It’s an issue that we’re all familiar with. You step into your shower to bathe after a long day and suddenly find the water backing up because of a clog in your drain. Can you plunge a shower drain to get rid of the blockage?
This informative guide will reveal different ways to unclog a shower drain. Follow these tips from the experts at Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co., who offer high-quality drain cleaning services in Aurora.
What Causes Clogs in Shower Drains?
Unclogging a shower drain is a common practice for plumbers, especially if individuals don’t take the proper measures to prevent clogs from forming. Your shower drain can quickly fill with soap residue, hair, sediment build-up from hard water, and more. As these elements collect within the drain, a clog forms and causes your water to back up in the shower.
It’s also possible for small foreign objects to clog your shower drain. In this instance, a professional plumber will need to perform a video inspection to see the object that’s blocking water flow.
Can You Plunge a Shower Drain?
When you experience a clog in either your toilet or sink drain, plumbers often reach for a plunger to break apart the natural blockage. Plungers are effective at breaking up waste or food residue and sending it down the drain so water can easily flow. However, this technique is not always ideal when it comes to clogged shower drains.
The pressure from plunging your shower drain sometimes will break apart smaller clogs, but in some cases, plunging only moves the clog further into your plumbing system. It won’t cause the clog to disintegrate. You can try plunging if you suspect only a small clog but should quickly move on to another method if there is no change in how quickly your wastewater flows.
Use a sink plunger and place it directly above the shower drain opening to form a tight seal. Plumbing experts recommend doing this when there is at least an inch of standing water slowly circling the drain. Start pushing the plunger’s handle down and then up without breaking the cup’s seal.
Repeat this plunging motion about a dozen times and then break the seal. If the water drains quickly, the clog is gone, but if it’s still slow to drain, it might be time to try another method.
Fast Drain-Cleaning Methods
Homeowners often ask plumbers, “Can you plunge a shower drain?” because it’s the only plumbing tool they have. An auger, also known as a plumbing snake, is usually the best piece of equipment for unclogging a shower drain. However, you can also remove stubborn clogs in a few simple steps.
Commercial drain cleaners eat away at the hair, soap, and sediment that often builds up within your plumbing system. These products are good for when you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to call a plumber. Be careful not to rely on these products every time you have a clog.
Use chemical cleaners sparingly since these solutions can damage your pipes. Although they may disintegrate your clog, they can also leave you with ruined pipes and a costly repair bill. You can also combine equal parts baking soda and vinegar in your drain, leave it for a few minutes, and then pour hot water down the drain to clear the clog.
Plumber-Approved Ways to Unclog a Shower Drain
Commercial drain cleaners and home remedies work but are not as ideal as removing the clog with a plumbing snake. If you’re still wondering, “Can you plunge a shower drain?” let’s explain why snaking the drain is the best solution.
Plunging will only push the clog further down the drain but not remove it. A drain snake features a pointed tip that will break apart the clog. Plumbers send the coil into your pipe until the tip hits the blockage and then carefully maneuver the snake to break through the hair or natural residue.
This technique usually only takes a few minutes, and then you can have a shower that drains as it should. Professional plumbers may use a small drain camera to see where the blockage is before deploying the auger and then again after they snake the drain. They rely on visual inspection to make sure the drain is clear and the clog isn’t just partially gone.
How To Prevent Future Clogs in Your Shower Drain
Local sewer and water maintenance measures will help make sure your water supply is safe and reliable. Once the water reaches your home, however, it’s up to you to make sure your drains stay free of clogs. Experts recommend the following solutions:
- Using a drain stopper
- Install a water softener
- Lower your hot water heater temperature
Drain stoppers are great for collecting hair or small bits of bar soap that would otherwise flow down your shower pipes. Placing one over your shower drain can save you from several unnecessary clogs that slowly form each time you use the shower. Although you can plunge a shower drain and use commercial cleaners, the best way to fight clogs is to prevent them from forming in the first place.
Consider making improvements to your hot water supply to avoid sediment and minerals from building up in your shower drain. A water softener is a filtration system that removes hard minerals from your supply so your plumbing system doesn’t face long-term damage. Slightly decreasing your water heater’s temperature also helps minimize the amount of buildup within your drains.
Contact Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. for Drain Cleaning Solutions
After reading this guide, you now have the answer to the question, “Can you plunge a shower drain?” Don’t reach for the plunger if you have a clogged shower drain. Instead, pick up the phone and call the experts at Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co.
We use only the best equipment and industry expertise to safely remove clogs from your plumbing system. Call us today at (847) 860-7147 to schedule a drain cleaning service.