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A homeowner attempts to unclog their shower drain with a plunger.

Tips to Help Unclog a Shower Drain

DIY Solutions for Shower Clogs

An unfortunate reality of owning a home is dealing with the inevitable issue of a clogged shower drain. Shower drains are notorious for getting backed up with gunk and oil. If your shower water is draining slowly or not at all, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pomona Valley is here to help. We have professional tips to help you remove hair, shampoo, dirt, and other debris accumulated over time.

Unclogging a shower drain is a simple task in most scenarios. Many homeowners can often remove clogs with just a few easy steps. Hopefully, the following DIY solutions can help you dislodge and clear out a blockage in the pipes on your own. If you find yourself repeatedly frustrated and unsuccessful, don’t panic! You can always count on our plumbing experts to troubleshoot and fix the issue quickly and affordably.

Zip-It Good

A Zip-It or Zip-It knock-off will often suffice for light clogs that are not deep down in the pipes. This tool is inexpensive and likely available at your neighborhood home improvement store. It consists of a long, flexible piece of plastic with small, corrugated teeth on its edges. These spikey edges will latch onto and entangle hair/gunk clogging your drain.

The downside of the Zip-It approach is it can only remove clogs that you can physically reach. The standard Zip-It is merely 25 inches long. This short length means you can only extend slightly more than two feet down your pipes. It is also a flimsy tool that might have trouble penetrating thick buildup.

Nevertheless, many clogs are right behind the drain, and you might find success if you can yield large clumps of gunk. Whatever happens, we suggest pouring hot water down the drain when you finish to flush the remaining oils and debris.

Get Wiggly with It & Use a Drain Snake

Don’t hit the panic button if your Zip-It fails to clear the drain. There are many other heavier-duty tools on the market. Another effective tool you can try is a drain/plumber’s snake. This tool is affordable, easy to buy, and can be effective for certain types of drainage issues. It consists of a long metal cable wound tightly inside a tube.

For optimal results, we recommend following these 7 dependable steps:

  1. Remove the drain’s cover grate with a screwdriver to insert the cable easily.
  2. Extend the cable into the drain as far as it will go.
  3. Tighten the handle clamp to lock in the cable.
  4. Turn the handle clockwise to loosen and cut through the blockage.
  5. Run the shower faucet to check if you’ve made headway, and push the cable further if necessary.
  6. You can remove the cable by turning the handle counterclockwise once you’ve succeeded or exceeded your efforts.
  7. Run hot water to flush out any remaining and loosened debris.

The Pros & Cons of Over-the-Counter Drain Cleaning Products

Yes, some store-bought drain cleaning products have delivered results. However, beware of the adverse long-term effects of relying on chemical solutions. Many drain cleaning formulas may remove gunk and grease at steep costs – permanently damaging your pipes and plumbing system.

We advise homeowners to avoid most drain cleaning products. The financial downsides of dealing with corroded piping are not worth the upsides of a quick fix. Natural remedies (i.e., baking soda, vinegar, and hot water) are viable and safer solutions. This all-natural treatment is a time-tested strategy that has successfully cleared stubborn clogs.

Trust The Almighty Plunger

Don’t forget to pull out the old-fashioned plunger if you’ve exhausted everything else. You may be able to loosen pesky debris by forcing pressurized water in both directions with the proper plunging technique.

These 5 critical steps will help ensure a successful plunging strategy:

  1. Remove the overflow plate and drain mechanism at the same time.
  2. Plug up the overflow opening with a wet rag to isolate the force exerted by the plunger on the drain.
  3. Fill the shower with enough water to cover the bottom of the plunger.
  4. Press on the plunger with forceful & rhythmic upward and downward movement.
  5. Lift to check if the water drains smoothly. If still clogged, continue plunging.

Call a Plumbing Pro to Come & Save the Day

Not all shower clogs are close to the drain. You’ll likely need a professional plumber if the blockage is further down the pipes or in the main sewer line. Don’t hesitate to give Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pomona Valley a call if all else fails. Our plumbing specialists will address the clog right away and get the job done right the first time.

We utilize industry-best tools and techniques to locate and eliminate the source of the problem safely and effectively. Fixing a backup sooner than later will safeguard your plumbing from potential emergencies and costly water damage. We understand a backed-up shower drain can be frustrating. Our licensed plumbers have extensive experience and advanced equipment to save you time, stress, and possibly even money down the road.

Call (909) 303-6251 or contact us online anytime to schedule an appointment or job estimate!

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