How To Unclog A Shower Drain Using Chemicals
- Follow the directions on the packaging and make sure not to use too much. The amount you use will vary.
- Wear gloves and goggles.
- Don’t mix your chemicals. This could cause poisonous gas.
- Pour chemicals down the drain.
Note: Dont resort to chemicals lightly, as they can cause damage to your drainage pipes, especially if you use this method repeatedly. Using chemicals is normally a quick, easy, and affordable method, however. You can minimize their future use by avoiding future blockages !
How Do You Stop A Bathtub Drain From Smelling
There are a couple of reasons that your bathtub and shower drain may smell.
There could be odor-causing bacteria feeding on debris in your pipes. This process with give off a foul-smelling hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like sewage or rotten eggs.
Also, its common for mold to grow in bathtubs and showers where its warm and wet and mold growth on the debris causing a clog can cause a bad smell.
You can try deodorizing bathtub drains and help shower drain smells with a combination of baking soda and vinegar. These ingredients, when used together, can also sometimes help to clear clogs.
All you need to do is pour a pot of boiling water down the bathtub drain. Then pour a mixture of one cup baking soda and one cup vinegar into the drain. Insert the drain plug, or close the filter, and wait 510 minutes. Finally, flush the drain with another pot of boiling water.
For more information on this process, check out our article Do Baking Soda and Vinegar Solutions Clear Clogs?
For information on how you can use Liquid-Plumr® products, visit our FAQs page.
Ways To Unclog A Bathtub Drain Full Of Hair
Blocked bathtub drains are a pain, and as well as being inconvenient, they can also create some nasty smells.
If your drain is blocked, you need to take steps to remedy the situation ASAP and in this post, we explain several methods for how to unclog a bathroom drain that you can try yourself before you resort to calling out a plumber.
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Push The Coat Hanger Into The Drain And Try To Hook Out The Blockage
Push the coat hanger into the drain to see if you can feel any soft resistance. If you can, it means youve reached the blockage, so try to hook it out with the coat hanger.
If you manage to hook anything, pull it up and put it into the plastic bag. Be warned that it will probably be quite nasty and have an unpleasant smell.
How To Prevent A Bathtub From Slow Draining
Preventing a bathtub from clogging can save you from the headache of fixing a slow draining tub. The most effective way to minimize bathtub clogs is to buy a drain protector. This device inserts into or onto the top of the drain and has a fine screen to catch hair, clumps of soap, childrens toys and other debris from entering the drain.
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Remove The Strainer And Stopper
Most bathtub drains have strainers and/or stoppers to block hair and other debris from falling down the drain. In order to unclog the bathtubs drain properly, youll have to get these out of the way. You may be able to take out a stopper manually, but most strainers are affixed to the drain hole with a single screw. Remove this screw to take the strainer straight out of the drain.
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Open The Overflow To Gain Access
If youve tried the first two unclogging methods to no success its time to open up your drain to get better access. Youll need a few tools including a screwdriver and/or a pair of pliers, depending on the type of drain you have.
First youll need to unscrew and take off the overflow plate which is the flat metal disc on the wall of your tub, below the water spout. Once removed, you can access the drain stopper which uses a small lever to open and close the drain. If the drain stopper is not working correctly its lever may have gotten stuck in a semi-closed position. You can adjust the lever by loosening the lock nuts that hold it to the threaded rod.
If the stopper seems to be working okay, your problem probably is a clog. The good news is youll need the overflow open for the next step anyway.
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Instructions For Unclogging A Drain With Bleach
Heres what we recommend if want to try unclogging your drain with bleach.
CAUTION: Wear goggles and waterproof gloves whenever working with bleach. Be careful to not splash bleach onto you or your hands. If this happens, wash immediately and thoroughly with fresh water.
PRO TIP: Dont force this solution to work: if it doesnt work the first time, try using this natural drain-clearing solution instead. A solution of vinegar and baking soda is much safer, healthier, and probably more effective.
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How To Unclog A Shower Drain With Vinegar And Baking Soda
If boiling water and removing the hair do not work, you may still have to figure out how to unclog a shower drain. To make a DIY cleaning solution, mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a heat-resistant cup.
Remove the drain cover and pour in the solution, which will immediately start fizzing. Let it sit for at least one hour so the vinegar and baking soda can work. When the hour is up, run hot water down the drain to flush out the cleaning solution and any debris.
Run Some Warm Water Down The Drain
Run some warm water down the drain to see if the blockage has been cleared. If not, you can try it once or twice more and then move on to the next technique.
Tip: Use cleaning-grade bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar because they are much cheaper than the food-grade versions. However, if you dont have white vinegar, food-grade vinegar will have much the same effect.
Tip: You can also try pouring a bottle of Coke into the drain with the baking soda Coca-Cola is slightly acidic, and the carbonation and fizzing will also help to shift the blockage. If you dont want to use real Coke, generic cola brands usually work just as well.
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How Do You Unblock A Shower Drain With Standing Water
The plunger method is ideal for standing water. You can also buy a dedicated drain plunger as not to contaminate the shower from anything that was in the toilet. Place the plunger over the drain, making sure that it is flush against the floor. Move it up and down, allowing the suction to pull out the hair clog or other blockage. This should remove at least a portion of the gunk in your pipes. Drain cleaners are worth trying as a short-term fix, Tavanian advises. Store-bought cleaners should be safe and regulated, so they should be safe for your plumbing. Follow the directions on the product you choose, making sure to give it ample time to work. If you dont see an improvement in water flow after trying these two methods, grab a drain snake or a drain auger to get the job done.
How To Prevent Future Clogs
Prevention is better than cure, so once you’ve fixed your problem, make sure to minimize the chances of your shower drain getting clogged again. You should certainly consider buying a drain protector, if you haven’t already got one. Protectors catch hair and stop other debris from blocking up the drain.
A secure soap dish can help too. Soap contributes to clogs by sticking knots of hair together into larger clumps.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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Do I Need To Call A Plumber For A Slow Draining Bathtub
You dont necessarily need to call a plumber for a slow draining bathtub if you are comfortable taking a few DIY steps to try and clear the clog. If you dont have the time, dont feel confident working with tools or chemicals or simply dont want to get messy, calling a plumber can be a great solution.
Before You Unclog The Shower Drain
You may have to try more than one method to for unclogging a shower drain. The blockage could be caused by a build-up of hair, grease and soap. Other possible causes are a build-up of dirt or minerals from your water or tree roots growing through tiny cracks in your underground pipes.
To access your drain, you may need to remove the drain cover. Some covers can be unscrewed with a screwdriver. Others may need to be pried off. Pry carefully to avoid scratching the shower around the drain.
Safety tip: Be safe and wear rubber gloves as you figure out how to unclog a shower drain using these methods. Some drain openers also require eye protection.
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What Can Dissolve Hair In A Drain
Hair is one of the most common causes of a clogged shower drain. And although some cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can help dissolve long hair or help push it through the plumbing system, removing it by hand is often an easy, safe, and effective way to get your drain flowing again.
To do this job yourself, you likely only need one or two tools, Tavanian says. If you notice that your drain openingalso called a drain strainer or drain coverhas screws, grab a screwdriver and remove it. If you dont see screws, you should be able to gently pry the strainer off. Once removed, examine the area to see whats causing the obstruction. If its a tangled mess of hair, you may choose to don a pair of rubber gloves and simply reach in and pull it out. Or you can use the end of a wire hanger to get a little further down in the pipe to dislodge and remove the hair that is causing the clog. Once complete, replace the drain strainer and run the water to see if drainage has improved. If removing the hair doesnt improve water flow, there is likely a different or larger blockage further down the pipe that may require additional tools.
Can You Put Drano In A Tub With Standing Water
Most chemical agents require you to remove standing water before applying them to clogs. However, there are certain types of Drano that you can pour into standing water, and it will make its way through the water and into the drain. Make sure to check your container of Drano before buying it to make sure it has this capability because not all of them do.
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Alternative Methods To Unclog Drains
You do not always have to resort to the drain cleaner you can pick up in the grocery store to clear a clogged pipe or drain. I have some alternative methods that should clear up the problem and make it so you can use your sink or bathtub regularly again.
The Wire Hanger Method
Often times, particularly if there are a lot of people in your household who have long hair, the drains in the home can be clogged. Usually, the hair gets caught somewhere just below the surface of the drain and continues to accumulate over months of usage.
If you take a wire hanger and unwrap it so that it is mostly straight with a tip that acts as a hook, you can usually stick it down into the drain and pull up several hairballs.
This can be a messy process, so I suggest that you get a garbage bag or a grocery bag to put the clogging substance into. That way it can be easily disposed of when you have cleared the drain.
The Baking Soda Method
If the wire hanger method did not work, or if you are not excited to see the nasty stuff that is in your clogged pipe, I suggest you move forward with the baking soda method.
Resorting to the Plunger
As an alternative method, you can use the plunger, which is traditionally used for toilets. It works in a variety of situations, so you can definitely put it to work to clear your drain if the previous methods do not sound attractive to you.
If you are trying to unclog your sink, I suggest buying a smaller plunger that will fit better before you try this.
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