Instead, he recommends that homeowners use the same tools that professionals use. You may have experience using a drain snake (also called a plumber’s snake) to clear clogs from your sink or toilet, but it’s not always long enough to tackle the clutter lurking under your shower floor. . For this, you will need a drain auger, which can have up to 25 feet of cable.
How do you use an auger to clear a clogged shower drain?
Augers are readily available at home improvement and hardware stores, and you can usually get a good one for less than $50. Tavanian suggests going for a manual drain auger with a 1/4-inch cable as a manageable and safe option for most clogged drains. If you’re looking to add an auger to your toolbox, Tavanian recommends the Rigid Kwik-Spin Drain Cleaning Snake Auger with Auto-Feed Trigger. There are drain cleaning machines, but they are quite expensive. Before using an auger for the first time, Tavanian suggests watching some instructional videos. “The technique is very difficult to explain but simple to do,” he admits. DIYers should also familiarize themselves with the instructions that came with the auger they purchased, as there may be slight variations in the techniques used to unclog a clog.
Once you have an auger, follow this step-by-step guide to unclog your shower drain:
Step 1: Gather supplies. In addition to the auger, you will need a screwdriver, rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a cloth.
Step 2: If your drain screen has screws, use a screwdriver to remove them, then pry up the screen. If not, you should be able to gently pry it out.
Step 3: Push the coiled end of the auger down the drain until you feel some resistance on the other end.
Step 4: Hold the auger handle with one hand and use the other hand to turn the drum clockwise. As the coil goes down the drain, adjust the thumb screw or trigger as needed to allow more coil to release so you can lower it down the drain.
Step 5: Keep turning until you feel the resistance decrease, which probably means you’ve dislodged the clog.
Step 6: Turn the handle counterclockwise to slowly push the coil (and hopefully the hair clog) out of the drain. Don’t rush this step or pull too hard, as both can damage the pipes.
Step 7: Run warm or hot water and see if the drainage has improved. If not, repeat the steps above.
How do you minimize the mess by unclogging the shower drain?
Prep work is essential to prevent a clogged drain from becoming a major disaster. When he gathers his supplies, Tavanian suggests grabbing a few extra rags, a drop cloth to keep the shower floor protected, and a bucket to carry dirty tools. .” No one wants a clog of hair lying everywhere (then you’ll need to clean a glass shower door, too). Take your time so you can stay organized and focused on what you’re doing, he urges.
How do you know when it’s time to call a professional plumber?
While cleaning a clogged shower drain is a job many homeowners can safely do, it’s important to assess your situation before donning your rubber gloves. Tavanian recommends that you visually inspect the area before diving into the project. If he knows your pipes are so old they may be galvanized, the clog is likely due to the pipe shedding and not necessarily hair or dirt. Traces of rust are another sign to call in a professional. Likewise, if you can’t unclog a clog after a few tries with an auger, there may be a larger problem, such as tree roots or other small objects blocking the drain, in which case professional help is also recommended.
How can you prevent a clogged shower drain?
Although you can’t prevent your shower from clogging again, there are some steps homeowners can take to prevent dirt and other buildup from causing frequent clogs. Here’s how to address the main causes behind a clogged shower drain.