Have you ever stepped into the shower and noticed a pool of water forming around your ankles? Things like loose hair, conditioner, and other gunk can easily cause clogs in your shower. If you want to get your shower draining properly again, you need to learn how to unclog a shower drain.
Fortunately, this is one of the easiest plumbing problems to fix yourself. Here are some tried-and-tested methods of getting the clog out of your shower drain.
How to Unclog the Drain Using Basic Household Ingredients
The simplest way to handle a clogged shower drain is just using a few basic household ingredients. This method works to break up clogs and can kill the nasty mildew or mold in your drain.
An easy option any homeowner will have on hand is boiling water. Approved by home repair legend Bob Vila himself, boiling water works for some drain clogs because it removes the gunk that causes some shower clogs. All you have to do is heat up water and pour it slowly down the drain.
Another option is reminiscent of elementary school science projects. You start by pouring about a cup of baking soda into the drain and giving it a few minutes to seep downward. Then, you pour a cup of vinegar in the drain. This causes a fizzy explosion that can push clogs out of your pipes and drain.
How to Unclog a Drain With Chemicals
There are chemicals specifically designed to eat away hair and other grime that can cause a shower drain clog. These methods are effective but you need to take some safety precautions. Be sure to wear gloves and goggles and pour slowly to avoid splashing. Follow all the directions carefully as instructed on the container to avoid injury.
However, keep in mind that many plumbing experts do not recommend the drain cleaning chemicals you get at your hardware store. Repeated use of these can cause damage to your pipes, resulting in an even bigger plumbing problem.
How to Unclog a Shower Drain Manually
If the basic methods for unclogging a shower drain mentioned above are not cutting it, it might be time to take things a step further and unclog the shower drain manually. Those who have a plunger can try plunging the shower drain just like they would a toilet. In some cases, this can be enough to shift the clog and get water moving through your pipes again.
If the clog is close to the top of the shower drain, which happens a lot with bathtub-style plugs, you can go ahead and pull it straight out. Check out your shower drain and see how easy it is to remove it. Some styles can be popped right out of your shower while others may need to be unscrewed. (Be prepared for a lot of slime and a nasty smell.) It is definitely not fun to handle, but the good news is that you can get your drain functioning again in just a few minutes.
If the clog is farther down the drain, then it might be time to start snaking. A basic snake tool can reach into the pipe, hook on the clog, and pull it straight out. Another option is picking a snake with an auger attached. This can break up a clog into tiny pieces that you can then flush through the drain.
Don’t have the right tools for the job or just feel too grossed out to do it yourself? Let a professional help. Being prepared for the unexpected with a repair plan from Service Lines Warranties of America is a good strategy.
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