It’s never a pleasant experience to see your shower drain getting clogged and making your shower time annoying. And it’s always a drag to call out for help from professional plumbers so people simply use products like Drano.
But what if using Drano isn’t an option for you? How to unclog a shower drain when the drain doesn’t work?
There are a number of ways to unclog your drains such as the classic boiling water technique, using soda & vinegar, and using different tools. On the other hand, there are chemical alternatives like Liquid Plumr, CLR clear, and Great Value you might use instead of Drano.
This article also covers how to prevent shower drain clogs and small tips and tricks to let your unclogging procedure get easier. So, stick with this article for more help related to shower drain clogging.
How To Know If Your Shower Drain Is Clogged?
Hair, filth, and soap scum are the most common culprits in the clogging of smaller shower drains. In particular, long hair has a tendency to become caught in drains, and the issue is made worse by soap, which makes the hair cling to the drain walls.
There are some clear indicators of shower drain clogging, and it is important to know for sure.
When water remains in the shower for many minutes after you turn off the faucet, this is often an indication that the shower drain is blocked or that a blockage is forming. Another telltale indicator of a clogged drain is a foul odor coming from the pipes. This stench might be due to the debris that is lining the inside of the pipes.
Bathroom flooding is another possible outcome of a clogged drain since water left to pool in the shower might eventually seep through the grout and cause leaks. Standing shower water may also seep into walls if there are holes in the grout or caulking.
Why Should You Avoid Drano?
Drano may seem like a miracle product that would solve all of your clog problems, but it isn’t. It’s possible that improper or excessive usage of this product might cause more damage than benefit. You should stay away from Drano for three main reasons.
Drano’s chemicals are great at eliminating blockages, but they may also harm your plumbing. When used in toilets, Drano may soak through the porcelain, creating fractures or even explosions. Repeated usage might cause far deeper issues than a blockage.
If you just use Drano once or twice, you don’t need to worry about it causing permanent harm to your pipes. Even while Drano could help in the short term, it’s not a good idea to count on it as a permanent fix.
Unclogging Shower Drain When Drano Doesn’t Work: 7 Ways
Here are some simple methods you can try without calling professionals for help to unclog your shower drain.
1. Boiling Water
This is perhaps the simplest trick ever devised. The clog in your drain may be cleared out with the use of some hot water. Only do this if your pipes are made of metal; using hot water might loosen the joints in PVC pipes.
There is an easy technique to tell whether the pipes in your house are made of metal or PVC if you are unsure. Figure out where the primary line penetrates the floor. The location of this is convenient to the main valve. Find out whether the pipes are made of plastic or metal.
- For the most effective drain-clearing power, use a full tea kettle (or pot of water). Multiple kettles or pots may be required for really stubborn blockages.
- Stop and let the hot liquid penetrate the obstruction before pouring more. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes after pouring all of the water down the drain to see whether the blockage has been removed, then switch on the water source. If that hasn’t happened, try one of the techniques for unclogging drains that follow.
2. Baking Soda And Vinegar
Instead of utilizing synthetic cleaning agents, you may use this method. The reaction between the baking soda and vinegar produces bubbles, which may help loosen a small blockage caused by hair or filth.
- To the drain, dump a cup of baking soda.
- Just give it a minute or two.
- Then, follow that with a cup of vinegar down the drain.
- Let it sit for a few hours and observe whether the hair blockage dissolves.
- Pouring hot water down the drain will clean it out.
3. Plumber Snake
This is another low-cost option for clearing drain obstructions. In addition, this strategy is really effective. The rate of success is rather high.
- To remove a blockage, one must first send the snake down the drain.
- Spin the knob and raise the snake again.
- As the last step, fill the sink with water to ensure the blockage is completely gone.
You may get powerful chemical drain cleaners at any hardware shop or grocery store. Pay close attention to what is being said.
- Be cautious to use the product as directed and avoid using too much. Utilization varies according to individual needs.
- Make sure your hands and eyes are protected by gloves and glasses.
- Keep all chemicals separate. Possible release of noxious fumes.
- Put the chemical waste down the sink.
5. Coat Hanger
The best way to physically clear a clogged drain is with a drain snake, but not all property owners have this special tool.
Another way to figure out how to clear a shower drain is to use a coat hanger. A hanger is a great, non-chemical way to get rid of hair or grease clogs that a drain cleaner can’t get rid of.
- To remove the drain cover from the shower, use a screwdriver.
- Straighten a wire coat hanger after the drain cover has been removed. Keep a little hook on the end for removing tangles of hair and other clog-inducing material from the drain.
- Coat hanger wire must be pushed down the drain until it meets resistance. Remove any tangled hair, soap scum, or other obstructions that may be blocking the drain.
- Once you’ve removed everything that can be removed, flush the drain with hot water. The drain cover must be replaced.
How effective a plunging session is will depend on a number of things, including the kind of clog, its location in the drain, and your drain’s construction.
It may be difficult to generate sufficient suction for plunging if, for example, the clog is very thick and formed of hair.
- To improve the seal, apply petroleum jelly to the pad’s outside border.
- Shower up until the plunger’s end is covered by water.
- Plunge away with force.
7. WIthout Tools AKA Hands
Because this technique requires you to work with your hands, We suggest you equip yourself with a pair of rubber gloves.
- To begin, take off the drain cover.
- Sometimes there may be a screw in the center that has to be removed.
- Sometimes you need a screwdriver to pull off the drain cover.
- Locate the obstruction within the drain.
- If you need to, you can use a flashlight.
- Pull the clog out with your fingers if you can get to it.
Remember that, This works well on clogs brought on by debris like hair or tiny items, but it isn’t particularly efficient against mineral buildup. There’s still a chance that chemical intervention or some other strategy will be required.
5 Chemical-Based Drano Alternatives
|Why Should You Choose It
|Where to get it
|Safe for all pipes
|Around 12 dollars
|Zep Drain Defense
|Best for clogging prevention
|Around 10 dollars
|Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver
|Easy to use
|Around 11 dollars
|Does not have bad smell
|Around 23 dollars
|Best value product as the name suggests
|Around 5 dollars
How To Prevent Shower Drain Clogs
As a homeowner, you may take a few preventative measures to ensure that your shower drain remains free of hair and soap residue.
- Flushing The Drain Frequently
It’s recommended to use a DIY drain cleaner of equal parts vinegar and baking soda every couple of months to avoid accumulation. To use, first pour the baking soda down the drain, then the vinegar, wait 10 minutes, and then flush with hot water.
- Installing Hair Catcher
The installation of a hair catcher on top of the drain will prevent hair from falling down the drain.
- Flushing All Drains Together
Flushing all drains at once is a good approach to ensure that plumbing fixtures remain free of buildup.
In order to do this, hot water should be added to every available sink and bathtub. After that, run every sink and toilet at the same time (depending on how many drains and toilets you have, you may need to get the whole family involved for this all-at-once action).
This will cause a torrent of water to rush through your plumbing system and hopefully clear away any accumulated debris.
It is not always necessary to call a plumber to fix a clogged shower drain. So, how to unclog a shower drain when Drano doesn’t work?
You may get your bath up and running on your own by using one of the above-mentioned tried-and-true ways for cleaning a shower drain. For many plumbing problems, a bottle of drain cleaner and a metal hanger are all that is required. However, you may need to call in the experts if an item is stuck in the drain or if your own attempts to remove it fail.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.