Clogged shower drains are one of the most common plumbing problems most Australian homes experience.
And you’re probably here because you have a blocked shower drain that needs immediate fixing. Standing water, slow drains, unpleasant odours, etc., are all symptoms of blocked drains.
The fixes for this problem are simple. So, you shouldn’t ignore your blocked drains to prevent further damage. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to unblock the shower drain, let’s look at what causes a clog in the first place.
What Causes A Blocked Shower Drain?
Since we get rid of the impurities on our bodies while in the shower, an unpleasant build-up of hair, dead skin, soap scum, and other debris causes the drain to clog. The best way to avoid this is by removing all the excess hair from the plug hole after your shower so it doesn’t travel down the drain pipes and lead to hair clogs.
Apart from dead skin and hair clog, a limescale build-up is yet another reason the shower drain might become blocked. This is most common in areas with hard water since it promotes limescale growth. If you have limescale clogging your shower drain, several products and tips can clear it quickly, which we will discuss.
Another common reason for a clogged shower drain is foreign objects making their way down it. For instance, when kids take their toys to the bath, they can accidentally get drained into the shower drain line, which will ultimately cause a clog.
Other objects, such as baby wipes and sanitary items, can get stuck in the drain line. If you suspect you’ve got a clogged drain due to foreign objects, simply use a flashlight and pull the thing from the drain.
6 Ways To Unblock A Shower Drain
1. Baking Soda And White Vinegar
One of the most simple yet effective ways to clear out a blocked drain is to use a mixture combining baking soda and white vinegar. Since this is a natural solution, it will not threaten or damage the shower drains.
Ensure that the shower won’t be used for a couple of hours after the solution is poured down so it can have the desired effect.
To clear blocked shower drains with baking soda and vinegar, pour a generous amount of baking soda down the drain. Immediately pour half a cup of distilled vinegar, which creates a fizzing effect or a chemical reaction to break away the blockage.
Let the solution sit for a few hours, after which you can pour hot water into the drain. Pouring hot water will flush away the solution and the clogged debris, clearing your blocked drain pipes and removing foul bathroom odours.
2. Commercial Drain Cleaners
If the clog is too strong for the baking soda and vinegar solution to break it up, a commercial drain cleaner can help. Several options for commercial drain cleaning solutions are meant specifically to unclog a shower drain.
Using a chemical cleaner is a quick way to fix a block if you don’t have the time for a DIY fix. And these cleaners can usually be found online.
You must pour the drain cleaning solution down the clogged shower drain pipes and leave it for the time mentioned on the product label. However, you must follow proper safety measures before using these harsh chemicals, which can cause serious health problems.
Ensure that the room is well-ventilated and you are appropriately geared up with sturdy rubber gloves.
3. Boiling Water
Boiling or hot water is an ideal way to eliminate hair or soap scum blockages, proving a better and more natural alternative to a chemical cleaner. The boiling water can help remove any unwanted debris stuck to the sides of the drain pipes, which will eventually become a clog.
It is recommended that you pour boiling water down the shower drains at least once a week to ensure the drainage system works efficiently, improving the quality and functionality of your plumbing system.
Another easy method to get rid of a serious blockage is using a plunger on the clogged drain. Though plunging is an old technique, it has been proven to be quite effective if you have the right plunger. Simply remove the drain cover and use the plunger till the clog is removed completely.
If you have trouble with the suction of the plunger, use some petroleum jelly on the edges of the suction pad for a better seal. Also, add water till the plunger is fully submerged, providing enough suction to disrupt the clog.
5. Use Your Hand
If the blockage inside the drain is visible, it might be more effective to reach in and pull the blockage out. But ensure that you wear gloves before pulling the gunk out.
Remove the drain cover and look inside the drain using a flashlight. If the clog is visible and can be reached, use your fingers to pull the clog out of the drain.
Removing clogs by hand is an effective way to minimise clog frequency and blockages. Since the most common debris that causes shower drain clogs are small objects and hair, using your hand to pull them out can restore normal water flow.
6. Coat Hanger
If you don’t have a drain auger or drain snake, using the wire coat hanger to unclog a shower drain is an old-fashioned method that works to this day. A bent coat hanger would be a better solution if you couldn’t reach the blockage by hand.
Bend the wire hanger to fit easily through the clogged drain. And leave the hook at the end so it is easy to fish out excess debris.
Keep pushing the coat hanger down the shower drains until you feel the drain blockage. Then gently twist the hanger to dislodge the clog, and you’ll be able to hook the clog out of the drain.
Prevent Blocked Shower Drains
A shower drain clog is something almost all homeowners must deal with. Fortunately, it can be fixed using these simple tips and techniques.
However, it is much better to prevent a blocked drain from occurring. Periodic maintenance of the drain pipes is highly recommended than engaging in constant repairs and fixes. Be sure to install a drain screen so that any soap gunk, dead skin, or hair will be trapped on the screen. Also, you must clean the drain screen at regular intervals for better results.
For more serious plumbing and stubborn blockages, contact our Sydney plumbers today! They know how to unblock clogged drains using the latest technology, like drain cameras for CCTV inspection to detect the problem.
That brings us to the end of our guide on how to unblock the shower drain. We will see you next time!