Call A Professional To Unclog Heavy Shower Drain
A clogged shower drain can be frustrating and a headache for the homeowners which is why it’s important to fix the clogged shower drain as soon as possible. The above tips can help you to unclog minor Shower drains at home. For heavy drain clog problems, you need drain and sewer unclogging experts. Call Fischer Plumbing professionals at or request an estimate online today.
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Why Should You Not Resort To Using Bleach To Unclog Your Bathtub Drain
We do not suggest pouring bleach down your drain as it will kill both good and bad bacteria. Pouring bleach down your pipes is also bad for the piping and wears them down making them weaker and reducing their long life spans. Look for more natural based drain cleaners to fix your clogs. Enzyme-based drain cleaners work well.
Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area today to learn more about how to unclog pesky drains. We are happy to do a full inspection of your plumbing system, resolve your plumbing issues, and provide you with advice on how to preserve your plumbing for years to come so repairs will be limited.
Want to learn more about related issues? Check out these other posts!
What Causes Standing Water In My Shower
There can be multiple reasons why there is standing water in your shower. Is there usually a lot of dirt that gets cleaned up in the shower? Does someone at home have long hair? Do you live someplace that uses hard water? How long has it been since you last cleaned out your shower drain? One or more of these questions might provide the answer to your question. Frequently washing dirt and hair down the shower drain can cause clogs faster than usual. In addition, a hard water supply can cause calcium build-up in the drain. This build-up accumulates over time and causes blockages. Multiple or frequent blockages can indicate a more severe problem in your pipelines.
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How Do You Minimize Mess When Unclogging A Shower Drain
Prep work is essential for preventing a clogged drain from turning into a big mess. When gathering your supplies, Tavanian suggests grabbing a few extra rags, a drop cloth to keep your shower floor protected, and a bucket to carry dirty tools in. As for the work itself, he tells DIYers to go slow and proceed cautiously. No one wants a hair clog flung around . Take your time so you can be neat and focused on what you are doing, he urges.
Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Sewer After I Shower
One possibility is that your bathroom drains are not properly vented. This can happen if the vent stack is blocked or if the trap arm is not the correct size.
Another possibility is that you have a sewer gas leak. This can happen if there is a break in the sewer line or if the P-trap is not installed correctly.
If you think you may have a sewer gas leak, it is important to contact a plumber or the gas company immediately.
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Ways To Unclog A Drain With Standing Water
A clogged bathtub, sink, shower or toilet with standing water needs to be fixed as quickly as possible to prevent overflowing of contaminated water into the floor. So, how do you do it?
To unclog a drain with standing water, start by draining away the water. You can then plunge, snake or clear the drain using baking soda, vinegar and hot water. Alternatively, you can remove and clean the P-trap. Avoid using chemical drain cleaners.
You shouldnt pour Drano or any other chemical drain cleaner in a clogged drain with standing water. If the drain cleaner fails to work, you will be left with a drain full of toxic wastewater. Always try and clear the clog naturally.
Whenever you have a clogged drain with standing water, it means that the drain line is completely blocked. With a partial clog in the drain line, the fixture would drain out slowly.
Pour Boiling Water Down The Drain
This can sometimes break down the soap or grease that is holding the clog together and clear the blockage.
How to Unclog Your Drain Using Boiling Water
- Boil water on the stove.
- Pour the boiling water down the drain.
- Its best to use a funnel or something to contain the water as you pour. If you have any expense shower or bathtub accessories, you dont want to spill boiling water on them.
Used on its own, this method may not work, especially if you are dealing with a serious blockage that contains a lot of matted hair and has built up over time. However, it may partially clear the blockage and work fully when used in conjunction with another method listed below.
Pour boiling water down the drain to clear out a clog.
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Tips For Preventing Shower Clogs
To keep from unclogging a shower drain in the future, try one or more of these ideas.
- Put a drain screen or tub strainer over the shower drain to catch loose hairs. Empty it regularly.
- Brush your hair before you get in the shower.
- Pour a kettle of boiling water down your metal pipes, a little at a time, about once a week. This will help dislodge materials like grease, soap and debris before they form a clog.
- Mix 1/3 cup of vinegar and 1/3 cup of baking soda in a heat-resistant cup and pour it down the drain once a month.
- Don’t pour dirty mop water or other wastewater that contains dirt and debris down the shower drain.
Unclogging a shower drain can be a DIY project. As you figure out how to unclog a shower drain, start by trying the easiest ways. First, if you have metal pipes, pour boiling water down the drain. Then remove hair from the drain. If that doesn’t work, use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. If the clog persists, use a plunger, plumber’s snake or chemical drain opener.
If you need help unclogging a shower drain, The Home Depot offers plumbing services. Let our licensed, local plumbers fix it for you.
What Are The Different Types Of Shower Drains
The four main types of shower drains are: linear, point, floor and neo-angle.
Linear drains are the most popular type of shower drain and are available in a variety of sizes and styles. They are installed in the center of the shower floor and are typically used with a vinyl shower pan liner.
Linear drains can also be used with a pre-fabricated shower pan.
Point drains are installed in the shower floor and have a small hole in the center. They are typically used with a pre-fabricated shower pan.
Floor drains are installed in the floor of the shower and have a large opening. They are typically used with a tile shower floor.
Neo-angle drains are installed in the corner of the shower and have a small opening. They are typically used with a pre-fabricated shower pan.
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Can You Pour Drain Cleaner In A Clogged Drain With Standing Water
Chemical drain cleaners like Drano will surely unclog most drain clogs but I do not recommend using them. Check out the reasons for that in this post.
To be specific, Drano is marketed as being capable of penetrating through the standing water and clearing the clog. I am however not sure about other drain cleaners.
While I am not in disagreement with Drano, it does not always work. And no drain cleaner works 100% of the time anyway. Some clogs just wont budge. As a matter of fact, Drano can make some clogs even worse.
So, what happens when you pour Drano in a clogged drain with standing water and it fails to work? You will be left with a drain full of toxic wastewater.
There is a reason plumber always ask if you had tried using chemical drain cleaners whenever you call them to fix a clogged drain. You will need to look for a way of draining the wastewater safely and there is always a risk that it will splash and burn your skin.
So the answer is NO. You should not pour Drano or any other chemical drain cleaner in a clogged drain with standing water. In fact, you should avoid using chemical drain cleaners as much as possible.
How To Unclog A Shower Drain With A Plunger
A plunger can also clear shower drain clogs. Remove the drain cover and put the rubber cup of the plunger over the drain opening. Apply some petroleum jelly to the edge of the cup if you have trouble getting a good seal. Then run enough water in the shower stall to cover the lip of the cup. Move the plunger handle up and down rapidly to force out the clog. Run water in the shower to be sure the clog is gone before you replace the drain cover.
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How Do You Use An Auger To Clear A Clogged Shower Drain
Augers are readily available at home improvement and hardware stores, and you can usually get a good one for less than $50. Tavanian suggests opting for a hand-operated drain auger with a 1/4-inch cable as a manageable and safe option for most clogged drains. If youre looking to add an auger to your tool box, Tavanian recommends the Rigid Kwik-Spin drain cleaning snake auger with auto feed trigger. There are drain cleaning machines, but those are quite expensive. Before using an auger for the first time, Tavanian suggests watching a few how-to videos. The technique is very difficult to explain yet simple to do, he admits. DIYers should also familiarize themselves with the instructions that came with the auger they purchased, as there might be slight variations in techniques used to dislodge a clog.
Once you have an auger, follow this step-by-step guide to unclog a shower drain:
Step 2: If your drain screen has screws, use a screwdriver to remove them, and then lift the screen off. If not, you should be able to gently pry it off.
Step 3: Feed the coiled end of the auger down the drain until you feel some resistance on the other end.
Step 5: Keep turning until you feel the resistance lessen, which likely means youve dislodged the clog.
Step 7: Run warm or hot water, and see if drainage has improved. If not, repeat the steps above.
Why Standing Water Is Problematic
Besides slow draining water, standing water is a primary telltale sign of a drain clog. The clog creates a tight blockage inside the pipe where no water passes. Unlike slow-to-drain water, standing water stays inside the bathtub or shower and doesn’t move.
Standing water is often unclean. The dirty water sits, infected with bacteria, can turn into ground zero for mildew and mold. It also carries a foul odor that begins where the clog occurs and ends inside the bathtub or shower. The smell pollutes the air, causing allergic reactions, asthma flare-ups, and respiratory problems once inhaled.
This chain reaction can occur as quickly as a few hours and as late as two days, and it will worsen if it sits longer than that.
Flies, dragonflies, and mosquitoes love standing water and will fly into your home through the window or door if it’s open for ventilation. Mosquitoes and flies can bring bacteria and disease to the water, making standing water even more hazardous.
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Use The Plumbing Snake
While the plumbing snake, or drain snake, may be difficult for first-timers to use, it is not rocket science. And if you dont own one, worry not, because you can rent from any tool rental or even from hardware stores.
Plumbing snakes are long and flexible metal cables with a metal augre at one end used to clean out clogged drains. Begin by removing the overflow drain plate. Then gently start pushing the snake into the drain.
Be sure not to force the snake or put too much pressure on it. Since the cable is flexible, you will not find it difficult to navigate bends in the pipe.
Once the snake encounters the blockage, the twisting motion of the augre attaches to the cause of the blockage. You can then gently remove the snake along with the cause of the blockage.
Use Baking Soda And Salt
This is another simple drain unclogging method using household items. Begin by pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow that up by pouring half a cup of salt mixed with baking soda down the drain.
Allow this to rest for a few hours, preferably overnight. Your drain should be unclogged by then. Rinse the drain pipe with hot water to finish the process.
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Tips To Avoid Shower Drain Clogging And Standing Water
Dealing with shower clogs is an experience most people would rather not go through. By giving your drain a little more attention, this can be avoided. Here are a few tips to keep your drain clog-free.
Regular Drain Clearing.
Simply pour half a cup of baking soda, followed by half a cup of vinegar, and seal the drain. After the reaction takes place, let the drain sit for about thirty minutes before flushing hot water. The reaction helps removes any clogs down the drain that may build up get worse with time. This should be done every couple of weeks.
This prevention measure also gets rid of dirty odors.
Add a Mesh Drain Screen
The easiest way of dealing with clogs is reducing the amount of dirt that goes throughhaving a mesh drain installed applies this concept. It is a small device that sits in your drain and catches whatever debris got past the shower grate. You should empty it once or twice a month.
Flushing the Drain Regularly
A mesh screen may catch all debris, but it cannot stop oils and soaps from flowing through, which may easily cause build-ups. Weekly flushing keeps your drain clear. Have hot water run down the drain for two minutes wait five minutes before letting hot water flow for another two minutes.
Doing these easy steps within the required period or start noticing slow drainage odor should have you a clear drain.
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Clear The Drain Using Baking Soda And Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are actually very effective in unclogging drains naturally. The 2 products are not only safe for your plumbing but they are also eco-friendly and septic-safe.
Baking soda being is an alkali while vinegar is a weak acid and the two will react together in a fizzing reaction and in the process break down the clog.
Although baking soda and vinegar will clear the drain on their own, I also like adding hot water in the mix. What you may not know as well is that boiling water can clear most drain clogs.
Boiling water melts the grease in kitchen sink drains and melts hair balls in bathroom sink, bathtub and shower drains thereby clearing the clog.
- Drain the clogged fixture completely. If you still have water in the clogged fixture, drain it out. You want the baking soda and vinegar to work directly on the clog.
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda slowly followed by another cup of vinegar.
- Wait for about 15 minutes for the clog to be broken down.
- Meanwhile, start boiling about a gallon or more of water.
- Dump the hot water in the drain.
Note: Avoid pouring boiling water in a toilet bowl. The water will cause a sudden expansion of the china and hence the bowl will crack.
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Unclog The Drain By Hand
When the options above fail you, this may be your best way forward.
You might want to resort to this as the first course of action if you know for a fact that youve been regularly letting hair wash down your drain, or if you know youve accumulated a buildup of coarse dirt or grime. Be prepared to get dirty!
How to do it:
- Grab a pair of gloves.
- Remove the drain cover. Depending on the drain, you may need to unscrew it or pry it open.
- Look inside inside the drain until you locate the buildup. You might need a flashlight for this part.
- Pull out any clogs.
- If you cant reach a clog with your hand, you can also try using a piece of wire as a hook.
Trying Baking Soda And Vinegar
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