How To Unclog A Shower Drain

how to unclog a shower drain

Have you noticed water beginning to pool inside of your tub as you shower? If you have, then there is a good chance that you’re dealing with a shower clog, and it will only continue to get worse.

A drain clog tends to happen over a long period of time. Without specialized equipment, you can’t possibly see what is going on inside of your drains.

Over time, hair and debris start to accumulate inside the drain. It’s very similar to how icicles form, but it involves nasty debris instead of pristine water.

It can start with just a few long hairs, and from there, the piles of debris begins to build. Depending on how often the shower is used, and who uses it, you could be looking at about a month before the drain is completely clogged.

The good news is that you’re about to learn how to unclog a shower drain, but first, let’s have a look at some of the common symptoms of a clogged shower drain.

The Symptoms

When water comes out of your shower head, it’s supposed to drain through the little hole in the bathtub. If the water is unable to drain properly, you’ll start to notice the water pooling within the tub.

This happens because the water is coming out of the shower head faster than it’s able to drain through the drain. This is the major symptom to watch for, and it’s really one of the only symptoms.

If the drain has become clogged, you might notice occasional debris floating up out of it, which might be black or brown.

The Real Cause of Drain Clogs

In almost every case, a clogged shower drain is caused by soap, grease, dirt or hair. All of the debris can combine and form a pretty nasty backup. The knotted hair is usually the snowball that starts the avalanche, and since it’s normally wrapped around the inner drain, the clog can be very difficult to shift.

Shower drains are significantly more common in homes where several long-haired occupants live. Women tend to have longer, thicker hair than men, and during a shower, the hair finds its way into the drain.

How to Get a Shower Drain Unclogged

If you look at many of the articles that teach people how to unclog drains, you’ll notice that they offer a long list of ways to unclog the drain. Some of the recommendations include baking soda, vinegar and boiling water.

Some of these ideas might work, but you really only need one tool to unclog the drain. It’s almost pointless to waste time using boiling water and similar methods, and in many cases, these suggestions can do more harm than good.

The answer is to use a drain snake. You can get one at most large retailer stores for a few dollars, and it will save you a lot of wasted time dumping boiling water and baking soda down your drain.

The drain snake is a long piece of plastic, and it’s designed to ‘snake’ the drain. It has pointed edges on both ends, and it has a design that is very similar to the dip stick that you’d use for checking engine oil.

When you think about how clogs are formed, it makes sense that a simple drain snake is the best option to use. Since a typical drain snake is about 14 inches, it can reach deep enough into the drain to handle most clogs, and the pointy edges will grab the clog and allow you to pull it out of the drain.

It will work on virtually any type of drain, and it’s especially useful for the drain inside of your bathtub. It doesn’t involve the use of chemicals and can make short work of a severe clog.

You’ll understand what we’re talking about when you stick it in and watch the pool of water begin to drain normally again as you pull the clog out with the drain snake. It’s truly a euphoric feeling and doesn’t require any weird DIY strategies.