How to Fix a Shower Clog: A Step-by-Step Guide
Clogged shower drains are a common
household problem, often caused by the accumulation of hair, soap scum, and mineral deposits. If left untreated, they can lead to slow draining and even complete blockages. Here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing a shower clog, complete with references to authoritative sources.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Hand auger or plumber’s snake
- Wet/dry vacuum
- Drain cleaner (preferably enzyme-based)
- Rubber gloves
1. Manual Removal
a. Remove the Drain Cover: Often, clogs can be accessed by simply removing the drain cover (Family Handyman, 2020).
b. Extract Visible Debris: Using gloved hands or pliers, remove any visible debris, like hair or soap buildup.
2. Use a Plunger
a. Seal the Overflow Opening: If there is an overflow opening, seal it with a wet cloth to create suction (Bob Vila, 2019).
b. Plunge the Drain: Fill the shower with enough water to cover the plunger head, then plunge vigorously several times.
3. Use a Hand Auger or Plumber’s Snake
a. Insert the Snake: If plunging doesn’t work, use a hand auger or plumber’s snake, inserting it into the drain and turning the handle clockwise (Home Repair Tutor, 2015).
b. Retrieve the Clog: Carefully pull the snake out, bringing the clog with it.
4. Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum
a. Set to Wet Mode: If the clog is stubborn, a wet/dry vacuum can provide powerful suction to remove it (This Old House, 2018).
b. Vacuum the Clog: Place the nozzle over the drain and turn on the vacuum to suck up the clog.
5. Use a Drain Cleaner
a. Choose an Enzyme-Based Cleaner: Enzyme-based cleaners are generally safer for pipes (Environmental Protection Agency, 2020).
b. Follow Instructions: Pour the cleaner into the drain, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
6. Rinse with Hot Water
After clearing the clog, run hot water down the drain for several minutes to ensure it is completely clear.
Fixing a shower clog can often be accomplished with a few simple tools and techniques. However, it’s crucial to approach the task with care and to follow appropriate guidelines.
- Family Handyman. (2020). “How to Unclog a Shower Drain.” Retrieved from Family Handyman Website.
- Bob Vila. (2019). “How to Unclog a Drain.” Retrieved from Bob Vila’s Website.
- Home Repair Tutor. (2015). “How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain.” Retrieved from Home Repair Tutor Website.
- This Old House. (2018). “How to Clear Any Clogged Drain.” Retrieved from This Old House Website.
- Environmental Protection Agency. (2020). “Safer Choice Drain Care Products.” Retrieved from EPA Website.
If the clog persists after trying these methods, consider consulting a professional plumber. Some clogs may require specialized equipment or techniques that only a professional can provide.