Residential plumbing contractors can help you to clear a stubborn shower drain with relative ease. It may only take a few minutes of work to stop the water from building up around your ankles each time you want to get clean.
Before you start trying to determine the best listing from a “plumbing and heating companies near me” web search, you may be able to unclog the shower drain yourself. Most clogs are manageable with home remedies and a little time.
The tools you need may already be in your home. If these suggestions fail to clear your drain, that is the time to contact the residential plumbing contractors in your area.
Best Ways to Unclog a Shower Drain
It may not cost anything to unclog a stubborn drain. Some of these methods require tap water, a plunger, or old-fashioned elbow grease.
Try these ideas to ensure that your drain runs clear once again.
1. Pour hot water down the drain.
Bring a stockpot of water to a boil on your stove top or range. Once you get to the rolling stage, take the liquid off of the heat. Allow it to cool for a couple of minutes before pouring it down your shower drain.
You don’t want to use boiling water for this task because the heat places stress on your plumbing framework. Trading one problem for a costlier headache doesn’t seem like a good idea! It helps to have the water temperature at 180°F (82°C) for this method.
If you can take the drain protector off, use a funnel for the hot water to avoid spilling it on yourself or other bathroom fixtures. The hot water can clear soap, grease, or oil clogs that may be causing your shower drain to back up. This method may not be successful with matted hair.
2. Use a plunger to clear your drain.
Plungers work on all drain types. If your shower clog is rooted in the pipes, this tool might help to dislodge it. The problem with plunging a shower drain is that you may not get a usable seal. Placing a small amount of petroleum jelly around the edge of the tool can resolve this issue. It may also be helpful to have water in the shower to create more pressure to place on the clog.
Although it may not be a successful method, it is a low-cost attempt to get your drain running again.
3. Use the combination of vinegar and baking soda to clear the clog.
If you don’t want to use a lye-based de-clogging product, the natural combination of vinegar and baking soda could clear your shower drain. Some residential plumbing contractors use this method to preserve a building’s support structure because it is such an effective way to remove a clog.
Here are the steps to follow if you want to try this method on your drain.
- Pour about 1 cup of baking soda into the clogged shower drain.
- Wait for about 15 minutes.
- Pour about 1 cup of industrial-strength white vinegar into the drain.
- Wait for about two hours.
- Flush the shower drain with hot water (not boiling) to see if it is clear.
4. Remove the clog by hand.
Sticking your hand into a drain is gross. It is also one of the most effective ways to remove a clog. It helps to wear a pair of tear-resistant rubber gloves if you plan to reach into your shower drain to remove a clog.
Most shower drain covers have a screw that you must remove before you can access the plumbing underneath. Some models require you to pry the lid off with a tool like a flat-head screwdriver. Once the cover is off, look inside the drain. If you can reach the clog, pull it out with your hands. This option works well for problems that involve surface-level matted hair or small objects.
If you cannot reach the clog by hand or your shower drain is too small for your fingers to fit into it, a hook is an effective way to remove the problem. Untwist a wire hanger to create a tool that you can use to reach far enough down to the affected area.
A plumber’s snake is another tool to use to break up tough clogs that other methods cannot resolve. If your blockage comes from hair or a small object, this option may be less useful since it might push the problem further into your plumbing infrastructure.
5. Use a chemical-based solution to remove the clog.
The plumbing and heating companies near your home often use chemical-based solutions for tough clogs. Their products have greater strength than what you find at local stores, but the processes to use the item are the same.
Chemical cleaners require you to pour a specific amount down the shower drain. You’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your selected de-clogger to ensure its safe use. Although it may not seem necessary, please wear gloves and safety goggles when using a chemical-based cleaner for your shower drain. Splashes could irritate your skin or adversely impact your vision.
You cannot mix the chemicals found in commercial de-clogging products because you could produce toxic gas. Here are the specific mixtures you must avoid.
- Mixing ammonia and bleach creates chlorine gas, which can be toxic when breathed at a high enough level.
- Vinegar and bleach produce a toxic chlorine gas that’s so dangerous that countries used it during World War I as a chemical weapon.
- Mixing vinegar with hydrogen peroxide creates peracetic acid, which is corrosive and dangerous to human tissues.
- Bleach and rubbing alcohol form chloroacetone or chloroform. The first substance is a form of tear gas, while the second can cause rapid unconsciousness.
If you suspect that you’ve created a toxic substance unintentionally, get to fresh air immediately. It helps to work in a well-ventilated space to avoid fumes from any cleaning product, so try to open some windows before working on your clogged shower drain.
When Should I Contact a Plumber?
If you don’t like the idea of taking a drain apart or using chemical-based products to remove a clog, contacting a professional plumber is an effective solution.
Searching for the “best plumbing and heating companies near me” in your preferred search engine will provide several potential businesses that can provide the services you need. Residential plumbing contractors should be licensed, insured, and bonded. Most communities require professionals to pass certified tests or show skill proficiency before being allowed to work in this industry. Verifying the credentials of the person or company you hire ensures you hire a qualified individual.
Try to get at least three quotes for your shower drain problem before selecting a provider. Although price isn’t an indicator of value, some agencies may charge less if the job turns out to be relatively simple.
How to Stop Future Clogs?
Once you or the plumber you’ve hired removes the shower drain clog, preventative measures should happen to stop this situation from repeating. Prevention is typically better than the cure of hiring a residential plumbing contractor to fix your bathroom issue!
If you don’t have one, purchase a drain protector that can stop most hair and small objects from entering the drain. This one tool can prevent most problems. Having a secure soap dish helps because it prevents having hair stick together as it tries to go down the drain. Regularly cleaning the shower to remove soap scum and similar issues reduce the risk of grease and solids building up over time to create a clog.
Knowing how to unclog a shower drain helps you save money and avoid the hassle of a water backup. A residential plumbing contractor can assist when you need an extra hand. You can call Greenhouse Plumbing and Heating at (425) 999-9417 or check out our Facebook page for more information and deals.