How to Unclog a Shower Drain Without a Plunger or Drain Cleaner
How Does a Shower Drain Get Clogged?
Fallen hair and soap residue collect in your shower drain, causing exasperation and grief when clogs build up. If left unaddressed, this soapy and hairy mass will grow larger after every shower you take. Luckily, a clogged shower drain can easily be fixed without professional help.
What You'll Need:
- Needle-nose pliers
- Garden hose
- Small towel
Prepare the Drain
Before you go in with the hose, carry out the steps below to prepare the drain.
1. Insert the Prongs: Open the prongs of your needle-nose pliers and insert them into the holes of the shower drain's strainer.
2. Remove the strainer: Most of the time, you should be able to simply flip the strainer out with the pliers. For some models, you'll need to grip the strainer tightly with the pliers and twist it counterclockwise to unscrew it.
Force the Clog Out!
3. Insert the Garden Hose: Guide the hose down the drain as far as it will go.
4. Stuff the Drain: Use a small towel to fill the empty space around the garden hose.
5. Turn It On: Connect the other end to the sink's faucet and turn the water on to the highest pressure.
6. Squeeze and Let Go: As the water runs into the shower drain, crimp and relax the hose to blast the clog with water and dislodge it.
7. Put It Back: Once you unclog the drain, close it with the strainer.
Note: This unclogging technique only works for shower drains. The drain system for a bathtub-and-shower duo is typically too complicated for this method.
How to Prevent a Hairy Situation
If you want to take preventative measures, here are some easy tips to reduce the potential for hairy situations.
- When you plan on taking a quick shower, a shower cap is your best friend. It keeps your hair from getting wet and prevents the drain from getting clogged.
- Before jumping in the shower, brush or comb your hair to get rid of strays strands. This will minimize the amount of hair you shed in the shower.
- Don't wash dogs in the shower stall.
- Never let a clog get too big or strong. You can nip it in the bud by pouring boiling water or some vinegar down your shower drain once a week.
If You Want Professional Assistance, Call a Plumber!
The most convenient way to unclog a shower drain is to call your plumber and let them wrestle with the clog. They'll do the dirty work, but you're left with a hefty $50-70 bill. That's why many people choose to forgo a plumber and try to unclog drains themselves. Plungers are a common tool homeowners use to battle clogs, but some are too big and stubborn to handle. Drain cleaners are another typically effective option, but some contain harsh chemicals that can harm you and the environment. They also take a prolonged period of time to work, and such delay can prove to 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 quickly enough, just remember that a simple garden hose can be a nifty plumbing tool!
© 2011 Om Paramapoonya