It does not matter what the cause is, the fact is if you have a clogged shower drain, then you’re certainly annoyed or even pissed off. It is one of those plumbing problems at home that you simply just want to go away because it makes you feel inconvenient and uncomfortable.
Here’s an image showing how this kind of problem looks like:
Looks familiar, doesn’t it? Aside from being gross, you risk flooding your entire floor if you fail to address this one. But before we actually hand out tips on how to fix a clogged shower drain, let us share with you the causes. The information below comes from DoItYourself.com:
If you have ever wondered what causes a clogged shower drain, some of the culprits may surprise you. While there are many possible reasons that your show drain may develop a clog, here are the most common.
Hair and Skin Dead Skin Cells
When you take a shower you can naturally shed hundreds of loss strands of hair. In addition, literally millions of dead skin cells flow time your shower every time you bathe. These hairs and dead skin cells can stick to the walls of your drain pipe and over time can block the flow of water. A hair catcher in your drain can help, but almost all shower drains will experience a clog because of hair and dead skin cells at one point or another.
Soap scum is another common cause of clogs in shower drains. Over time soap scum deposits on the walls of pipes can trap other hairs, skin cells and other contaminants that will cause the drain to be blocked. A couple of buckets of hot water with some chlorine bleach poured down the drain every other week or so can help with this problem.
Hard water deposits all sorts of minerals and micro solids on the walls of your shower drain pipe. If not cleaned away, these deposits will eventually clog your drain. Use a water softening agent to avoid this problem.
Always be careful with toothpaste caps, razor coverings, shampoo caps and other small items when taking a shower. Trash or small items dropped down a shower drain is a very common cause of shower clogs.
Obviously, you’ll want to learn about the causes so that you get to learn from them and prevent them from happening. There is no sense in fixing a problem over and over again. Preventing it from happening is the way to go.
Now for superficial clogs, WikiHow.com, in the article “How to Unclog a Shower Drain,” provides the simplest way to deal with them.
Wait for several minutes after showering so that the water can slowly drain. The project will be easier if the pipes are free of water.
Grab a screwdriver. Remove the drain stopper with the screwdriver.
If you have a drop stopper, lift the stopper and find the screw at tub level. Unscrew it and the top section of the device.
Use a flashlight to look down the drain. Most clogs are caused by hair. If the hair is sitting near the surface, remove it with your fingers.
If your shower clog is caused by a larger object that is caught in the drain, you may want to call a plumber. A homemade or purchased snake may not be able to remove solid objects.
You can read the entire article by clicking the link.
But remember that the above set of tips is only intended for the usual culprit in clogs. But there will be instances when the problem is a lot more complicated. This is where you can try using a snake. Aaron Stickley, in his article called “Snake A Clogged Shower Drain” for About.com provides the best explanation on how to do this:
Remove the grate that covers the shower drain. Clean off any hair or debris that may be clinging to the grate once it it removed.
Run a small snake into the drain. A power top snake with a ¼ cable is preferred since it can easily maneuver the trap under the shower. Hand crank snakes can clear this stoppage as well but they are a bit more work.
Hold the cable close to the drain so you will be able to keep the cable from kinking. Go slow at first until you know it made it past the trap. Go about 10 feet or so at first then pull the snake back.
Test the drain before putting the shower grate back on. If the drain is still stopped up try running the snake cable further down the line. Keep the drain stopped up (water in the drain) if possible so you will know when it clears.
Do not go too far with the snake cable. It is not a good idea to get far into the 3” or bigger drain with such a small cable because it can kink up or tie into knots making it difficult to pull the snake back.
Once you are happy with how the shower drains put the grate back on and you are done. Run a bit of water to help flush out any hair and debris that was loosed by the snake cable.
Read the article here.
The writer, who actually is a plumbing expert, reminds us though that we first should check if there are other clogs nearby because the issue might actually be a sewer drain clog; something that only an expert plumbing professional should handle.