How to Fix a Clogged Shower Drain When the Blockage Is Deep
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Did you know that the average person uses eighty to one hundred gallons of water per day? Whether it’s the shower or the toilet, we all rely on water throughout our day.
That’s why something like a clogged drain can throw a wrench into your entire day. A clogged shower drain is especially hard to deal with. This is due to the hair and debris that can easily get tangled deep down in the pipe.
So how do you deal with it? In this article, we’ll teach you how to fix a clogged shower drain. Let’s get started!
What Causes Clogged Shower Drains?
A lot of things go down our shower drains that we don’t think about. For example, the soap that we use every day is usually lined with grease, fats, or oils of some sort.
Over time, this material builds up in our drain and attaches to other types of debris. Body hair, dirt, and mineral deposits get caught in these fat pockets. If these clogs get big enough in weak pipes, then they can even cause leaks.
One small leak can waste 10,000 gallons of water a year. On top of that, they also attract roots systems growing under your house. Small roots can grow into these cracks which causes even more clogging.
As such, you must fix it as soon as possible. If you suspect that your pipes are leaking, then make sure to consult our guide first.
How to Fix a Clogged Shower Drain: DIY Solutions
There are plenty of do-it-yourself solutions to unclogging a shower drain. In this section, we’ll go over some of the popular methods.
However, keep in mind that if the clog is big enough, or deep enough, then you might not be able to get it with these tactics. When this happens you should consider contacting a professional plumber.
The first thing you should try using on your clogged shower drain is boiling water. This method is pretty easy to do, simply boil a pot of water and dump it down the drain. If you can, try using a funnel to concentrate the water.
Keep in mind that this method likely won’t work on large blocks. However, it’s worth a try on its own. If it doesn’t work, then try using it in tandem with one of the other methods.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution
If you want something stronger than boiling water, but not as harmful as chemicals, then baking soda/vinegar is a good solution. Remember your elementary school volcano science project? This is a lot like that.
Pour one cup of baking soda into your shower drain. Allow the baking soda to sit in the drain for a few minutes. This will give it time to coat everything. Then, pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain.
Ideally, this will dissolve any of the hair or debris in the drain. However, it will take a couple of hours. Once enough time has passed follow it up with some boiling water.
Remove the Debris With a Hook
Next, it’s time to try physically removing the clog. In some cases, you will be able to do this with your hands, but only for hair and small objects near the service. Anything else will require a longer tool that can reach further.
We recommend getting a wire coat hanger. Then, unravel it and shape it into a hook. Fish out as much of the clog as you can, then follow it up with some boiling hot water. Keep in mind that this method likely won’t work well against a mineral buildup blockage.
Find a Plumbers’ Snake
If you have one, then we highly recommend a plumbers’ snake for clearing out clogged shower drains. These tools can go much deeper than hooks to reach stubborn clogs.
Simply push the snake down until it reaches the block and can’t move anymore. Then, twist the handle and bring the debris to the surface. If this method doesn’t work, then the issue is likely serious.
More than likely it’s due to tree roots breaking through the pipes. Unfortunately, this problem can’t be fixed with a plumbers’ snake.
Chemicals should generally be saved as a last resort. For one thing, it isn’t good for the water supply when dumped down the drain. They can also permanently damage your drains, especially if they’re on the older side.
With that being said, they’re also an affordable and effective method of dealing with a clog. Just make sure you’re careful when handling them. Many unclogging chemicals are poisonous in enclosed areas.
When to Call a Professional
If none of these methods work on your clogged shower, then you will need to contact a professional plumber. Unfortunately, this means the clogged portion of the drain is too deep or big for you to reach it.
In some cases, it can even reveal a whole system of leaky pipes that need replacing. In this case, you will want the professional advice of a plumber before proceeding.
If you’re at all squeamish about body hair and gunky buildup, then we would recommend skipping the DIY solutions. Go straight to the plumber. The stuff that comes out of drains isn’t for the faint of heart to handle.
Need Help With Your Clogged Drain? Get in Touch With Suburban Plumbing
We hope this article helped you figure out how to fix a clogged shower drain. As we mentioned, some clogged drains are simply too difficult to handle without the help of a professional. So how do you find a plumber that you can trust?
If you live in Orange County, then look further than Suburban Plumbing. We’ve been serving the California community for over twenty years.
During this time, we’ve developed suburb customer relationships and reasonable rates that keep us in people’s contact lists. Not convinced? Contact us today and find out how we can help with any of your plumbing needs.