So a slow drain is turning your shower into a bath
Do you find yourself standing in an inch or two of water halfway through your morning shower? Slow drainage in the shower is caused by a clog in the drain. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it is usually easy to fix and it’s something you could do yourself. We’ll give you the steps you need to follow to clear the shower drain.
Some homeowners will try using a plunger on the shower drain—that’s great if it works, but usually it won’t resolve a slow-moving shower drain. Other homeowners try pouring chemicals down the drain—we don’t recommend this as it probably won’t resolve the problem and it can cause damage to your pipes. The following process to clear your shower drain will work much better.
1. Remove the drain cover
Carefully remove the shower drain cover, taking care not to lose the screws down the drain. Take a look down the drain with a flashlight. You may be able to see the clog. Quite often it’s an accumulation of soap and hair right there at the top of the drain.
2. Use a shop vac to clear the drain
The best solution, especially if you still have standing water on the shower floor or in the drain, is to get a shop vac (in wet vac mode) and use it to suck up the standing water and vacuum away all the debris clogging the drain. This works 95% of the time! The shop vac is the best solution, but if you don’t have one, you may be able to use needle-nose pliers and a rubber glove to remove all the debris at the top of the drain.
3. Go after stubborn clogs with a snake
After using the shop vac to clear the drain, run water down the drain to see if vacuuming was successful. If the water is still slow-moving, you can put a plumber’s snake (found in varying sizes at just about any home goods store) down the open drain pipe and clear the clog. The drain pipe goes down into a p-trap and that is usually where the clog will form. Again, you can test to see if this has cleared the clog by running water down the drain.
4. Replace the drain cover
Put the cover back on. You may want to upgrade to a better drain cover that will prevent a lot of hair from going down the drain or you can also get a strainer that goes over top of the drain cover.
What if it’s still draining slowly?
Most of the time, you can use your shop-vac to clear the shower drain. If that doesn’t work and you don’t have a plumber’s snake (or if that fails to clear it), give Full Nelson a call. We can send a drain-cleaning expert to your home to thoroughly clean that shower drain and save you from standing in water every morning.