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Post By Admin
July 9, 2024
How to Unblock a Shower Drain: Cleaning Tips for Beginners

What is the most commonly forgotten household issue that frequently leads to constant headaches? You may not recall it either, but it is blocked drains. This issue occurs at least once in a lifetime, often accompanied by smelly bathroom drain. However, typically it remains unresolved for an extended period before being addressed.

Not to mention the sink that caused another scene, your relaxing time in the bathroom is long gone. While calling Plumber Sunbury might be a good idea for a stress-free fix, you can actually handle it yourself if the issue isn’t serious. How, you ask? Let’s discuss how to unblock the shower drain all by yourself — using some tools and a bit of creativity.

How to Unblock Shower Drain: Tools, Steps, and Tips

We’ll explore various tools, step-by-step procedures, and tips to tackle and prevent getting your shower drain blocked effectively. Whether it’s hair, soap scum, or other build-ups, knowing how to unblock the bathroom sink can save you time and money on potential plumbing services. 


Tools to unblock shower drain

The Steps

Blocking the shower drain

Simply follow these steps to unblock a shower drain successfully:

  1. Prepare and Protect: Get a pair of gloves to protect your hands, and use a screwdriver to open the drain cover.
  2. Remove Apparent Clogs: If you can easily see the clogs, remove them with your hands and dispose of them in a plastic bag.
  3. Use Drain Claw or Hook: If the clogs are located further down the drain, use a drain claw or a hook made from a wire hanger to reach the clogs and unblock the shower drain.
  4. Test the Drain: Pour a generous amount of water down the drain to check if it still drains slowly.
  5. Consider Stronger Measures: If the drain drains slowly, consider using a plunger, a plumber’s snake, or natural cleaners to tackle the clog effectively. 

Bonus: Prevention Tips

Preventing blocked shower drains is essential to avoid the inconvenience of dealing with clogs. Here are some effective tips to keep your shower drain clear and flowing smoothly:

  1. Clean Out Hair Regularly: Remove hair from the drain cover frequently to prevent it from accumulating and causing blockages in the pipes. Consider using a drain cover with a built-in hair catcher to make this task easier.
  2. Avoid Flushing Improper Items: Do not flush items like wet wipes, cotton balls, or sanitary products down the toilet or bathroom sink. These materials do not break down easily and can cause significant blockages.
  3. Use a Mesh Drain Cover: Install a mesh drain cover to catch hair, soap scum, and other debris before they enter the drain, reducing the likelihood of blockages.
  4. Be Mindful of Grease: Do not pour grease, oil, or fatty substances down the drain, as they can solidify and contribute to blockages over time.
  5. Regular Maintenance Checks: Perform regular maintenance checks on your plumbing system. Inspect pipes and drains for signs of blockage or slow drainage. Address any issues promptly to prevent bigger problems.

Also Read: How to Clear a Blocked Stormwater Drain

What is The Best Way to Unblock a Shower Drain?

We’ve discussed how to unblock a shower drain, but those steps may not be effective for your specific case. Let’s explore other simple methods for unblocking shower drains that can fix the issue promptly:

1. Using a Plunger

Using a plunger to clear a blocked shower drain is a common and effective method. To do this, ensure that there is enough water in the shower to cover the plunger’s rubber cup. Place the plunger over the drain and push down gently, then pull up sharply to create a suction effect. Repeat this motion several times to dislodge the blockage and restore proper drainage.

2. Using a Plumber’s Snake

Unblocking the drain with a plumber snake

A plumber’s snake, also known as a drain snake or drain auger, is a flexible tool that can reach deep into the drain to dislodge clogs. Insert the snake into the drain and rotate the handle to break up and remove the blockage. 

3. Using Chemicals

Commercial drain cleaners can be used to dissolve and remove blockages in shower drains. However, it’s important to use these chemicals with caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Chemical drain cleaners should be handled and stored safely, and protective gloves should be worn when using them.

4. Using Your Own Hand! (The “Messy” Option)

In some cases, if the blockage is within reach, it may be possible to remove it by using your own hand, while wearing protective gloves. This method should be used only if the blockage is easily accessible. After removing the blockage, thoroughly clean and disinfect your hands and the affected area.

Ways We DO NOT RECOMMEND to Unclog a Drain

When faced with a stubborn clog, it’s tempting to try quick fixes found on the internet. However, some popular DIY methods can cause more harm than good. Here are two methods we strongly advise against:

1. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar

You might have seen this method touted as a natural, eco-friendly solution. However, we do not recommend using baking soda and vinegar to unblock the drain. Why? The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar creates oxidation, which can lead to corrosion of your pipes. Over time, this corrosion weakens the pipes, potentially causing leaks or even pipe failure.

2. Boiling Water

Pouring boiling water down a clogged drain might seem like a harmless and easy fix, but we strongly advise against this method. The primary reason is that boiling water can cause your pipes to warp or even crack, especially if you have PVC pipes. The extreme temperature change can weaken the pipe structure, leading to leaks or complete pipe failure.

Besides, boiling water is inherently dangerous. There’s a high risk of burns if the water splashes or if you accidentally spill it.

Drains Still Blocked? Time to Call the Professionals!

If you’ve been exhausted by unsuccessful DIY methods and your shower drain is still blocked, it’s time to call in the professionals, such. Neighbourhood Plumbing offers a thorough analysis of the problem and expert solutions, and we operate across areas in Melbourne, including Sunbury.

Don’t worry, we know exactly how to unblock the shower drain. Simply give us a call and relax as we take care of the issue for you!

About the Author

Ricky Rizz

From unclogging the toughest drains to repairing leaking toilets, Ricky is a seasoned plumber who has brought his craftmanship to homes across Melbourne. He is passionate about sharing plumbing tips just as much as he is about fixing your plumbing issues. So, when your taps or pipes begin leaking, you know who to call.

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