We’ve all looked down mid-shower to find ourselves ankle-deep in soapy water. When water drains slowly from a shower (or doesn’t drain at all), it’s called standing water, and it’s a sure sign that you have a clogged shower drain. If you find yourself with slow draining water, follow these troubleshooting steps.
How do you know if your shower drain is clogged?
The biggest sign of a clogged drain is water that drains slowly or not at all. However, there may also be a bad odor from the drain. Blockages are caused by hair, dirt and soap scum that get stuck in the pipe over time. If you have long hair, your drain will probably clog more frequently.
How to Fix a Shower Clog
There are several ways to fix a drain clog, all of which you should be able to do on your own:
- Boiling Water: Boil a pot of water and pour it down the shower drain, which will help break up soap scum and other debris. While this may not work completely after one pot, doing this every time you clean should prevent clogs.
- Use a Plunger: just like a plunger will break up blockages in a toilet, it will also work on your shower drain. Plungers can be useful in breaking up hair blockages.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda: If simpler methods don’t work, baking soda and vinegar (a powerful cleaning duo) should do the trick for deeper blockages. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, then a cup of vinegar, and wait a few hours for the solution to dissolve the clog. Rinse the drain with boiling water.
- Drain-Cleaning Chemicals: While they will likely take care of a clog quickly, drain chemicals are harsh enough to harm you and your pipes. Never use chemicals to unclog your drain.
Should I call a plumber for my clogged drain?
If you’ve exhausted every method without success or you have to frequently unclog your shower drain, it’s time to call a plumber. If you can’t unclog the drain or it clogs often, you could have a blockage in your sewer line, which can cause serious damage if it goes unchecked.