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What To Do When You Have A Clogged Shower Drain

Your family’s showers are an integral part of your daily life. Whether you’re getting ready for the day, bathing kids, cleaning pets or retreating for an at-home spa experience, you rely on your shower for many purposes. A clogged shower drain can put a huge kink in your routine. Slow-draining showers can be inconvenient at best, and a major hazard at worst. Learn what to do with your Weaverville NC clogged drain with these easy tips from Four Seasons Plumbing.

Signs Your Shower Drain Has A Clog

Sometimes, it’s obvious that your drain is clogged. Backed-up water is a clear warning that you need a drain cleaning. However, other symptoms are harder to figure out. Here are three tell-tale signs that you’re dealing with a blocked shower.

Slow Drainage

Normally, your shower water should drain away at around the same rate that it leaves the faucet. The shower floor will be wet, but there shouldn’t be any standing water. When you notice water starting to creep up around your ankles, or your shower is still draining long after you’ve turned off the water, your shower drain is clogged.
These blockages usually consist of soap scum, hair, and dirt, although other items can cause problems as well. Small children’s toys, razor blade covers, and other slender items can also create clogs. No matter what the block is made out of, Four Seasons Plumbing’s drain cleaning services can help you enjoy a clean shower again.

Unpleasant Smells

Your plumbing system is designed to carry grey water away from your home, so you shouldn’t normally notice any waste smells from your pipes. Pay attention to any new or unpleasant odors coming from your pipes. If you start to notice a bad scent coming from your shower, it’s time to have your drain cleaned.

Most shower smells are due to rotting soap scum and hair that’s been caught in your drain. Other times, you’ll notice the smell of sulfuric gas, sewage, or rotting eggs coming from your shower. These odors can be caused by major issues in your main sewage line. It’s time to call Four Seasons Plumbing if you ever find a sewage smell coming from your shower or other pipes.

Puddles Of Water

When your shower drain is clogged, water will often back up in the shower or bathtub. Most of the time, you’ll find that the water clears through the drain eventually. However, some blockages are serious enough that the water simply can’t pass through. These clogs can cause the water to leak out of your shower and into the rest of the bathroom. In other situations, the excess water can put enough pressure on your pipes to cause them to burst. Four Seasons Plumbing offers emergency plumbing repairs if you’re ever caught in this scenario.

How To Unclog A Shower Drain

A clogged drain in Weaverville NC can be very serious, potentially causing leaks, odors, and burst pipes in your home. Early prevention can avoid many of these problems. You can try at-home methods to clear a blocked drain. If you try one of these tactics as soon as you notice your drain is acting up, you might be able to solve the issue on your own.

Use Your Hands

This isn’t the most pleasant method, but it can get the job done. Let as much water drain as possible before starting. If your shower isn’t draining at all, you can scoop the water out and flush it down a working drain somewhere else in your house. Next, unscrew the drain cover. Make sure to wear gloves and then reach into the drain. You may only be able to get a few fingers in, but that may be enough to detect the clog. If you can access the clog, try to remove it as much as possible. If you can’t reach the blockage, it’s time to try something else. Never push your hands or fingers into a situation that feels tight. You don’t want to become stuck yourself.

Hemostats are also a good option for the manual removal of obstructions. Their narrow jaws will fit down in between the slots on a tub drain. You can then lock them down and twist, which works really well for removing clumps of long hair from the shower.

Boiling Water

Flushing your drain with boiling water can be a fix for soapy clogs. The hot water can break down the soap by heating it, liquefying it, and flushing it further down the pipes. You should only use this method if your pipes are not made of PVC. Boiling water can damage PVC, so don’t try this approach if you’re not certain about your pipe materials.

The first step to this method is to let the standing water drain out of your shower. If there’s too much water to drain in an hour, then the clog is probably too big for boiling water to handle. If the water clears, however, you can heat two liters of water to boiling. Carefully bring one liter to the bathroom and pour it into the shower. Repeat immediately with the second liter. The water will clear if this method is successful. If the water doesn’t drain, you’ll need another method.

Use A Plunger

If baking soda and vinegar weren’t strong enough to handle your clog, you can try using a plunger next. A plunger can be effective on more than just a backed-up toilet. This tool can also help handle clogs in your bathtubs, showers, and sinks.

Plungers can cause splashing, so be careful with this method if you’ve tried any chemical drain removals. You should wait one or two days after using chemicals before plunging your shower.

Start by removing any standing water from your shower. Next, unscrew the drain cover and cover the overflow opening with a damp towel. This blocks the exit and forces all your efforts on the drain clog.

Turn on your faucet and add a small amount of water to the shower. You want just enough to cover the bottom of the plunger to improve the suction. Next, start plunging, using an upward and downward motion. It’s normal to plunge between 6 and 14 times before you remove the clog.

Once you reach 14 plunges, remove the plunger and check if the water has started to drain. If it has, you’ve cleared your clog. If the water isn’t moving, you can try plunging again two or three more times.

Use A Wire Hanger

In case a plunger isn’t enough to clear your drain, there’s one more thing to try before calling Four Season Plumbing. You can use a wire coat hanger to mimic a professional plumber’s snake. The hanger extends your reach, letting you access parts of the drain that you can’t touch with your fingers.

Straighten a wire coat hanger to allow it to fit down the drain. Form one side into a hook that can grab the blockage. Next, stick the hanger down the drain and wiggle it around until you find the clog. Use the hook to pull up as much debris and mess as you can. Once you’re gotten everything you can reach, flush the drain with warm or boiling water. This will help remove any leftover residue that your hook couldn’t grab.

Call The Professionals

Some drain clogs are too stubborn to handle on your own. If you’ve tried all of these methods and haven’t seen any success, it’s time to call Four Seasons Plumbing. Our expert technicians have the training, tools, and experience needed to handle any clogged shower.

Whether you’ve exhausted all of the do-it-yourself options, or you simply want professional services as soon as you notice a problem, give us a call. We know that not every homeowner wants to do their own plumbing. We’re comfortable working with any size clog, whether you’ve just noticed a slowly draining shower or you have a major backup complete with flooding. Our emergency plumbing and drain cleaning services can help you get back to your regular routine.

Learn More

As a local, family-owned business, we understand that your bathroom is an important part of your daily life. Clogged showers can be inconvenient, messy, and frustrating. Do-it-yourself methods can fix some blocks, but some clogs require professional services. Four Seasons Plumbing is the only Weaverville, NC plumber that focuses on private homes and residences. Whenever your home has a plumbing emergency, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more and get help with your clogged shower drain.

What To Do When You Have A Clogged Shower Drain
Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.