You’re relaxing in a hot, steamy shower after a long day when suddenly you notice the water isn’t draining properly. Uh-oh. Before you know it, you’re ankle-deep in murky water, and your bathroom resembles a swamp.
Don’t panic! You can unclog your shower drain without calling a plumber. This step-by-step guide will show you how to clear that pesky clog using nothing but a plunger and some common household items. So grab your plunger, and let’s get started!
Supplies Needed for Unclogging Shower Drain
Before you start unclogging your shower drain, you’ll need a few supplies. Gather a bucket, a plunger, dish soap, and a towel together. If you have a snake or auger tool, it will also come in handy.
Once you have all of your supplies gathered, it’s time to get to work. The first step is to pour some dish soap into the bucket. This will help to create suds and make the clog easier to remove.
Next, place the plunger over the drain and plunge up and down until the suds form a foam. Keep plunging until the foam becomes thick and viscous. At this point, you can start to snake or auger the drain to remove the clog.
How to Unclog a Shower Drain With Standing Water
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to unclog a shower drain with standing water:
- Turn off the water supply to the shower by turning the valve off at the wall.
- Place a bucket or container under the shower drain to catch any water that may come out.
- Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.
- Let the hot water sit for about five minutes.
- Pour a pot of cold water down the drain.
- Use a plunger to suction onto the drain and push and pull it up and down a few times.
- If the plunger doesn’t work, use a plumbing snake to dislodge whatever is blocking the drainpipe.
Common Causes of a Clogged Drain With Standing Water
Your shower drain may become clogged with standing water for various reasons. Hair, soap scum, and dirt are the usual culprits, but even a small object can cause a stoppage if it’s not cleared away.
The following are some of the most common causes of a clogged drain with standing water:
- Hair: One of the most common causes of a clogged shower drain is hair. Human hair is strong and can easily form clumps that block water flow.
- Soap Scum: Soap scum is another common culprit. Soap and other bath products can leave a film on the shower drain that blocks water flow.
- Dirt: Dirt and debris can also accumulate in the shower drain and cause a blockage.
- Small Objects: Even a small object, such as a toothbrush or jewelry, can become lodged in the shower drain and cause a blockage.
Prevention Tips to Keep Your Shower Drain Clog Free
Now that you know how to unclog a shower drain with standing water, here are a few tips to keep your shower drain clog-free:
- Avoid using chemical drain cleaners; they can corrode your pipes and damage the environment.
- Install a mesh strainer over the drain to catch hair and other debris as it washes down the drain.
- Don’t pour grease, oils, or fats down the drain; these can congeal and cause clogs.
- Keep an eye out for blockages in the piping and act quickly if you see any before they become serious problems.
- Clean out your pipes regularly with a pressure washer or hire professionals to do the job.
Professional Tips for Serious Clogs
If you’ve tried the solutions listed above and your clog still won’t budge, you may need to call a professional. However, there are a few things you can do first before calling for help.
First, put on protective gear like gloves and a face mask. Then, pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain, followed by boiling water, to see if the clog is dislodged. If the clog still won’t move, it’s time to break out the big guns.
If you have serious clogs involving large chunks of debris or roots in the line, you may need to use tools like pliers or an auger (snake) to push through the obstruction. With any of these tools, be sure to use caution, as they can cause damage if not handled properly.
FAQs About Unclogging Shower Drains With Standing Water
Now that you’ve successfully unclogged your shower drain, there might still be some concerns lingering in the back of your mind. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about unclogging shower drains with standing water.
- Does it matter what type of plunger I use? Yes, it does matter. It’s best to opt for a plunger with an extension handle or a flexible rubber head, as these can fit easily into the drain and help release the blockage.
- How often should I do this? To keep your shower drain from becoming clogged, it’s best to do this cleaning every 6 to 12 months.
- Is it OK to pour acid down the drain? No, never pour acid down your drain! The acid is likely to damage the pipes, which could lead to more problems in the future.
You’ve tried the plunger, attempted the drain snake, and even tried pouring boiling water down the drain. But your shower is still backed up with water, and you are still trying to figure out what to do next.
Before you call a professional to come and unclog your drain, try this simple step-by-step guide. With a little bit of elbow grease, you should be able to clear the clog and get your shower back to normal.
Good luck – and remember to be careful if you use a chemical drain cleaner. Always read the instructions carefully, and wear protective goggles and gloves.