What to Do When You Have a Clogged Shower Drain


Are you standing ankle-deep in soapy water by the time you finish your morning shower? This is a sign of a plumbing problem, but don’t worry, you’re not alone—a clogged shower drain is a fairly common household problem and a decidedly unpleasant one to solve.

Not only does a clogged shower leave a nasty, unsanitary residue in your shower or bathtub (not to mention on your feet), it can cause bigger problems for your bathroom and drainage system down the road.

But don’t panic! With a little know-how and some tips from the Edmonton plumbers at Mr. Rooter, you should be able to get it unclogged and get back to enjoying your showers again—without feeling like you’re splashing around in a mud puddle.

There are several methods you can use to treat a clogged shower. The one you choose depends on the tools at hand and the degree of the problem. This guide will go over the steps to getting your shower unclogged and explain some of the causes so you can detect early warning signs and avoid problems in the future.

Why is My Shower Drain Clogged?

You may be wondering why you got a clog, to begin with. Your drainage pipes are designed to carry wastewater away from your home and into the Edmonton sanitary sewer. When something prevents the water from running through your pipes, it has nowhere to go and pools up in your shower.

Some common things that cause clogs are:

  • Soap scum build-up
  • Clumps of hair and dead skin cells that have gathered inside your pipe over time
  • Hard water deposits
  • Stuff mistakenly washed downpipes such as shampoo bottle caps or other small items
  • More serious issues such as tree roots intruding into the pipe

How to Fix a Clogged Shower Drain

Time to get in there and try some methods of getting that clog under control. Depending on how severe your problem is, and what’s causing it, you may be able to get it fixed yourself without too much hassle.

But, if you’re not confident in your shower unclogging abilities or you’ve tried and nothing seems to be working, just give Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton a call. We have the expertise and tools to find out exactly what is causing your plumbing problem and to get it completely fixed. We’re available 24/7 for emergencies and our pricing is always an upfront flat rate with no overtime fees.

Step 1: Remove All Standing Water From the Shower

If there’s still a pool of standing water in the bottom of your shower or bathtub, the first thing you’ll need to do is get it drained out. There are a couple of things you can try, but first, put on a pair of rubber gloves (trust us, you’ll need them).

With your rubber gloves on, reach into the water and feel around for anything that you can scoop out with your hand that may be causing your blockage, like a clump of hair or a chunk of soap.

If there’s a drainage cover, you will probably need to remove it first so you can reach your fingers down into the drain an inch or two. If you remove a blockage and the shower immediately begins draining normally, congratulations—problem solved!

If the water is still moving very slowly or not at all, your next step is to bail the water out. Get a bucket and a smaller container that you don’t mind getting dirty and scoop the water out into the bucket. Use a bucket instead of just bailing it directly into the sink or toilet, in case you scoop up debris that could clog another drain in your bathroom.

If you have a shower and bathtub combo, check your bathtub for an overflow drain and, if there is one, make sure it’s not clogged by anything since a clogged overflow can contribute to the problem with your shower.

Step 2: Use a Plunger

Once you’ve removed the standing water from the shower as much as possible, reach for a handy tool that is probably already sitting in your bathroom: a toilet plunger.

Place the plunger over the drain (you’re still wearing those rubber gloves, right?), and make sure the plunger is completely covering the opening. Then plunge the handle up and down, pretty much exactly the same way you would use it on the toilet.

Hopefully, the plunging action will suction the clog up into the plunger (or at least close enough that you can fish it out with your fingers). Patience is key with this technique as it may take quite a bit of plunging to get the clog to move up. If you keep at it, it can be a very effective tool for clearing your clog.

Step 3: Use a Drain Snake

When you’ve tried everything else and that stubborn shower drain is still clogged, it’s time to go fishing. Not the fun kind of fishing, but rather fishing a big nasty clog with a drain snake.

You can buy an inexpensive drain snake at most hardware stores, but if you don’t have access to an actual plumbing snake, you can try it with a wire coat hanger. Straighten out the hanger and then fold one end back to form a long and narrow hook.

Take your plumbing snake and lower it down the drain until you reach the clog. Continue pushing and rotating the snake until you no longer feel the resistance of the clog, then slowly pull it up and out.

Once you get the clog safely out of your shower drain, run some hot water and give it a good rinse to ensure the pipe is back in working condition.

Step 4: Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton

If you’ve followed the above steps and you still have a clogged shower drain, it’s time to call Mr. Rooter. At this point, it’s safe to assume that you’re not dealing with the standard clump of hair or soap scum build-up. There’s likely something more serious causing your drain to be clogged—such as tree roots intruding into your wastewater pipes—and there’s nothing lying around your home that will allow you to solve that problem on your own.

Fortunately, our friendly and reliable team at Mr. Rooter has the know-how to track your problem to its source and eliminate it entirely so you can enjoy your shower again and have peace of mind that your home is functioning properly.

How Can I Prevent a Clogged Shower Drain?

After going through all the steps to unclog your shower drain, you’re likely keen to prevent it from happening again. There’s a couple of things you can do to help ensure you won’t have to suffer through another clog for quite some time.

Use a Hair Catcher

Since hair and other small items like shampoo caps are a common cause of clogged shower drains, you can stop a clog before it happens by using a hair catcher. This simple, inexpensive device is easy to install and gives an extra layer of protection against hair and other items falling into your drain pipe.

Flush All Your Drains

You’ll need a few other people to help you out with this one, but flushing all your drains in your house once in a while can keep all your drains relatively clog-free.

Simply close all your shower, bathtub, and sink drains and fill your bathtubs and sinks with warm water. Station a person next to each drain, then have them pull all the plugs at the same time, flushing any debris out of your pipes in one swoop.

Rely on Mr. Rooter to Clear Your Clogged Shower Drain

If you’re dealing with a clogged shower, stop struggling with a drainage system that’s not working correctly, and let our trusted experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton take care of your plumbing needs so you can get back to living in a perfectly functioning home. Mr. Rooter always charges an upfront flat rate with no overtime fees.

Call or fill out the request job estimate form on our website to find out why locals consider our team at Mr. Rooter to be Edmonton’s most reliable plumbers!