What to do When a Shower Drain Takes Longer to Drain

December 18th, 2020

Shower drains are easily clogged and can lead to serious problems if they are not dealt with properly. If a clogged shower drain is left untreated it will only grow bigger with time and use of the shower, resulting in a complete blockage that can damage pipes, floors, ceilings and walls.

In order to avoid these costly and incredibly inconvenient issues with their showers, homeowners should regularly check and maintain their shower drains. But as with any household sink in the kitchen, bathroom or utility room, slow build-ups are hardly noticeable in the beginning and sometimes go unnoticed until they become clogged and cause a significant decrease in the speed that the drain empties.

The plumbing specialists at Plomberie Richard et Fils in Gatineau share their insights about what to do when a shower drain takes longer to drain by answering these frequently asked questions about clogged shower drains:

  • How do shower drains get clogged?
  • Is there a way to keep my shower from clogging up?
  • What can I do to unclog my shower drain?
  • What to do when you can’t get the shower drain unclogged on your own?
  • Who can I call for a completely blocked shower drain that I can’t unclog?

How do shower drains get clogged

Whether your shower drain is located on a tiled floor, in a fibreglass shower surround, or in a bathtub, the main culprits responsible for clogging the drain are hair, soap, and shampoo residue. High traffic showers and those used by people with long hair can become clogged on a regular basis and their drains will need to be cleaned and cleared more often.

Is there a way to keep my shower from clogging up?

The best way to unclog a shower drain is to prevent it from happening in the first place! Always use a drain cover to catch as much hair as possible. It is just fine for the soap and shampoo to go down through your shower drain because without hair to stick to, they will most likely flow easily with the shower water.

What can I do to unclog my shower drain?

Even with a shower drain cover, most showers will eventually start to become coated in hair covered in soap and shampoo scum. When this happens, your shower will drain slowly and you might even find that your feet are left in standing water by the end of your shower. Here are some suggestions for some DIY fixes for how to unclog a shower drain:

Be sure to clean off the shower drain cover after showering otherwise the small holes will become clogged with soap residue and will cause slow drainage – exactly the problem you were trying to solve with the drain cover in the first place! After removing and disposing of the hair trapped in your shower cover, simply give it a good rinse with hot water before placing it back over your shower drain.

  1. Remove any hair or other debris that is covering the drain
  2. Use a screwdriver or knife to remove the drain plate from the drain pipe. Some drain covers can be removed without using tools.
  3. Wearing rubber gloves (this will get messy!) dig out as much debris as possible from your shower drain pipe. Start by reaching in with a screwdriver, and progress to a drain snake or simply use a straightened metal clothes hanger (leave the hook) to dig deeper.
  4. Flush the drain with water and use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar for a more thorough clean if the water still seems to be flowing slower than it should. NOTE: never pour boiling water into a shower if there is a chance that the piping is made of PVC plastic because it can melt the joint seals and cause leaking. If you are 100% certain that your shower plumbing is metal, boiling water will oftentimes do the trick.
  5. Replace the shower drain plate and drain cover.

What to do when you can’t get the shower drain unclogged on your own?

If you are unable to clear a clogged shower drain on your own, it is important to reach out to a plumbing professional to get the drain cleared. A clogged shower drain will not clear up on its own and will only get worse, leading to a complete blockage and much more serious problems than simply a slow draining shower.

If your shower is clogged, and especially if it is completely blocked, discontinue use of the shower until you have contacted a plumber.

Who can I call for a completely blocked shower drain that I can’t unclog?

If you are unable to clear a clogged or completely blocked shower drain, call your trusted local plumber to come and unclog your shower drain. Plomberie Richard et Fils serving the West Island of Montréal and surrounding area, offers 24 hour emergency services if necessary, and provides free no-obligation quotes for all of our services. If you need help with your shower drain, don’t let the problem build-up any more, call us today!

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