If you observe a buildup of standing water during showers or a bathtub that takes forever to empty, it may be time to inspect the drain.
Why do blockages occur in the first place?A plugged drain drains slowly. A significant blockage may be to blame for a blocked toilet or kitchen sink, but shower drains generally slow down when they acquire hair, lint, or residue from bath products over time. (It goes for bathroom sink clogs, too. Consider all that toothpaste!
What to do if you feel your shower drain is blockedFirst and foremost, inspect your drain for any obvious obstructions. The most prevalent cause is hair clumps. Look below your drain cap and inside if nothing is apparent outside. Employ a flashlight if necessary. Remove anything that seems to be clogging the drain.
After that, double-check that your drain is open. Is there space for water between your drain stopper and the pipe? The method you use depends on the kind of drain and stopper you have: Some gutters feature a plug that may be unscrewed and lifted entirely out. Bathtub-shower combinations often have a switch beneath the faucet that opens and shuts the drain. Check whether your drain has a stopping mechanism and if the stopper isn't accidentally blocking the drain.
If you've removed any apparent obstacles and confirmed that the drain is clear, but the water is still not draining, it's time to unclog.
5 Methods for Unclogging Your Shower DrainTo remove or dissolve the blockage, use one of these procedures.
Hand-clear the obstruction.
A blockage is sometimes readily evident at the surface and easily accessible. Slap on some rubber gloves and do your best to dislodge the blockage. There are few plastic hooks explicitly designed for this reason. (Using a wire coat hanger here may be tempting, but do so at your own risk.)
Make use of a drain snake.
A drain snake, often known as a plumber's snake, is a retractable, flexible drilling instrument available at home improvement shops. With the snake's hand crank, you'll shoot a metal wire down the drain to break up or remove whatever is obstructing it. Disposable plastic snakes are available, which need no cranking and may even be used to unclog a blocked toilet. After using your drain snake, be sure you clean it.
Make use of a kettle of boiling water.
If no apparent impediments obstruct the drain and a drain snake has been ineffective, contact with hot water may assist in dissolving softer buildup around the edges, such as soap scum. Rep the procedure two or three times more.
Make use of a natural drain cleaner.
Traditional drain cleaners, such as Drano, perform less effectively than they advertise because they often include hazardous chemicals. With minor blockages, natural DIY cleansers may be equally effective as chemical cleaners. Combine 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar (distilled white vinegar works best). To free the drain, pour boiling water down it first, then add the baking soda-vinegar mixture and wait 15 minutes. Rinse with hot water one more.
Contact a plumber. If none of the above has reduced the pace of the drain, it is necessary to contact a professional.
4 Clog Prevention TipsUse a drain cover- Snags of hair are nearly often the cause of blocked shower drains. A simple rubber or plastic drain cover is a low-cost technique to catch stray strands after each shower.
Avoid using body scrubs- Body oils may make your skin feel great, but most end up in the drain when you rinse, solidifying overnight as the pipes cool between usage. Avoid using greasy bath products, or reserve them until after the shower.
There is no waste- It may be tempting to dump a trash can or shake a rug into the shower and wash everything away, but bigger particles of dirt and debris may build and exacerbate blockages later on.
Excellent drain care- Including drain cleaning in your cleaning regimen. Maintain a bottle of distilled white vinegar or baking soda in the bathroom and pour one or both down the drain after each shower. Then, a burst of hot water.