Dealing with a Clogged Shower

One of the most common calls plumbers receive is to fix a clogged shower drain. But before you call a plumber, there are several DIY hacks to unclog it yourself. The most common culprit is hair and there is a simple item you can find at any hardware or big box store or online — a hair trap that you install between the stopper and drain to catch hair before it goes down the pipes and forms clogs.

Bath products, solid soap, and any body wash or hair products containing a lot of oil also contribute to clogs. Using the bathtub and shower for washing up items dirtied with a lot of mud, dirt, and grit can clog the shower drain as well. Here are some tips for unclogging a shower drain. If you try these and nothing works, then it’s time to call Atlas Butler at 614-681-2183. Our phones are answered 24/7/365 by a live person for routine service and emergency calls.

  1. Boiling water. Sometimes, pouring boiling water down the shower drain is all it takes to dissolve soap scrum, grease, and other gunk and get things flowing smoothly again. Safety tip: Use a funnel to avoid splashbacks and burns.
  2. Plunger. This isn’t the most effective method but can work if the clog isn’t too deeply seated. Coat the plunger seal with petroleum jelly to form a solid seal and run enough water so the plunger is fully submerged for adequate suction.
  3. Plumber’s snake. Again, you can find these at hardware or big box stores or online. It’s a long, thin, flexible strip of serrated plastic with a handle that you insert down the drain. The “teeth” will catch whatever is causing the clog, so you can pull it out.
  4. Baking soda and vinegar. This is a natural remedy for dissolving clogs. You can find plenty of “recipes” online for the correct proportions. There also is an abundance of clean-formulated products you can buy almost anywhere, including grocery stores, to help clean out your drain.
  5. Chemical products. There are also many OTC drain cleaners you can use in your shower. Many of them contain harsh chemicals, so be careful when using them, especially if your house has older pipes. Some commercial drain cleaners now are made with gentler, non-corrosive formulas, but still get the job done.

If despite your best efforts, the clog persists, then quit while you’re ahead and call Atlas Butler. It’s better to have a pro fix the problem than continue on yourself if nothing’s working. Tinkering with the plumbing can cause serious damage, which can lead to more expensive repairs. At Atlas Butler, our fleet is fully equipped with parts, so the odds are great that we can get your shower unclogged in a single visit.