Have you ever watched a stunt video that starts with a big, bold warning, “DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME?” The same goes for most plumbing projects. One small mistake could cause major damage, cost you a lot of money, and even be dangerous. So unless you really know what you’re doing, you’re usually better off leaving the work to the professionals.
That being said, there are some easy tricks that you can do yourself to prevent or fix certain plumbing issues such as a slow or clogged shower drain.
What causes a clogged shower drain?
There’s a simple explanation for why tub and shower drains get clogged so often – so much stuff goes down them each day. Soap, shampoo, dirt, hair, body oils, and whatever else can accumulate in the pipes, especially in the trap, which is the curved part of the drainpipe that prevents sewer gases from coming up.
At first, a small blockage can form, which causes the drain to flow slower than normal. But more gunk will accumulate until it completely clogs the drain. The good news is there are a few simple ways to fix and prevent a clogged shower drain.
Best DIY plumbing hacks for unclogging a shower drain
- Say no to chemicals, yes to natural methods. Liquid or gel drain cleaners have harsh chemicals that can be bad for your pipes and your health. Instead, try more gentle solutions such as pouring a half-cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a half-cup of vinegar. Let the fizzy mix sit in the drain for at least 20 minutes, then pour the drain with hot water.
- Install a hair catcher. The best solution is always prevention, and a hair catcher placed in the drain opening is one of the easiest, most effective ways to avoid a clogged shower drain in the first place.
- Have the right tool handy. If you’re lucky, you could fish out the blockage with a bent metal wire (such as a clothes hanger) or Zip-It tool. You may have to unscrew the drain cover or pop-up stopper but that’s fairly easy. If you can’t retrieve the blockage, the next thing to dry is using a plunger with a small amount of water in the tub.
- Coordinated flushes. If you can flush all the drains in your home at the same time, the pressure could help dislodge the blockage so it passes on to the sewer. The key here is to fill the tubs and sinks with water, and get enough people to help so that you can open every drain and flush the toilets at the same time.
Drain cleaning service in Amarillo, TX
If the above tips don’t resolve your clogged shower drain, it may be time to bring in Pratt Plumbing. Not only do we have the expertise for all types of plumbing problems but we also have high-powered equipment that can reach deeper and break up stubborn clogs. To schedule a drain cleaning appointment, call us at (806) 373-7866.