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A blocked shower drain is a common issue that many of us will face at some point and unblocking a shower drain might be easier than you think.

Finding yourself ankle-deep in standing water is a tell-tale sign your drain needs unblocking, and it can be unsettling, wondering how the blockage might be impacting the rest of your home.


Why isn’t my Shower Draining?

There are many reasons why your shower might not be draining properly. So before we look at how to resolve the matter, let’s take a look at what could be causing the drain to clog…


When you exit the shower, it’s not always soap and dirt you leave behind.

The most obvious and common culprit that can be left clinging to your drain is hair. Hair strands will always be shed in the shower, and they gather in the drain. Pet and long hair can be especially problematic and prone to clogging once it goes down the drain.


Foreign Objects

Small items dropped down a shower drain are more common than you think and can be the most problematic if they go deep down into the drain. Watch out for razor coverings, toiletry caps, mini toys – that sort of thing.


Soap Scum

Soap is one of the main causes of a blocked drain. Traditional soap bars, for example, are made with grease or fat and this can build-up in your drain, causing gunk to form, restricting water flow.

How to Prevent a Blocked Drain

A sink strainer, drain cover or hair catcher can be used as a preventive measure to help stop the above debris from entering your shower drain. These sit on top of your current shower drain and make it easy to maintain your shower. If cleaned regularly, then you shouldn’t have any issues with your drains.


How do I Unblock a Shower Drain?

Once drainage problems have begun, they will usually get worse over time unless you act swiftly. We’ve got a few DIY tips you can carry out before you need to get in touch with one of our experts.

Your Hand

It may not be the most glamorous of tasks to use your hands to clear gunge out, but it’s certainly the most efficient way to deal with the problem.

Make sure you wear rubber gloves and don’t go too far down the drain, otherwise you risk hurting yourself or damaging your drain.

Firstly, you need to take off the drain cover, this is either removable by hand or will need a screwdriver to remove the screw in the middle of your drain. After this is removed, it’s possible that you can see the blockage, if so, carefully remove any build up from the top of your drain, clean the area and replace the cover afterwards.

The Plunger

A good old-fashioned method to try and rid the blockage before using any chemicals is the plunger.

Secure the plunger above the plug hole, move it in an up and down motion in 20 second intervals, and ensure the tool remains vertical at all times.

If you notice there’s not much suction going on, you could apply water or even petroleum jelly to the lip of the plunger, which will form a stronger seal.

This method may take several attempts before the blockage is removed, so use a bit of elbow grease.

A Plumber’s Snake

Using a plumber’s snake to try and alleviate the issue is another effective way of unblocking your shower drain.

If you’re using the snake, push it down the drain until you reach the gunk, hair or object, and after turning the snake’s handle, pull it back up.

Then run the water to make sure the blockage has been completely cleared and is back to flowing smoothly down the drain.

If the above methods haven’t worked, try and prevail by using the following substances…

Boiling Water

Pop the kettle on to boil up some water. Then, carefully and slowly, pour the boiled water down the drain.

This simple method may get rid of the blockage. However, if it’s only partially cleared, you may need to supplement with baking soda and vinegar or a chemical product.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

First of all, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and leave it to settle for a few minutes.

Then pour a cup of vinegar down the drain too, and leave for a couple of hours. Next, turn the shower on and see if the blockage has gone. Finally, add boiling water again to clean out the drain.

Chemical Products

If the above methods have failed, then you could look at using a chemical cleaner before calling for assistance.

However, chemical products should be used sparingly because they could damage your drainage system and harm the environment. When using them, follow the instructions carefully and always wear goggles and gloves.


Contact the Specialists to Unblock Your Shower Drain

If none of the above methods have proved to be successful in your attempts to unclog your shower drain, or you don’t want to start taking your drain apart or use chemicals, our team of expert plumbers at Metro Plumb are on hand to support all your needs 24/7/365.

We pride ourselves on our speedy service and you can click here to find your local plumber who will get your water flowing.

17th June 2022   |    Blogs How-to guides