Professional pipe and drain cleaning
26 Jan

DIY tips to unclog a shower drain, and when you need professional help

A shower drain clog is a slow drain — it starts small and builds up overtime. Rather than being caused by a large obstruction, it’s the gradual accumulation of hair, lint and residue that leads to a shower clog. The puddle of water you were standing in a few weeks ago slowly grows until your ankles are covered in dingy water.

These five tricks can help unclog a shower drain, but we have to be honest. They don’t always work. Sometimes a shower drain becomes too deeply clogged with hair and gunk that you need a professional plumber.

Are you seeing black gunk come out of the drain? This is a sign of a serious sewage problem and could be a dangerous health issue. You’ll need to call an emergency plumber immediately. If you have multiple drains or toilets draining slowly or backing up, the clog could be deep within your pipes. You’ll need a professional plumber to remove it.

If you need a professional plumber, Plumbers 911 can help. We are a network of licensed plumbing professionals who are highly trained and vetted through a rigorous qualification process.


1. Run boiling water down the shower drain

One simple method to unclog a shower drain is to pour a kettle of boiling water slowly down the drain. The hot water can break down soap scum and built-up gunk so it can properly wash away. Follow up with another kettle of water. Wait for the water to drain fully. Then run cold water to see if the drain has cleared.


2. Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda combined with vinegar causes a chemical reaction, releasing a burst of gas. Pour baking soda over the drain, followed by a good amount of vinegar. Let the chemistry work its magic for about an hour. Follow that with a kettle of boiling water and see if the drain has cleared.


3. Remove hair from the drain

If your shower drain is still clogged, you may see a clot of hair and gunk near the top of the drain. Try pulling it out with your fingers. You may need to unscrew or pry back the drain cover to reach it. If the hair is clogged deep within the pipe, try pulling it out with a wire or a coat hanger. If all else fails, run a plumber’s snake down the drain to unclog the hair. You can purchase a snake at most hardware stores.


4. Plunge your shower drain

A plunger can be an effective way of removing a shower drain clog. This approach works best if all standing water has been drained or removed from your shower basin. Apply petroleum jelly to the rim of the plunger for a better seal. Be careful if you’ve poured any caustic chemicals down the drain to remove the clog. The plunger could cause the chemicals to splash and cause a burn. 


5. Call a professional plumber

Some clogs are too stubborn or deep to remove with DIY methods. You may need a professional plumber who has the tools and experience to remove the clog effectively. They can use motorized drain augers (a higher tech and more powerful version of the drain snake) to remove the clog. They can also insert a hydro jetter down the drain to use high pressure water to blast away the clog.


Have a stubborn drain? Call Plumbers 911!

If you’ve got a stubborn shower drain, call Plumbers 911. We are a network of emergency plumbers who can quickly unclog your shower so the water flows freely again.

All of our plumbers are highly skilled and trained, fully vetted and drug tested. They have undergone a rigorous training and qualification process. Trust Plumbers 911 to provide professionals to quickly remove your clog today!