When your pipes act up or become clogged, it can seriously affect your day-to-day.
Clogged shower drains, sink drains, and backed-up plumbing might limit you from using these daily necessities or cause damage to your home.
The second you notice your tub drain is clogged, you’ll want to take steps to fix it. Not sure how to fix a clogged shower drain? You’re in the right place. This blog walks you through what you should do if you are experiencing a clogged shower drain. Our goal is to help you resolve it yourself if possible before requiring drain cleaning service.
What To Do If You Have A Clog In Your Shower
A clogged shower drain is no fun; but, luckily, there are questions you can ask yourself so that you can move on and unclog the backed-up drain.
Why is My Shower Drain Not Draining?
There are several reasons your shower may not be draining. Most likely it is because there is a clog in the plumbing that is holding up the water. The clog can be caused by a blockage in the drain located near the drain opening, farther down in the plumbing system, or at the end of the plumbing system near the main line or septic.
Other issues, like freezing pipes or roots breaking the pipes, can also be causing your shower drain to clog.
Identifying the primary cause of the clog will help you with your solution. For example, if you find that your roots have broken through and split your pipe, then pouring cleaning solution down your drain won’t solve the problem and you’ll continue to have a shower backup.
How Do You Unclog a Shower With Standing Water?
If you have standing water in your shower or tub after a rinse, then you likely have something clogging your pipes leading away from your shower. Debris, soap scum, hair, and grease can all contribute to a shower backup. This is because these items build up over time and start to restrict the amount of water that can pass through the pipe.
Luckily, there are many ways to unclog a shower drain. This includes: removing the blockage by fishing it out, using a snake to push the debris along, or pouring drain cleaner solution down the drain.
What Can Dissolve Hair in a Drain?
Hair in your drain is the most common cause of shower clogs. You want to, therefore, find a solution that will dissolve hair.
Baking soda and vinegar in your plumbing will dissolve hair or the scum that is clumping up the hair and flush it further along so that it does not back up your pipes.
5 Symptoms of a Clogged Shower Drain
Pay attention to these 5 symptoms of a clogged shower drain so you can address the clog quickly:
Water is Slow to Drain
The most obvious symptom of a clogged drain is water backup. When water is still lingering in your tub or shower, even after your shower has ended, then this indicates that the water is draining slowly.
This is usually due to some obstruction in your pipes. If water is slow to drain, you’ll want to take a minute to assess your plumbing before it gets worse.
You See Built up Soap Scum and Residue in Your Tub
Maybe you don’t notice that water is slow to drain right away. Well, another indicator is that there is soap scum building up in your shower.
If you see a ring of soap scum or dirt in a circle near your bathtub drain, then this means that the water was pooling and the dirt and scum settled and was not whisked away.
You Hear Bubbling in Your Shower Drain
Bubbling might seem normal, but bubbling after or during a shower indicates that there are pockets of air in your pipes.
Air pockets might form if there is something blocking the water and forcing it to squeeze by. The air builds up around the blockage and a sound is made once the water clears.
Water Backs Up Out of the Shower Drain or Under Your Shower or Tub
Water that is coming back up the pipes, either on its own accord or after a shower, is always a worrisome sign.
And you’ll probably move quickly to suppress a plumbing issue if water comes out around the shower or tub. This is a clear indication of an issue and you should get a plumber out for an inspection immediately.
There is Bad Odor Around Your Plumbing
Bad odors around your toilet and shower are normal sometimes.
However, if you are noticing too much odor or odor even when the plumbing isn’t being used, then this could indicate that debris and gunk is stuck in your tub drain.
How to Fix a Clogged Shower Drain
Fixing a small shower drain clog is easy with a DIY approach and some household materials on hand. Before you collect materials, first inspect the shower drain cover. Remove any debris that you can see at the mouth of the pipes before attempting other solutions.
Here are 4 ways of how to fix a clogged shower drain:
Wash Baking Soda, White Vinegar, and Boiling Water Down the Drain
Baking soda and vinegar have long been used in DIY methods for unclogging your shower. This method requires that you pour these items down your drain, let them sit, and then rinse it out with boiling water.
First, pour dish soap into your drain, followed by 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup baking soda. Wait 5 minutes and then rinse it down with boiling water. Mixed with the soap, the hot water will be able to dissolve the dirt, allowing it to rinse away out of your pipes.
You can do this a few times. However, baking soda and vinegar together can be highly corrosive. If you have an older plumbing system, then this method might cause more harm than good.
Purchase a Shower Snake
A shower snake is a device that is fed into your shower drain to push apart blocking debris. Shower snakes are very effective at drain cleaning and can unclog a shower drain quickly.
Purchase a long drain snake (roughly 24 feet) and remove the drain cap. Then, feed it through. You may notice that it gets hung up at times. When it feels like it is blocked, pull it out a little bit and try to push through whatever is blocking it. Do this a few times and then pull it out. Test your drain by running your shower with hot water to see if you made a difference. For showers over older bathtubs, you might need to remove the tub drain if access is limited. See this post if you need more help in learning how to use it.
Use a Shower Plunger for Unclogging Drains
A shower plunger is similar to a toilet plunger but it is used in the shower. You can use this device to try to use pressure to unstick the clog.
Plunge your tub drain using a cup or flat plunger after using the DIY baking soda, vinegar, and hot water method and after snaking the drain.
Be careful when plunging, as sometimes it makes the clog even worse!
Schedule Professional Plumbing Services
Sometimes it’s easy to fix a clogged sink drain or shower blockage. However, If you’ve tried these methods but you can’t seem to unclog a shower drain, then it’s time to call in a professional. A professional plumber will be able to come to your home and inspect your drain. They should be able to identify what is causing the blockage using camera inspection and fix it for you.
It’s important to call a professional plumber especially if more work, like taking apart your plumbing system or inspecting your sink drain, is needed. Professionals can also advise you on the best ways of preventing clogged shower drains.
If you’re in the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington areas then go with a trusted plumber like us here at All Masters Plumbing. We also offer hydro jetting, which is an extremely powerful form of drain cleaning that you can’t do DIY. Reach out today to learn more!