How to Unclog a Shower Drain with Standing Water

Showers are fun until they are not. How would you feel when you look down and find yourself ankle deep in water? This leaves you in a particularly disturbed state, especially if it happens on a work day. Could your day not have started any better? You’re sure to be laden with problems at work and you’ve already been given a preview … in your own home.

Why do Shower Drains Clog?

While hair might be considered the number one culprit for clogging shower drains, there are other reasons as well. Minerals from hard water and soap top the reasons why your shower drain clogs up too. Also, dirt and grease play their part in clogging drains.

Again, although hair is one of the main reasons shower drains get clogged up, the type of hair that makes it way to the drain has a lot to do with it as well. Short hair rarely gets caught in the drain system which means that longer hair is mostly to blame. The reason is that lengthy hair wraps around the drain making it difficult to shift.

What Are the Signs of a Clogged Drain?

The clear sign that you have a clogged shower drain is looking below and seeing a pool of water that shows no signs of going down. Depending on how quick the water drains, you might just find yourself more than ankle deep in water. And that’s something you don’t want to experience.

Once you start to notice water draining slower than usual, it’s best to take action sooner rather than later. The earlier you deal with the problem, the faster the issue is to resolve.

How to Clear a Clogged Shower Drain?

First off, you don’t need to call a plumber (yet) when you see the first signs of drain trouble. There are several solutions you can try to clear things up before making a call and spending money. Also, the solutions to the drain problem will have to depend on the kind of drain you have and the type of clog you have. For instance, if you feel that the clog you have is caused by hair, you can simply remove the drain stopper and start yanking out all those nasty bits.

However, not all drain clogs are caused by hair and sometimes, you have to make use of chemicals to clear it all up. That said, here are some of the ways to clear clogged drains:

Drain Clearing Method #1: Pouring Boiling Water Down The Drain
Unlike hair that needs to be taken out, soap and grease that cause clog can be cleared by boiling water. Pouring down piping hot water clears the blockage allowing water to pass through. This is one of the simplest solutions to clearing clogged drains but only if the problem is caused by elements that can be melted down by hot water.

Sometimes, you will find yourself using this and a combination of other methods just to get your drain to clear. For example, you may take a ton of hair out but find your drain still clogging up so you pour down boiling water to see if it makes anything better. Again, if it still doesn’t work, you will have to either do this multiple times or move on to another method.

Drain Clearing Method #2: Using a Plunger
A little bit of warning here: this method might not be successful for all kinds of drains. The level of success you achieve with this method depends on the kind of drain you have and reason for the blockage. For instance, if your clog is caused by a massive amount of hair, you will find it hard to get sufficient suction to make plunging a success.

That said, there are other things you can do to try and make it work. For example, you can add petroleum jelly to the edge of the suction pad so a better seal can be achieved.

Drain Clearing Method #3: Using Kitchen Ingredients
Although using chemicals can be helpful in most cases, you can always turn to your kitchen for natural ways to get your drain cleared up. Two of the most reliable items from your cooking area are baking soda and vinegar. You don’t even have to whip up a solution for these two. Here’s how to use them:

  • Measure a cup of baking soda.
  • Measure a cup of vinegar.
  • Pour the cup of baking soda down the drain.
  • After a few minutes, pour the cup of vinegar down as well.

Using chemicals can damage plastic pipes, but vinegar and baking soda can be natural alternatives to that. However, this method isn’t always useful because it all has to depend on the level of clog you have on your drain. In short, you may still have to use chemicals if the blockage is much more worse.

Drain Clearing Method #4: Using Your Bare Hands
There are other nasty stuff you can pull out of your drain other than hair. Since you may be dealing with pretty gross things, it’s advised that you always wear rubber gloves when manually pulling out clog.

But if you can’t get to the clog using your hands, you can improvise with some household items. For example, you can make a hook at the end of a wire coat hanger so you can reach for what’s blocking your drain.

Lastly, if you want a more effective method, try using a toilet jack, also called an electric eel or a plumbers’ snake. You just push the jack down the drain until it gets to the clog. Bring the jack back up by turning the handle. To make sure it was a success, run water to see if the drain still clogs up.

Drain Clearing Method #5: Using Chemicals
Using chemicals should be your last resort because they can damage your drain. But it also can’t be denied that this method is relatively easy and the items are not that hard to find.

How to Prevent Future Clogs

Clogged drains are preventable. Here are two easy ways to minimize clogged drains:

1. Get a Drain Protector.
Since hair is almost always the number one culprit for a clogged drain, having this in your bathroom prevents hair from causing blockage.

2. Buy a Soap Dish.
Soap can cause clogs and they can also act as glue for hair to lump together. In addition, loose soap can cause accidents in the bathroom too. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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