When you go to take a shower, it is usually to get clean. Nothing can make you feel less clean than having the dirty water, from what you just washed off yourself, pool around your feet and ankles. The majority of us have faced this problem and we know, the issue doesn’t just go way on its own, and if left unattended, the water can inch higher and higher up your body. While calling in a local Phoenix plumbing professional is always the best option for any type of plumbing issue, if you decide you want to attempt to tackle clearing the clog yourself, there are some things you can try. To ensure a backed up shower and your bathroom plumbing isn't the thing that scares you this Halloween season, we are going to review how to unblock a shower drain and provide some tips for getting that dirty water to go down the drain.
What are the Main Causes of a Shower Clog?
Before we look at how to unblock a shower drain, you likely want to know what could be causing the backup in the first place. Some of the most common causes of a shower that won’t drain include:
- Hair: Let’s start with the most common culprit of a clogged shower drain, the accumulation of hair in or on the drain. Whether it’s your hair, someone else’s, or a pet’s, when hair builds up around the drain, it can prevent water from passing through and when hair gets into your bathroom plumbing, it can serve as an area for deposits like grime and soap scum to stick to, leading to a shower that won’t drain.
- Soap Scum: Speaking of soap scum, this white, chalky residue can be the reason your shower looks more like a bathtub. Soap scum is made by calcium stearate and magnesium stearate, among other materials, mixing with hard water (the Spruce). This soapy build-up in your drain can obstruct water flow and create a major blockage.
- Random Objects: If objects make it down your drain that shouldn’t, like with all plumbing, it can create a problem. Objects like product wrappers, bottle caps, small toys, razor blades, etc. can be dropped in the tub or shower, then go down the drain, and create a blocked shower drain.
- Sewer Problems: If you need to unblock a shower drain and the cause of the issue is related to sewer problems, you should not try to tackle resolving the clog on your own. If you continue to have issues with drains clogging and have multiple drains throughout your home with issues, there could be a problem with your sewer line or septic system. Septic and sewage repairs are a common occurrence in many homes and businesses due to the continuous use that plumbing systems endure.
How to Unblock a Shower Drain
Now that you know why the water pooling around the bottom of your shower may be happening, it’s time to resolve the issue. It’s important to keep in mind that not all clogs are created equal, and due to the backup possibly being caused by something down the line in your plumbing or sewer, a professional plumber is always the best option. Some things you can try on your own include:
- Using a metal clothes hanger to try and snake the drain
- Grabbing a plunger to try and force the clog and blockage downward and out of drain
- Pouring boiling water down the drain to break up some of the buildup in the pipes
- Using baking soda and vinegar to create a chemical reaction that breaks up the clog
- We recommend against using store bought drain cleaners as they come with some risks: they often do not work, they can cause damage to your plumbing, and most cleaners are highly dangerous and could lead to serious health issues if handled improperly.
If you find your Phoenix home with a clogged shower drain, you are not going to want to leave the problem for long. We have reviewed some of the ways to unblock a shower drain, but at Arizona Comfort Specialists, we are happy to do the dirty work for you. Arizona Comfort Specialists proudly provides Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree, Scottsdale, Anthem and surrounding metro areas with licensed, professional plumbing services.