is handy, and knowing how to use one is a key part of basic Calgary drain repair.

4. Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

If your shower clog is refusing to budge, try stepping things up a notch by flushing it with white vinegar and baking soda instead of just boiling water. For Calgary clogged shower drains that have enough debris—or a big enough hair clog—to completely block the pipe, this classic, caustic cleaning combination could deliver extra power to sort out the situation.

The Three-Step Process:

  1. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the shower drain.
  2. Add half a cup of vinegar (the stuff that’s in your kitchen is fine!), and wait about 15 minutes while the cleaning agent gets to work (expect it to fizz and froth throughout the proceedings).
  3. Pour in a kettle full of boiling water to dislodge whatever’s left.

5. Call a Plumber

If all else fails, then the quickest and easiest way to deal with clogged shower drains is to call a licensed plumber. The experts working at local plumbing companies like Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary have all the skills, insights, and tools to resolve plumbing issues in record time. You'll save yourself a whole lot of time, hassle, and hardship by getting their help with your plumbing blockage.

It’s also worth remembering that there are risks involved with DIY approaches to plumbing problems in Calgary. You could inadvertently make a bad situation worse and turn what should have been an easy fix into a major plumbing emergency. Seeking professional plumbing support from the start helps you avoid the complications that could cause plumbing emergencies.

Can You Use Drain Cleaner to Clear a Clogged Shower Drain in Calgary, AB?

In general, it's the least recommended solution. Natural and DIY methods should prove useful for most clogs in Calgary. However, every now and again, you might need something more potent. In those cases, calling a licensed plumber is the preferred solution for most people. However, some homeowners in Calgary also think about using drain cleaners to eradicate the debris inside their slow drains.

You should be aware that these cleaning products are highly corrosive and bad for the environment to boot. They could damage your pipe, and they also have the chance to cause negative health effects when they're not used properly. Using those harsh chemicals will also make any later attempts at plumbing repairs more difficult, as anyone attempting to clear that debris could be forced to work around the remaining cleaner.

How Do You Prevent Calgary Clogged Shower Drains?

Knowing how to clear a clogged shower drain is useful, but the real secret to success is knowing how to stop blockage from occurring in the first place. You’ll save yourself a whole world of trouble if you wrap your head around this all-important piece of the puzzle. Thankfully, it’s far from rocket science. By employing a few simple steps and strategies, you’ll easily steer clear of clogged shower drains in Calgary.

1. Brush Before Showering

Hate the process of getting all that gunky hair out? Well, do yourself a favor and minimize the amount that falls out in the first place!

Giving your hair a thorough brush before using your shower will make life ten times easier in the future because you'll be able to gather up any loose hairs in advance and put them straight in the trash instead of letting them collect in the drain later. Oh, and if you're mid-shower and see more strands fall out, try placing them to one side before they go down the plughole.

The same applies to anybody who washes their pets in their showers. There’s nothing like a shedding dog to cause clogged drains! Brushing them before their bath will save you a lot of time and hassle.

2. Use a Hair Catcher

Another quick, easy, inexpensive trick to stop blocks from forming is to put a hair catcher over your drain. These tiny trays are available at most hardware stores in Calgary. They cover your shower’s drainage hole and perform a similar function to a kitchen sink strainer: allowing water through but nothing else. In other words, they’ll catch any hair that would otherwise have gone down the drain!

You'll still have to fish and throw away any strands that collect in the cover. Get your hands on one ASAP, though, and you'll go a long way toward preventing bigger problems. Whether you buy them online or in-store, they'll only set you back a few bucks.

3. Clear Hair Away After Every Shower

One of the simplest ways to prevent blockages is to clean out any hair from your cover, catcher, or bathtub drain stopper after every shower. It can be a bit gross sometimes — hair that collects there is slimy, grotty, and grimy to the touch. Fishing it out, picking it up, and removing it from the shower isn't most people's idea of fun, but it will definitely help prevent issues caused by clogged shower drains in Calgary.

Try to think of it as short-term pain for long-term gain. Failing to get rid of it will make a bad situation worse over time because the hair will continue to build up as days and weeks go by, eventually causing those dreaded blocked drains to occur.

Clearing out hair each time is especially important if you choose to install a catcher or strainer. As that cover fills with hair and other debris, it will also reduce or block water flow. So if it's not cleared regularly, it could end up causing some of the problems that it's supposed to prevent.

4. Choose Hair Products with Care

Do you avoid pouring fats, oil, and grease into your kitchen sink? Are you doing the same thing for the waste lines and plumbing fixtures in your bathroom?

One thing hair catchers can’t-stop from going down the drain is oil. And that's a bigger problem than you might think. Why? Because many modern hair-care and personal hygiene products are full of it! For example, shampoos and conditioners may contain coconut oil, almond oil, argan oil, various essential oils, or a combination of all of the above. Whether you have a hair catcher in place or not, these oily solutions go down the drain, line the inside of your pipes, and re-solidify as sludge along your pipe walls.

Alas, the only way to avoid Calgary clogged shower drains caused by oil-based products is to not use those products. Try using alternative shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and so on that don't contain insoluble oils. By avoiding those oils, you'll reduce the amount of buildup inside your sewer line, which helps protect your pipes and create a clear runway for water to flow.

5. Get Flushing

Flushing your drains on a regular basis (try to do it monthly, if you can) is an effective way to clear them of anything that’s accumulated inside and prevent other things (including oil) from causing future Calgary clogged shower drains.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1: Boil a kettle full of water.
  • Step 2: Clear away any obvious hair from your shower drain.
  • Step 3: Pour half the boiling water down.
  • Step 4: Wait for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Step 5: Pour the remaining water down.

And that's it; you've officially flushed your drain! With any luck, the first pour of boiling water will loosen up any oil, hair, and detritus gathered inside; the second pour should wash it all away.

Top Tip: feel free to repeat this process numerous times if you ever have a more stubborn clog on your hands.

Do You Need a Drain Cleaning Service for a Clogged Shower Drain in Calgary, AB?

Few things in life are more frustrating than a clogged shower. All you want to do is relax in a nice, hot shower. Instead, you’re forced to stand in an ever-rising pool of tepid, grimy water! The good news is that most Calgary clogged showers can be handled with relative ease, especially when you call a professional plumber to do it for you.

The courteous, friendly, skilled plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary are here to help clear your blockage and complete any other plumbing repairs that you might need. Whether you need help with blockages in your shower, kitchen drains, a clogged toilet, or another part of your plumbing system, we're here to get the job done right! We can even help with major plumbing problems like clogged pipes that cause a sewer backup.

Call to schedule an appointment with our team or learn more about our plumbing services. We proudly serve many communities across Calgary, from Forest Lawn to Glamorgan and beyond. Whether you need help with clogged drain lines in your bathroom or sewer clogs and tree roots in underground pipes, our plumbing experts are ready to help resolve your drainage issues.