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How to unclog a shower drain

Unclogging a shower drain can be a bit more challenging than a kitchen sink because there is no trap. However, there are a few tricks that our Chelmsford plumber has heard homeowners do throughout his years in business. Here are a few ways to unclog your shower drain.

  • Boiling water. Pouring boiling water down the drain will help loosen any coagulated blockage in your shower drain. The pressure from the large pot of boiling water will also work to push the blockage through the pipework.
  • First remove any drainage fixture over the shower drain with a screwdriver. Next, turn the shower on and let some water collect in the basin. Once there is an inch or so of standing water collecting, use a toilet plunger to force any blockage through the pipes. Be sure to keep the showerhead on but turned away from you so you don't get wet.
  • Baking soda and vinegar. These two natural ingredients are a great alternative for those who don't want to use harsh chemicals. Mix one part baking soda to three parts vinegar and stir until the baking soda is fully dissolved, then pour it down the drain and wait 15 minutes before running the shower to wash the solution down. This coupled with the plunger is an effective solution.
  • Remove by hand. When in doubt, you can always remove the shower drain and, using a flashlight, remove any visible clogs by hand.
  • Plumbing snake. These long, thin and flexible drain-clearing tools are affordable and can be found at your local hardware store for less than $10. Be sure to remove the shower drain first and then use the snake to pull out any clogs.
  • Use chemicals. Drain chemicals should be used sparingly as they can erode pipes over time and inhaling these chemicals is not good for the respiratory tract. However, they are effective in clearing out any organic blockages. If a foreign object such as a toy, bottle cap or other object is blocking the pipe, then a plumber might be needed to remove it.
  • Call a plumber. If you've attempted the above suggestions with sub-par or no results, then a professional plumber should be called. Plumbers have a better understanding of where the blockage is within your pipes. There may be other underlying issues such as sediment buildup that could not have been prevented.

Nazzaro & Sons Plumbing & Heating is a professional plumbing, heating and cooling company servicing Chelmsford, North Chelmsford, Billerica, Lowell and surrounding areas. Contact us for expert plumbing services and affordable estimates.

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