Showers can be a nice, relaxing way to decompress. Unfortunately, that feeling can quickly evaporate when the drain clogs. Few things are as unpleasant as finding yourself standing in a foot of dirty water.
If and when your shower drain clogs, you may have to fix it with water left sitting in the base. Should this be the case, your best bet is to either pour boiling water or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain or to manually unclog the drain with a plunger or snake tool.
Of course, the ideal situation is to get the water to drain first. This will make dealing with the drain easier to manage.
Getting the water to drain
Below are a few things you should try if you want to get the standing water out of the shower prior to going in manually to unclog the drain.
1. Give it time
The first thing you might try is simply letting the water sit for a while. If your drain is clogged, it may still have a bit of an opening through which the water can drain.
If this is the case, leaving the shower alone for a while will give the water time to flow out prior to you going in to fix it. After the water is gone, you can try removing the clog with a tool or pouring boiling water or chemicals in to dissolve the clog.
2. Try a chemical drain clearer
If you leave the water for a while and it doesn’t drain at all, you’ll have to try something more aggressive. Since the standing water will prevent any boiling water from reaching the clog, your best bet is to employ a chemical solution.
Adding a chemical solution to the standing water can work to break down the clog just enough to let the water drain. Your best options are to either purchase a drain clearer from the store or to use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.
While the solution may work quickly, this will depend entirely on the nature of the clog. You may have to let the solution sit for some time, as it will have to disperse through the water to reach the clog. For this reason, you’ll also want to add the solution near the drain.
3. Manually make a hole in the clog
If all else fails, you may have to go in manually. While the standing water can make it difficult to fully solve the problem, you should be able to break the clog up at least a bit, allowing the water to begin to drain.
The best way to do this is with either your drain snake or with a plunger. The plunger should allow you to pull on the clog enough to create a bit of open space. Likewise, just prodding the clog with a snake may make a hole that lets the water drain off.
Once you notice the water draining, give the shower time to empty. From there, you can go back in with your tool and clear the clog completely.
Preventing future clogs
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to handle shower clogs is to simply avoid them in the first place. Here’s how to do it.
Keep hair from building up
One of the most common culprits in shower drain clogs is hair. Keeping hair out of your pipes will drastically reduce the likelihood of you experiencing a clog.
Brushing your hair prior to getting into the shower can go a long way in keeping your hair from building up. You might be surprised when you see how many loose hairs you bring in with you. Brushing will eliminate these prior to your head hitting the water.
Additionally, buying a drain screen will ensure any hairs that do come loose are caught before they slip down the pipe. Not only will this keep hairs from getting out of reach, but it makes hair removal extremely easy, as all you have to do is pull the screen out and empty it.
Pour boiling water or a chemical drain opener on a weekly basis
The same things that can help clear a full-blown clog can also help prevent them in the first place. Regularly cleaning the drain will get rid of small dirt and grime formations that can eventually block it entirely.
If you are looking for simplicity, simply pouring boiling water from a tea kettle should clear dirt in most instances. You can also use vinegar and baking soda or a commercially-produced drain cleaning product to the same effect.
Don’t pour dirty water down the shower
Finally, keeping dirt and grime out of the shower in the first place is a great way to reduce clogs. Never pour dirty mop water or anything of that nature down the shower drain. The drain is not equipped for the particles that may be floating in there.
Read More: 6 Types of Shower Drain Covers
Can coke unclog my drain?
While it may seem surprising, many sodas such as Coca-Cola can actually unclog drains quite effectively. This is because soda is very acidic.
The acid in beverages like Coke can work to eat away at the material causing a clog. That being, the nature of the clog is a big determinant as to how effective this will be. If it’s hair clogging your drain, soda probably won’t help you.
Additionally, standing water will drastically reduce the effectiveness of this method of clearing a clog. Standing water will prevent the acid from reaching the clog in a concentration high enough to break the material down.
Can Drano make a clog worse?
While Drano may not make the clog itself worse, it can cause issues if it doesn’t eat through the clog in a timely manner. This is because Drano is a caustic chemical mixture.
If you pour Drano into your pipes and it doesn’t move through in a timely manner, it may begin to eat through the pipes themselves. This can result in leaking or a complete break in your pipes.
For this reason, mechanically removing clogs may be better for your pipes in the long run. Mechanical removal won’t harm your pipes so long as it is done correctly.