How to Unclog a Shower Drain WITHOUT a Plunger or Drain Cleaner
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The most convenient way to unclog a shower drain is to call your plumber. Once he appears at your door with his snake auger, you can go back to your business and just let him wrestle with the clog. Mr. plumber has to do all the dirty work, but you're the one responsible for the pricey bill afterwards. It usually costs around $70 - $150 to hire a plumber to do this type of task. That's why many people choose to forgo a plumber and try to unclog their shower drains themselves. The plunger is a common "weapon" many homeowners use to battle clogged drains. Some clogs, however, might be too enormous and stubborn for this basic tool to handle. What about drain cleaners? They're usually quite effective, but some drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to you and the environment. Also, they tend to take a period of time to get the job done, and such delay can be very inconvenient for some people.
If your local plumber's service is too expensive, your plunger has failed you, and the drain cleaner can't fix your problem fast enough, there is another easy method to try. Something as simple as a garden hose can be a nifty plumbing tool if you know how to utilize it for this particular purpose. With some little tricks and a few blasts of water, your shower drain can once again be clean and unclogged.
How Does a Shower Drain Get Clogged?
The wicked attraction between fallen hair and soap residue can end up causing you exasperation and grief. When you rinse the soap off your body, you may think it will go straight through the shower drain and disappear, but it's not always so. The soap residue can coagulate inside your shower drain and bind the hair together in a mass. This soapy and hairy mass will grow larger after every shower you take. It is a steady and subtle onslaught to your drain, the same way cholesterol slowly clogs your artery every time you eat junk food. Luckily, a clogged shower drain is not as big a tragedy as a clogged artery, and you can actually fix it yourself without professional help.
Tools for Unclogging a Shower Drain
- Needle-nose pliers
- Garden hose
- Small towel
How to Unclog a Shower Drain Without a Plunger or Drain Cleaner
- Open the prongs of your needle-nose pliers.
- Insert them into the holes of the shower drain's strainer.
- There're usually two ways to remove the strainer, depending on what type of strainer you have. Most of the time, you should be able to simply flip the strainer out with the pliers. For some models, however, you need to grip the strainer tightly with the pliers and twist it counterclockwise to unscrew it.
- Insert the garden hose into the shower drain as far as it can go.
- Stuff the drain around the garden hose with a small towel.
- Connect the other end of the hose to the sink's faucet and turn on the water to the highest pressure.
- As the water is running into the shower drain, crimp and uncrimp the hose to dislodge the blockage with blasts of water.
- Once you successfully unclog your shower drain, close the drain with the strainer. Follow the tips below to prevent your shower drain from getting clogged again.
***This unclogging technique only works for shower drains. As for a bathtub and shower combination, the drain system would normally be more complicated than this.***
How to Prevent a Shower Drain from Getting Clogged
- When you just want to take a quick shower, a shower cap is your best friend. It can keep your hair from getting wet and prevent the drain from getting clogged.
- Before jumping into the shower and washing your hair, brush or comb it first to get rid of all the loose hair. This will minimize the amount of hair you shed in the shower.
- As much as you adore your dogs, don't wash them in your shower stall. You might want to go so far as to treat them as your equals, but unfortunately, shower stalls should always be reserved for humans only.
- NEVER allow the bonding between the soap and hair in the drain to grow too large and too strong. You can nip it in the bud simply by pouring boiling water or some vinegar down your shower drain once a week.